Throne of Wisdom exhibit coming to Shrine


MARIA STEIN – From February through June 2019, the Maria Stein Shrine will host a unique art exhibit from Via Lucis Photography. “Throne of Wisdom” is a collaborative project by photographers PJ McKey and Dennis Aubry.

McKey is an artist, theater director and photographer. She has exhibited her photography and art in numerous juried shows, including Cotuit Center for the Arts and the Smith College Alumni exhibit in 2005 and 2010. Her photographs are explorations characterized by an artist’s sensitivity to light, shape, and texture.

Aubry has been a photographer for more than 20 years. He was founder and CEO of Altamira Group, the software company that created the Genuine Fractals software application, and spent many years developing software for scalable high-resolution digital imagery. His photographic work is characterized by his understanding of the technical accomplishments of the medieval builders and a desire to discover the spiritual underpinning of the structures.

“Some of our favorite photographic subjects are the Throne of Wisdom Madonna’s, captivating and powerful iconographic images of the Romanesque era. Most of these are small, polychrome wooden statues from the 12th and 13th centuries. The Sedes Sapientiae (“Throne of Wisdom”) is an icon of the Mother of God in majesty and was found throughout Romanesque Europe,” said Aubry.

“This very blackness of the Madonna changes the iconography of the Throne of Wisdom in some way that provokes a very powerful response,” said McKey. “There is a great deal of speculative nonsense surrounding them, but no representation of the Mother of God was so especially venerated and they were often the specific objects of pilgrimage.”

When taken as a set, these Throne of Wisdom Madonna’s carry enormous symbolic power. In the reborn and rejuvenated Romanesque world of France, these images symbolized the saving grace of the Church, and the protective embrace of one they considered the Mother of us all.

“The Maria Stein Shrine, situated in the heart of the Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches, is a fitting venue for these incredible images of Mary, the Mother of God” said Don Rosenbeck, Shrine President. “We are blessed to be able to make this exhibit available for our visitors to enjoy and are grateful to Dennis and PJ for bringing it to us.”

The exhibit, located on the Shrine’s 3rd floor and in The Upper Room, is free and open to the public. The Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics provides faith nourishment and spiritual renewal through opportunities for prayer and pilgrimage and inspiration from the lives of the saints. People from around the world visit the shrine to explore and enjoy this environment rich in holiness and history. The Shrine is located at 2291 St. John’s Road in Maria Stein. To learn more about the exhibit or the Maria Stein Shrine, visit mariasteinshrine.org.