Meet the Artists: Tenth Anniversary of the "World Nativities" Exhibition

This issue of Glencairn Museum News features five artists whose works are included in this year's World Nativities exhibition: Christina Orthwein (Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania), Nancy Schnarr-Bruell (Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania), Jeronimo Lozano (Peeru/Salt Lake City, Utah), Sabinita López Ortiz (Córdova, New Mexico), and Carmen Gutierrez Vazquez (San Miguel Aguasuelos, Veracruz-Mexico).

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The Academy Seal in Glencairn Museum

Raymond Pitcairn’s Bryn Athyn Studios created a three-story tall glass mosaic version of the Academy of the New Church seal for Glencairn’s Great Hall. This article will explore the history of the Academy seal, where the emblem appears in Glencairn, and why it was so important to the Pitcairn family.

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Headrests in Glencairn's Egyptian Collection: Practicality and Protection

Glencairn Museum’s Egyptian collection features several objects related to the weres, or headrest, an ancient Egyptian pillow made of wood. Headrests were believed to magically protect the sleeper at night, and also eternally after death. In this essay for Glencairn Museum News, Egyptologist Dr. Jennifer Houser Wegner explains both the practical and magical functions of the ancient Egyptian headrest. 

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Glencairn's Royalty: images of kings and queens in the medieval collection

Number 6, 2018

Whether we prefer to dream about the adventures of legendary medieval kings and queens, ponder the deeds of historical sovereigns, or invent rulers of fantasy worlds based on the medieval past, the art of the Middle Ages offers much to inspire our imaginations. In this essay for Glencairn Museum News, art historian Julia Perratore explores Glencairn’s collection in pursuit of the images fueling modern visions of medieval monarchs.

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“A Bower of Loveliness”: Glencairn Sculptures Used as Garden Decorations for a 1934 Wedding Reception

Number 5, 2018

A series of historic photos taken at the June 8, 1934 wedding reception of Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn’s eldest daughter, Gabriele, offers a rare visual insight into the design process employed by the Bryn Athyn Studios. For this special June wedding full-scale plaster models as well as actual works of art created for Glencairn in stone, metal, and stained glass were transported from the construction site to the wedding reception venue and repurposed as “garden sculptures.”   

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"A Window to the Soul: Nishan Yardumian's Biblical Art"

Number 4, 2018

Bryn Athyn artist and arts instructor Nishan Yardumian (1947-1986) taught painting in Bryn Athyn for many years. He was an artist as well as a teacher, and was passionate about both professions. According to Yardumian, “Painting aims at the universal with the hopes that each individual can find his identification with it. Teaching aims at the individual with the hope of developing the universal.”

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Glencairn's "Tyldal Chair": A Twentieth-Century Revival of Twelfth-Century Norwegian Woodcarving

Number 3, 2018

There is so much artwork to appreciate at Glencairn that visitors often pass by a certain elaborately-carved oak chair on the first floor without giving it a second glance. The chair was inspired by a twelfth-century Norwegian chair that was rediscovered in the late nineteenth century in a church in the village of Tyldal. The nineteenth century saw a revival of interest in woodcarving influenced by Norwegian Viking art, which became known as “dragon style.” Glencairn’s chair, hand carved in the Bryn Athyn woodworking shop in the 1920s, is significant—not only for the high quality of its workmanship, but for the story it tells about the circumstances that led to its creation.  

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Medieval Depictions of the Last Judgment: The Resurrection of the Body

Number 2, 2018

The Last Judgment, when the dead rise from their graves to be consigned either to salvation in Heaven or damnation in Hell, was arguably the most important theological concept for medieval Christians. In this essay for Glencairn Museum News, Dr. Sean Lawing, Assistant Professor of History at Bryn Athyn College, considers the ways in which the human body held significance for medieval Christians in the theological framework of the Last Judgment, with special reference to art in Glencairn Museum’s medieval collection.

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