Episode 29: Art in Sacred Spaces – Rita Wright

Rita Wright is the curator for the Springville Museum of Art in Springfield, Utah. Formerly, she taught art at Brigham Young University and was the curator for the LDS Church History Museum. Currently, she sits on the worldwide committee for art selection for the LDS Church.

She joins Laura Harris Hales to discuss the function of art in sacred space, beginning with the first Christians. Together they discuss art found in the catacombs, through the dark ages, enduring symbols, and overlooked and creative use of art to create a sacred atmosphere.

Through her years of teaching, Rita realized that sometimes members of the LDS Church have difficulty understanding the art of other religions because of bias and ignorance of the meaning of iconography. She describes some common symbols and architectural styles and how they strive to create a feeling of sacredness.

While cathedrals may sometimes come off as garish and colorful to some, members can gain a better understanding of these places if they learn more about them and their purpose.

The initial cathedrals were built as Bibles for the poor because the commoners had no access to Bibles and could not read.

Rita Wright shares some insights on how to appreciate sacred art on a theological, social, and psychological level. Download Transcript

Extra Resources:

Episode 29 Transcript

The Springville Museum of Art in Utah (Free to Public)

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