Archive for the ‘Division Page: EXPLORE’ Category

Watch This!

Through the years, M&G has developed topical videos to support the educational themes of our diverse exhibitions and outreaches.  Enjoy learning about the people of the past through these varied glimpses.

Symbols in Religious Art: Representations of Deity
Symbols in Religious Art: Earthly Saints and Heavenly Spirits
Symbols in Religious Art: Attributes of the Martyrs
Symbols in Religious Art: Prominent Bible Characters
Symbols in Religious Art: The Four Apostles
The Life of Martin Luther
The Charleston Silver Lady
Frederic James Shields: The Pre-Raphaelites
Why We Collect
Ten Most Forged Artists
Han van Meegeren: part 1
Han van Meegeren: part 2
Han van Meegeren: part 3
Lost Art: The Cassirer Family
Lost Art: The Bendel Family
Lost Art: The Bloch-Bauer Family
Landmark Case of Nazi-Looted Art: The Discovery
Landmark Case of Nazi-Looted Art: Authentication
Landmark Case of Nazi-Looted Art: Verdict
The High Renaissance: Raphael
The High Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci
The High Renaissance: Michelangelo
Mannerism: An Introduction
Mannerism: Characteristics
Mannerism: Conclusion
Baroque Art: Introduction
Baroque Art: Prominent Schools
Baroque Art: Stylistic Scope
Baroque Art: Conclusion

A Closer Look

Take a closer look at objects in the collection to discover fascinating details in the materials, narrative, or artists. Each clip will help you better understand the past as well as enjoy the objects in M&G’s collection.

Simon Vouet: Salome with the Head of John the Baptist
Francesco Granacci: Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, called Sandro Botticelli (and studio): Madonna and Child with an Angel
Jusepe de Ribera: Ecce Homo
Gustave Doré: Christ Leaving the Praetorium
Girolamo Della Robbia: Terracotta Busts
Mattia Preti: Christ Seats the Child in the Midst of the Disciples
Peter Paul Rubens: Christ on the Cross
Cassone: Renaissance Marriage Chest
Francesco de Rosa: The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence
Guido Reni: The Four Evangelists
Geritt van Honthorst: The Holy Family in the Carpenter Shop
Francois de Troy: Christ and the Samaritan Woman
Francesco Cavazzoni: Legend of the Finding of the True Cross
Giovanni Filippo Criscuolo (attr. to): The Last Judgment
Stefano Cernotto (attr. to): The Last Supper
Salvator Rosa: Landscape with the Baptism of Christ
Domenico Zampieri: St. John the Evangelist
Jaun de Flandes: St. Augustine and St.Roch
Jan Hermansz. van Bijlert: Mary Magdalene Turning from the World to Christ
Anthony van Dyck: Mother of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa)
Jan Swart: Nativity Triptych
Jan Gossaert: The Madonna of the Fireplace
Northern Mannerism: The Martyrdom of Peter
Marietta Robusti: Allegory of Wisdom
Philippe de Champaigne: The Christ of Derision
The Easter Story: Two Centurions
Antonio del Castillo y Saavedra: St. John the Baptist in the Wilderness

History in Pictures

Art is a record of ideas and messages from the past by reflecting its own time and culture. Sometimes art’s culture is foreign to our own experiences and understanding today, which requires a translation in order for us to grasp the meaning of its intent and the significance in its time. Listen and learn about works of art and their context from M&G’s collection and others—it’s an opportunity to view the world beyond your twenty-first-century perspective and experience.


Anthony van Dyck
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Louis Comfort Tiffany
Isaiah’s Lips Anointed with Fire: Benjamin West, P.R.A.
Carlo Francesco Nuvolone
Carlo Dolci
Imperial Red Cross Easter Egg
Russian icon
Edwin Long, R. A.
Hezekiah Tapestry
Master of the Borghese Tondo
Julius Weitzner
Bone Casket
Rutilio di Lorenzo Manetti
Richard Houston (engraver)
Salvator Rosa
Pietro Novelli
Johann Friedrich Overbeck
Benjamin West, P. R. A.
Albrecht Dürer
Gaspar de Crayer
Lucas Cranach, the Younger
Frans Francken, the Younger
Visiting Museums
Eyre Crowe
Gustave Doré
Niccolò di Pietro Gerini
Gilbert Stuart
Edward Matthew Ward

M&G Coloring Pages

For students of ALL ages: click and print the coloring sheet, then find inspiration in the Old Master’s original to create your own version!  Share your work with others on social media and tag the Museum & Gallery!  

Esther Accusing Haman by Jan Victors, Dutch (1619–after 1676)

For a printable coloring sheet click HERE.

















The Heavenly Shepherd by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Spanish (1617–1682)

For a printable coloring sheet click HERE.



















Joseph Sold into Bondage by His Brethren by Giovanni Battista Carlone, Genoese (1603–1684)

For a printable coloring sheet click HERE. 


Rest on the Flight to Egypt by Francesco Granacci, Florentine (1469–1543)

For a printable coloring sheet click HERE.




















Madonna of the Chair by Unknown (copy of Raphael)

For a printable coloring sheet click HERE

Think On These Things

Due to COVID-19, our regular routines and social interactions have been disrupted. However, in the face of change and the unknown, what our minds dwell on becomes critical. While beauty has always mattered in our lives, perhaps it shows itself all the more valuable and significant in a crisis. Pause to reflect on a few, beautiful images and ideas represented in M&G’s Collection—things worthy of our thinking.

From the Director

Since M&G closed its two museum sites in February 2017, we’ve busily pursued some creative ideas and valuable feedback about the Old Master collection and M&G’s re-opening.  Watch the most recent video to follow our updates and learn about M&G’s focus and next steps in our service to you!

