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[BKARTS] The Museum Fire
For those who don't know the Center for Biblical Arts in Dallas, Texas
burned yesterday destroying millions of dollars worth of art treasures including
paintings by Sargeant and a giant painting called the Miracle at Pentecost
which depicts the scene of Pentecost including 120 life sized figures of people
Jesus encountered in his lifetime who became Christians. The painting was 124
feet long and 24 feet high. It was the first to go as the fire was arson.
Also was destroyed was the Pope John Paul II exhibition which included a
scull cap hat that the Pope wore when he visited San Antonio when he addressed
This was the exhibition hall for the Exhibition of my Illuminated Manuscript
of the Bible which was on display at the museum March and April of this
year. The following link was filmed in the museum to give you an idea of what
has been destroyed. My works are safe, I took everything out of the museum
when the exhibition was over.
This was arson according to the cops and the fire was set while a tour of
people were inside viewing the painting. The painting had a light and video
show where the painting was slowly revealed as it is difficult to show
everything that is happening in it at once as it is so big. They have an auditorium
for it and apparently this is where the fire broke out and this painting was
destroyed. It is a theatre, thats the best description of the room.
They had full sized reproduction of the garden tomb and it was completely
destroyed. Also they had a display in one gallery of a printers work but I
can't remember his name at the moment, it may be on their website. The 9-11
exhibition which includes an HBO video of the 9-11 disaster seems to have made it
through the fire although it has smoke damage. And an exhibition that was
about to be put up, someone's life's work was saved as it was on the opposite
side of the museum from the fire.
The people who run this museum are really good guys and this was such a
harmless place, if you disagreed with the premise, you didn't have to go. The
museum was a place where people could get married and have receptions; harmless.
It was a nice place, a place you could take your kids, there was plenty of
stuff for them to do. When they had my exhibit several hundred school kids
were in there drawing away on the floor. There was stain glass and sculpture
and paintings and just a nice atmosphere.
And the museum encouraged local artists with a gallery for them to display
their works. While I was exhibiting the theological students from Dallas
Theological Seminary could display their works in the adjacent gallery.
The garden is still intact, a biblical garden complete with wonderful bay
laurel bushes and all sorts of herbs from the Holy Land.
The building is gutted and the roof seriously damaged, I hope they can save
I think they got the 9-11 statues out. The chapel that will be built on
Ground Zero, they commissioned a sculptor in Denton Texas to cast bronze states
of various saints to go on the site and the original castings were in the
museum. The bronzes were on display int eh museum and are now in another
gallery touring the country until they are finally put inot the concrete at Ground
Zero. They were close to the main door and I think they got them out. The
commission was part of a worldwide competition to design these statues.
The fire was a 6 alarm fire with 125 firemen fighting it.
It is just horrible.
James G. Pepper
Edelpappband / "Millimeter" Binding Bind-O-Rama, Entry Deadline - October 1, 2005
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