Muskegon —The Muskegon Museum of Art will present Expressions of Faith: Religious Works from the Permanent Collection with Rare Manuscripts from the Van Kampen Collection as its main winter exhibition. Expressions of Faith opens on Thursday, December 8 with a public reception and lecture by Calvin College Professor of Art and Art History Henry Luttikhuizen. The reception will start at 5:30 pm and the lecture will start at 7:00 pm. The event is free. The exhibition will run through February 12, 2017.
Expressions of Faith combines the written and printed word with the visual arts to examine the impact that religious faith has made on artists who, in turn, helped disseminate and form various belief systems. In giving visual form to religious figures and stories, artists shaped how believers perceived their faith, and in doing so influenced the evolution of the religion itself. Outside of the practice of faith, images of Christ and the Nativity, of Greek gods and goddesses, of Hindu deities such as Kali and Ganesh, and the Jewish Menorah are still immediately recognizable in our shared popular culture.
The majority of the artworks in Expressions of Faith are drawn from the permanent collection of the Muskegon Museum of Art. The exhibition includes imagery from Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and African and Japanese spiritual traditions. A loan from the Van Kampen Foundation Scriptorium—a collection of ancient, Medieval and early Renaissance manuscripts and books—is also featured in the exhibition. The Foundation has lent both hand-copied and printed Bibles, including those illustrated by Lucas Cranach the Elder. The exhibition will also include a rare showing of a Torah from the Temple B’nai Israel of Muskegon and additional artworks and Bibles from the Holland Museum, Center Gallery at Calvin College, and other private and institutional lenders.
Expressions of Faith has been organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art. Presenting Sponsors are Richard and Cynthia Lindrup and the Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Foundation. Additional support has been provided by PNC Bank, Webb Chemical Service Corporation, Blue Lake Public Radio, Faith Animal Care PLLC, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with the National Endowment for the Arts.
RELATED PROGRAMS
Thursday, December 15, 6:00 pm
Impressions: Printmakers take on Expressions of Faith
With Lee Ann Frame and Andy Jagniecki
Printmaking can take on many forms, from woodblock cuts to etching; each print is unique in its creation. Join contemporary printmakers, Lee Ann Frame and Andy Jagniecki as they walk through Expressions of Faith and talk about their favorite prints, technique, and overall impression of the prints on display. Q & A time follows the half-hour presentation. A cash bar will be open from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Admission is free.
Thursday, February 2, 6:00 pm
The Fine Art of Calligraphy
With Jane Ewing
Join master calligrapher and author Jane Ewing for an overview of the history of calligraphy, from early scribes to the contemporary calligraphers who create painterly pieces with gestural lettering. Q & A time follows the half-hour presentation. A cash bar will be open from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Admission is free.
Thursdays, December 8, January 12 & 26, February 9 & 23
12:15 pm
Brown Bag Film Series: The Power of the Myth
The MMA’s Brown Bag Film series will feature The Power of the Myth this winter. Joseph Campbell the scholar and Bill Moyers the journalist explore how myths hold the key to understanding human experience and touch on topics as diverse as world religions, marriage, and pop culture. The six episodes pull in many of the same topics explored in Expressions of Faith. Brown Bag Film admission is free. Paid admission is required for gallery entrance. Auditorium doors open at noon. The Brown Bag series is underwritten by MMA Education Partner, Arconic/Whitehall Operations.
December 10, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Alphabet Super Saturday
Celebrate the alphabet and some of the ancient ways letters have been used in everyday objects and art. Activities are suitable for all ages and include the film William Wegman’s Alphabet Soup, guided tours through the Expressions of Faith exhibition, and a make and take workshop. Workshop participants will use letters in their names to create hand-illuminated initials. Super Saturdays admission and activities are free and underwritten by MMA Education Partner, Arconic/Whitehall Operations.

The Muskegon Museum of Art is located at 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon, Michigan. For visitor information, visit www.muskegonartmuseum.org or call 231.720.2570.

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