On April 15, 2019, millions of people from around the world watched in horror as the grand spire of the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris burned to the ground. The Gothic masterpiece, which dates to the twelfth century, became a rallying point for people of all faiths. Millions of dollars were raised for the cathedral’s restoration in the weeks following the fire.
On the first anniversary of the fire, Ave Explores: Art and Architecture with Katie Prejean McGrady and a team of experts in the fields of art, architecture, and iconography reflect on the importance of art and beauty to the Catholic faith. You'll see the place Catholic art plays in the world today and learn from Catholic artists how their work has brought them closer to God.
Click the button below to view a list of resources that offer additional information on virtual museum tours and art exhibits.
Week 1: The Importance of Beauty in Catholicism
It's no coincidence that Ave Explores: Art and Architecture began on the first anniversary of the devastating fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Beauty plays an important role in the Catholic faith: Paintings, mosaics, statues, stained glass windows, and the buildings where we worship play an important role in what we believe and how we live our faith. The art and architecture of the Church articulate beauty as a way to understand God and grow in relationship with him.
Week 2: The Faith in Architecture
Have you ever wondered why grocery stores are designed like boxes and cathedrals shaped like a cross? How do these spaces influence how we feel, what we learn, and how we behave?
This week, our experts examine how church buildings reflect the sacredness and beauty of our faith.
Week 3: Creativity Today
When we think of art in the Catholic Church, we may picture ancient and classical art. While these certainly continue to influence our faith today, so too do contemporary Catholic artists who are ushering in a new renaissance through painting, video, photography, illustrations, sculpture, jewelry, and other media.
Week 4: Art in Life
You may not believe it, but everyone has an inner artist that they can use to help creatively evangelize others in the Catholic faith. It’s also possible to experience the beauty of Catholic art, not only in the church buildings where we worship but also in our own homes.