Santa Fe Institute
The Santa Fe Institute
The Institute was established in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the 1960s as a liturgical workshop spearheaded by Fr. Blase Schauer, A Dominican from the Western Dominican Province.
After he relocated his Institute in Berkeley, and shortly after his death, the resources were taken over by Fr. Michael Carey and Fr. Michael Morris, Dominicans from the same Western Dominican Province. Under their leadership the Institute became less a liturgical institute and more a research library for scholars interested in Religion and the Arts. Together they amassed a vast collection of religious art and a library containing over 12,000 volumes dedicated to that discipline. Fr. Michael Carey soon left for teaching positions in Denver and St. Louis, leaving Fr. Michael Morris as Director of the Institute.
Over the years, Fr. Michael Morris started to collect biblical movie posters worldwide as an adjunct to his interest in religious film. In ten years time he acquired one of the largest collections of that genre, buying and restoring and framing the collection so that it could tour the United States. It debuted at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley accompanied by a film festival, and then traveled to the Museum Of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA) in St. Louis, the University of San Francisco (Thacher Gallery), and finally The Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) in Manhattan. A catalog essay of the show was published by MOBIA under the title REEL RELIGION: A CENTURY OF THE BIBLE IN FILM.
While it was showing in New York, an official from the Vatican Library viewed the collection and enthusiastically suggested that it would be the kind of exhibition that would be well received in Rome. Father Michael now hopes that the collection can be underwritten by a number of benefactors interested in donating the unique collection to the Vatican Museum and Library where it can be preserved in perpetuity.
Students and Professors have used the Santa Fe Institute for their research for classes and publications. It is a unique collection of resources that advances the study of Religion and the Arts in a world that has become increasingly secularized.
The Santa Fe Institute is a 501 C3 charitable organization that is able to receive tax-deductible donations for its mission. It is presently looking for a permanent location in which it can open these resources to larger public interest and offer lectures and publications to a wider audience.
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