ONLY RELIGIOUS ART?
By a C.H. Reporter
Westminster Hall, re-hung with neutral-coloured canvas, is the gallery for the sixth exhibition of the work of the Guild of Catholic artists and craftsmen.
There are 160 exhibits and 60 exhibitors.
The standard of the exhibition is high, original and often stimulating. There is life in these artists. They have the creative thought, not the creative itch.
Not liturgical art, but Catholic art, the Guild's president, Mr Thomas H. B. Scott, stresses; and by Catholic art here read religious art.
All the 160 exhibits of this exhibition have religious themes (if you count nice little paintings of churches). Secular subjects have no place on the Guild's walls. And many members (and many more would-be members) of the Guild must surely execute secular works of art which are no less truly Catholic for not being a piece of church furniture.
Hard to Understand This segregation of the secular and the religious in the Guild's exhibition is hard to understand. Nothing in the rules of the Guild, framed by their wise chaplain, seems to uphold the distinction. On the contrary he, it appears, would draw the two into one union.
" The word Catholic defines the spirit," writes the chaplain, " which should animate the Guild . .. The attribute of Catholic applies to all subjects chosen, whether religious or secular, divine or human, sacred or profane, provided that the artist live a life of grace. . .."
Glyn Philpot was the first president. Celebrating the centenary of Catholic emancipation, an exhibition of Catholic contemporary art was held at Suffolk Galleries. Catholic artists had never met each other before. Each lived and worked in his own isolation of religious thought. Then, having met his fellow Catholic artist at the Suffolk, he thought him a jolly good fellow—and the outcome of that exhibition was a party to unite new-found friends. The result of that party was the Guild, with Glyn Philpot president, and Fr. Martin D'Arcy, S.J., chaplain, This, the sixth exhibition of the Guild, was opened on Wednesday by Cardinal Hinsley, Archbishop of Westminster. He recalled England's heritage of art inspired by Catholicity, and commented on the new Catholic-inspired art which was building up the abbey church of Prinknash. Mr H. S. Goodhart-Rendel (architect of Prinknash abbey church) followed up the Cardinal's words by describing the work which the Guild had before it to convince people that artists are here to make those objects of devotion that hitherto have been turned out of moulds in varying sizes by robots.
Criticism of the exhibition by the CATHOLIC HERALD Art Critic and a page of pictures will appear in next week's CATIfuLlc HERALD.
PROFANATIONS IN GERMANY
The official bulletin of the Diocese of Limburg, in Prussia, publishes a list of profanations against Catholic statues which have taken place In the diocese between the end of April and the end of May.
They include the destruction of Stations of the Cross, the profanation and mutilation of open-air crucifixes, and the destruction of crosses on the outside of churches.
The perpetrators, who are irresponsible anti-Catholics, have in some cases been discovered.
GERMAN CATHOLICS WELCOME PAPAL PEACE EFFORTS
" The Catholics of Germany welcome the Holy Father's efforts to maintain peace with joy," Mgr. Graeber, Archbishop of Freiburg-im-Breisgau, has stated in a Pastoral Letter issued immediately after his visit to Rome.
The Pastoral reaffirms the fidelity of German Catholics to the Holy See, while underlining the difficulties of the Church in Germany.
" The German nation," the Archbishop states, " should be proud to see the emergence of so many characters strong enough to put Divine service and the Faith above the threat of sufferings and privations threatening them."