The author, Chris Tomlinson, is a reporter much like a laboratory scientist seeking to find a cure for a fatal disease. His purpose is to keep alive that which is valuable and unique. He is driven by his passion and enjoyment of art.
Some of my favorite art pieces are the rare, ancient ones that tell stories: Russian icons. They were created to teach the lives of the Trinity, Jesus, saints, and people of scripture to the illiterate. In fact, creation of an icon was called “writing” rather than painting, since its purpose was to tell a story. In the “Golden Era of Russian Art,” 13th - 18th Centuries, secular art was forbidden in Russia so religious art flourished – intentionally by early rulers to bring peace to their barbarian-overrun nascent nation.
I began collecting this beautiful sacred art in the early ‘90’s for my own enjoyment and prayer experiences. Then, nearly 30 years later, one of my friends and fellow member of an antique club to which I belong, asked for a program to learn about antique Russian art: the icons. So Bill and I created a visual story by PowerPoint of the history and development of icons and how to view and understand – to read – an icon. At our program last Wednesday, club members and guests were able to see and ask questions about much of our collection, some of the art from the 15
It appears that reporter Tomlinson in 20
century Africa and Prince Vladimir in 10
century Kiev, Russia, for all intents and purposes, supported the creation of art arising from the same desire: to encourage peace, beauty, and thoughtfulness in the world. Our hope is that to share the created art we have will in some way counterbalance the ongoing destruction of traditions, communities, and our planet.
As Chris Tomlinson mentions in his article, “You may simply want an artwork you can hang over your couch that compliments the carpet, and that’s fine too. But before you buy something mass-produced, I recommend exploring local galleries and checking out local artists.” Good advice, to join in the encouragement of creation.