Sedes Sapientiae

While I was in Shawnee, I made sure I went to the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, to visit Delaynna, et al, and also because my exhibit was up (!). “From the Seat of Wisdom: Medieval Art from the Mabee-Gerrer Collection.” This is a very photo intensive post… my apologies. But it came out so great!

I chose most of the pieces… and wrote the labels for them. Hannah Byland also helped. She translated the Latin from the manuscripts we had.

The focus is on the Sedes Sapientiae, or the Madonna & Child Enthroned. I loved researching them and being able to touch them (with cotton gloves, of course). But because we didn’t have enough just Madonna & Child pieces, we expanded the exhibit to include music and recreation in the Middle Ages. We had examples of both secular and sacred music, and aristocratic past times (dominoes, hunting).

A wall of painted Madonna & Child’s. Look, in the second picture, Christ is holding a finch. 🙂 The Byzantine Madonna is one of my absolute favorites. I remember doing a condition report on her a year ago, when we had a miniature exhibit for the annual meeting of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. And the Ecce Homo (“Here is the man”) is also a favorite.

Some of Hannah’s handiwork, and the German fowling crossbow. Clay was trying to get that into the exhibit from day one, but it wasn’t until June when I realized we would have to include the secular element as well as the sacred that we decided to add it in.

This last picture is from the main gallery. Can you see why I loved this place? The painting of St Augustine and St Gregory in the back left is there temporarily, usually a Madonna & Child is there. And that ivory box… I can’t tell you how many hours I spent staring at that thing, researching every detail, trying to find something out about it… but it’s still a mystery.

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