My name is Monsignor Mark Richard Lane, a Roman Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia. I have been teaching courses in Theology and Art for over thirty years. My lectures have been a part of the Osher Institute at the University of Richmond, Lecture on Symbolism at the College of William and Mary, Diocesan Workshops, Adult Religious Formation Classes, Parish Retreats and Days of Recollection.
The Church has, from its foundations, used the language of the symbol to draw us to a deeper level of understanding the faith. Symbolism,for the person of faith, is a largely forgotten language.
My lectures involve lively discussions with the participants as well as visually appealing presentations of works of art.
Symbolism is not limited to religious art. It lives in secular art as well, and conveys a meaning sometimes missed. Through the use of non-religious art pieces, such as 19th century American genre paintings, an observer begins to see the “there” and the “not there.” This is seen especially in my lecture “The Duplicity of 19th century American Art.”
Through the presentation of religious and secular art participants rediscover the lost language of the symbol and come to a deeper awareness of art.