Thursday 16 September 2010

Beatification Report - Cardinal Newman Exhibition

To coincide with the beatification Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is playing host to an exhibition of ”rarely seen items from the life of Cardinal John Henry Newman”. Amongst the exhibits are many not generally on public view. Most items are loaned from Birmingham Oratory’s own collection and were in Newman's rooms at the Oratory. Below are photographs of the exhibits.

Cardinal's robes, hat and shoes @ 1879. Newman reputedly complained that it was very expensive to be fitted out as a cardinal!

Pectoral cross and chain, silver gilt with garnets, 19th Century.

Crozier, 1860. Silver inset with semi precious stones and micro mosaic.

Jewelled mitre, 1879, presented to Newman when he became a cardinal. Silk and gold thread inset with semi precious stones. I can't even begin to tell you how incredible the workmanship is, but the photographs really don't do this justice!

Oil portrait on canvas of Newman by William Thomas Roden, 1879. This portrait was commissioned to celebrate his appointment as a Cardinal although Roden chose to depict him as an ordinary priest.

Shell engraved with the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 19th Century.

Metal pot with used and sharpened quill pens from Newman's study at the Birmingham Oratory. Also a letter from Newman to a printer dated 1840 concerning the production costs.

Statuette bust of St Phillip Neri, founder of the Congregation of the Oratory. Ivory turned on wooden base.

Portrait of 'The Virgin in Glory' @ 1860. Oil paint on ivory in silver mount.

Portrait bust of Newman by Richard Westmacott, 1841. The sculptor was at school with Newman in Ealing.

The number of items included in the exhibition was less than I was expecting but it does offer a unique opportunity to view some beautiful relics one is not normally able to see.

For those that would like to visit, the exhibition runs until 6th January 2011, entry is free of charge and you can find more information about the venue here.


Anonymous said...

Simply stunning pictures. I'm watching the Pope in Glasgow as I blog. Your reports are a great apostolate. May God bless you! Blessed John Henry Newmann pray for us!

Anonymous said...

More than any other blog, this is the one i come to to stay in touch with the Beatification. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

JHN is an excellent example of how the beauty that necessarily goes with the office of cardinal is in no way a merely aesthetic choice but is an act of great humility by submitting to the bother of being robed appropriately. JHN Fan

Just a Girl said...

Thanks for your positive comments! I will be posting another piece tomorrow after the beatification conference.

Anonymous said...

Really great post. Thanks Just A Girl. Not sure about the name ;-)

Just a Girl said...

Well I'm open to suggestions! Glad you liked the post :)

Obsequium Pauperum said...

Cor ad cor loquitur. Both truth and beauty are means of that communication between hearts. Newman may have seen the objections to ostentation but I have no doubt that he saw the value of beauty.

Anonymous said...

The detail on that mitre is stunning. Do you know where it was made?

Just a Girl said...

Sorry but no, there wasn't any information about that.

Donnelly's Hollow said...

We also saw the soutane and stole and shoes of St. Charles Borromeo in the St. Charles Church in Vienna. These relics are a really good way to get a sense of closeness to the Saints. I hope that these relics will be kept on permanent display but in a Church and not in a museum. They should be there for the veneration of the people.

Bagenal Harvey said...

I am not sure I have ever seen a precious mitre quite as literally true to its name. The quality and clarity of the photos is really good. Well done to you.

Random Thinker said...

I never saw that portrait of Newman before. It's really engaging. Good work on all those posts!