Contemporary portrayals of Mary Magdalene in new exhibit

Mary Magdalene, long diminished by the church as the penitent sinner or prostitute, is almost universally represented at the feet of Jesus in church-commissioned art. This exhibition Reclaim Mary Magdalene featuring four contemporary artists, Lázaro Ceballos Fernández, Laura James, Janet McKenzie and Sue Ellen Parkinson, on the contrary, portrays Mary Magdalene in her power and authority as the Apostle to the Apostles. Moreover, they faithfully depict Mary Magdalene and Jesus as first-century Palestinians or residents of the cultural mixing pot of the Middle East, including Egypt and Ethiopia. The illustrations and interpretations from their artwork reclaim Mary Magdalene as an inspiration to all people of faith.

Reclaim Mary Magdalene will be on view in the Divinity School Art Gallery March 20–31, 2023, and then in  Divinity Library April—September 2023. The exhibit is co-curated by Beth Maczka, a master of theological studies student with concentrations in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality, and Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture, and Divinity Library Digital Scholarship and Special Projects Coordinator, Charlotte Lew, and is sponsored by the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality and the Divinity Library.

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