M&G Kids

Everyone, no matter their age, can learn about and enjoy art! These special activities will help children discover the joys of studying art closely and learning from it.


Coloring Pages

Esther Accusing Haman by Jan Victors, Dutch (1619–after 1676)

For a printable coloring sheet click HERE.

















The Heavenly Shepherd by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Spanish (1617–1682)

For a printable coloring sheet click HERE.



















Picture Books created using paintings from the Museum & Gallery Collection.

Object of the Month: October 2020

Torah Scroll

Found in Yemen, Arabia

15th century

Jews believe that the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) were dictated word for word by God to Moses. While the remaining books of the Old Testament, the Nevi’im (the Prophets) and the Ketuvim (the Writings) were inspired by God, the Jews regard the Pentateuch as quite literally, God’s exact words. A Sefer Torah is a kosher (ritually clean) handwritten copy of the formal Hebrew text of the Pentateuch. Both Jews and Christians believe that accurately preserving all God-inspired texts is important; however, Jews hold that the dictated Words of God must receive a higher level of respect and extreme attention to accuracy as they are transmitted to future generations.

A printed copy of the Torah may be used for personal study, but only a Sefer Torah can be used in public Jewish worship. A Sefer Torah must meet high standards in both its construction and transcription. Anything less would not be worthy of the Words of God and should not be used to worship Him.

The materials and tools used in making a Sefer Torah must be ritually clean. The parchment must be from the hides of a kosher animal. Today cow hides are generally used, but M&G’s Torah is made of gazelle parchment.  M&G’s Torah is 121’ long and required about 70 hides. To be kosher the hides must be properly cleaned and tanned. A quill from a kosher bird (or other permitted writing utensil) and a specially prepared kosher ink must be used. Once the parchment panels have been inscribed, they are sewn together with thread made from the sinews of a kosher animal. That thread is also used to attach the parchment to rods, called atzei chayim (the trees of life), on which the scroll is rolled.

The ritual cleanness of materials used in making a Sefer Torah demonstrates reverence to God’s Word, but the accuracy of the text is paramount. Every one of the Torah’s 304,805 Hebrew letters must be precisely duplicated by a specially trained sofer (called a scribe in the New Testament). The sofer begins copying by scoring temporary lines on the parchment to serve as the margins and rule for each line of text. Prior to writing the sofer cleanses in a mikvah (ritual bath) and recites a prayer for scroll writing.  He must then copy each letter exactly from a kosher Torah scroll or another approved source. Since a Sefer Torah scroll embodies the holiness of its message, the focus is on the text itself. Illustrations or artistic decorations are forbidden.

Before beginning work, many sofers today will test their quill and ink by writing the Hebrew word Amalek on a piece of parchment and then crossing it out. Doing so they literally fulfill the command in Deuteronomy 25:17-19 to blot out the name of Israel’s ancient enemy.

When the name of God appears in the text, the sofer must follow additional procedures to demonstrate his recognition of the sacredness of his task and his willingness to make sure it is done with the proper intent and reverence. Corrections can be made by scraping the error from the parchment. But if a mistake is made when writing the name of God, corrections are not permissible. That section of parchment cannot be used.

The sofer proofreads his work but before the Torah can be officially pronounced Sefer it must be proofread by additional approved individuals. Part of this process involves counting letters and lines of text. Generally a Torah is written by a single sofer and takes about a year to complete. The approval process may take additional months. The extreme accuracy of these procedures maintaining the text can be documented by comparing modern Torahs to ancient texts.

The Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1-18)

Because ornamentation of the text could distract from the Words of God, embellishment within the scroll is prohibited as seen in M&G’s Torah. However, decoration of objects associated with the scroll (i.e. Torah case, Torah finger, etc.) show respect and honor to the Torah and its message.

The Song of the Sea (known as The Song of Moses) was sung by the Israelites after they crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. It describes their experience, Pharaoh’s army being destroyed by the collapsing waters, and looking forward to the Promised Land. This passage is one of the two places in a Torah where the text is inscribed differently. The brickwork pattern of the columns was designed to represent the parting of the Red Sea and the Jews passing between the waters.

The three approved traditions for preparing a Sefer Torah primarily differ in the forms of certain letters, the fonts, and the spacing. Yemenite scrolls, like M&G’s, are usually written in an older, more square-looking font, with 51 lines in each of 226 columns. Most modern Torah scrolls are Ashkenazi or Sephardic and have 248 columns of 42 lines each. Many modern scrolls use more rounded and ornamented fonts. The text is the same, but the general appearance and textual breaks differ. M&G’s Torah, which dates from the fifteenth century, is part of the Bowen Collection of Antiquities. In the 1930s and 40s, Frank and Barbara Bowen traveled to the Holy Land collecting artifacts like M&G’s Torah, to enhance appreciation and understanding of the Scriptures.

If a Sefer Torah is damaged or mistreated it becomes pasul and cannot be used in public worship. If a sofer can repair the damage, it can again become Sefer. If it is beyond repair or if it has become so fragile that continued use would damage it, the scroll remains pasul. Tradition dictates that a pasul Torah be placed in an earthen vessel and buried with dignity. However, Jewish leaders have officially approved the use of pasul Torahs by educational institutions and in museum displays, if they are given proper respect and protection.

William Pinkston, retired educator and M&G volunteer

Selected Bibliography

Basic Laws regarding Torah Scrolls

Jewish Encyclopedia: Scroll of the Law

Sofer: The Torah Scribe

How Is the Torah Made?