Installing Miracles and Charms

Two new exhibitions exploring faith, hope and chance open at Wellcome Collection on Thursday, under the banner of  ‘Miracles and Charms’.

Infinitas Gracias: Mexican miracle paintings‘ brings together over 100 votive paintings drawn from five Mexican collections. These  small gestures of thanksgiving, usually painted on tin were highly influential on Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, both of whom who were avid collectors of the paintings.

Felicity Powell’s installation ‘Charmed Life: The solace of objects‘ is an intimate and personal engagement with a collection of over 1400 amulets collected by the Edwardian amateur folklorist Edward Lovett. Once carried in the pockets of Londoners for luck or protection, they bear silent witness to countless personal narratives, most of which are now lost to history.

We can’t wait to open the doors. In the meantime, if you can’t wait either, here are some images of both exhibitions being installed. You can see the slideshow above in greater detail on our Flickr stream.

One thought on “Installing Miracles and Charms”

  1. This is a superb exhibition which we came to see almost 2 weeks ago. We are hosting our own charm-based exhibition, ‘Fears, Foes & Faeries’, at Scarborough Art Gallery next year as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad (23 March – 30 September 2012).

    We have a collection of over 500 charms and amulets which were collected by William James Clarke around the turn of the 20th Century. He was a Scarborough man who had a fishing tackle shop in the town and specialised in taxidermy but was a keen collector of folklore material. Our collection includes a large number which were collected by Edward Lovett and we have a number of correspondences between the two, most interestingly a 1917 letter from Lovett to Clarke is very telling – he comments:

    ‘As regards your friend denying a belief in charms – it may be that he is really very superstitious, but afraid to say so as it is considered very unlucky to own up to it’.

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