Well, we did it! Mount Angel Abbey Museum has finally re-opened! It has been a long and trying time, but in the end well worth the effort. Words cannot express how grateful we are for all the amazing help we have received along the way. The two folks that immediately come to mind are Amanda Quiroz and Danielle Schlunegger-Warner. These two recent transplants to Portland volunteered many hours and were instrumental in shaping the new look of the museum. Both amazing artists in their own right, they have brought a fresh artistic perspective the the exhibits on display.
In our newly remodeled entrance hall we have created a space for showcasing original art. Currently on exhibit is seven incredible collections by Amanda Quiroz. A small section from the artist’s statement found on her website (http://amandaquiroz.com) eloquently describes this body of work done in several mediums;
I draw the minutiae I find and collect in everyday interactions with nature; primarily, overlooked objects that are typically thought of as dust: dried seeds, dead insects, fallen feathers, strands of hair... I combine these small forms to scale within accumulated compositions using ethereal abstraction inspired by early photomicroscopy and astrophotography.
Ms. Quiroz’s art will be on display through January and all of these incredible works are available for purchase through the artist.
As well, we are pleased to announce that we have added four new cases, built by our wonderfully talented carpenter Mr. Tony Morris, and five Barrister cabinets. These new additions hold many treasures which had been collected over the decades, but until now were hidden away in storage due to lack of exhibit space. Literally hundreds of “new” artifacts are currently on view along with all the great items you loved to visit in the past. By moving to a semi-open storage system, we have begun a gradual transition back to the original vision of Fr. Frowin Epper, the founder of the museum. There is still much work to do in the way of cataloging and interpretation, but we are confident that we have made a great new beginning.
With the integration of art and natural history we are striving to continue to build a collection that is both educational and inspirational for all who visit. In the words of Fr. Frowin, the museum is, we believe, “sufficiently important and interesting in itself to deserve at least the leisure moments at our disposal. There is nothing so little or so apparently trivial in God’s grand world but may be made to teach useful lessons, and at the same time become an endless source of pure, interesting, and wholesome recreation during our spare hours.” We are very proud of our eclectic array of displays that range from fascinating geological and environmental specimens to art and artifacts, ancient and contemporary, temporal and ecclesial, collected from a diverse cross-section of cultures. After your next visit we are confident you will agree.
Br. Andre Love O.S.B.