I live in Ohio and had no idea this place existed until I read about it in Country Living magazine. The Museum of Divine Statues, located in Lakewood, Ohio, is dedicated to the rescue, restoration and preservation of religious statues and other art from the many Catholic churches that were closed in the Cleveland area in 2009. Here’s the story from Fox8 News in Cleveland:
What I love about this story is the heart of the artist Lou McClung who uses his skills as a make-up artist to restore this piece of church history. It takes 50–60 hours to restore one statue; more if there’s a hand or finger missing.
In the Country Living article he addresses the issues that many modern worshipers have with the Catholic statues:
McClung recognizes there’s a lot of confusion about Catholic art. “People of other faiths think that it’s idolatry and all kinds of other things,” he says. “For Catholics, the art is very important.” In early days, only wealthy people could afford books. Artwork told the Christian story in pictorial form. This was especially important to immigrants who didn’t speak the English language.
“What I consider the most primary reason for the artwork is that when people pray and meditate they need a focus,” McClung explained. “So we’re not worshiping a statue; we’re focusing on something visual that looks realistic and helps you hold your focus in prayer and meditation.” (as reported by Tom Reed in “Simply Divine”, December 2014 issue of Country Living)
Ultimately it is a part of our Christian history, as well as our Church art history. I love that this artist would give so much to preserve this history and the beauty of these amazing pieces of craftsmanship.
Blessings of ARTistry, CREATivity & BEaUty, Jody
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What is Create-A-Day? Just as One-A-Day® Vitamins help restore the nutrients we deplete in our bodies, so too do we need to refill, replenish and renew our creative souls. In 2015, watch for daily* posts to undergird your ministry; lead you to resources to nurture the creative spirit within; and draw you more deeply into your worship of Jesus Christ. My goal is to provide you, the creative Christian, with over 250* resources to help you develop your ARTistry, CREATivity & capacity for BEaUty. Books, worship arts ministries, video series, websites, conferences—all geared towards artists, creatives, worshipers and people serving in worship and creative arts ministries. So, visit my blog every day* to see what creative resource I’ve hunted down for you. You can stay connected by following me on Twitter or Facebook. Or better yet, sign up to receive email updates by clicking the button to the left. We’ll watch the resources pile up as the year unfolds!