✿ The Artist (PJ McKey) ✿


During the Romanesque period, the arts were pressed into service by the church as a medium of mass-communication with which to address an ever-increasing but largely illiterate public. The teachings of the church, the hierarchy of society, and the relationship of the church and the secular world provided  the subject matter. But that said, how […]

✿ Gofridus me fecit ✿ (PJ McKey)


One incredible feature of Romanesque art in all forms is the fact that the creators are, for the most part, anonymous. No headlines, no public tributes or fame acknowledge their skill and accomplishments. It was enough to create for the greater glory and love of God. The capital sculpture in the churches offers a clear […]

✿ Getting the Shot (PJ McKey) ✿


✚ We had our presentation at Harvard this week and it was such a pleasure. To stand on the podium with PJ and talk about our work to a receptive and generous audience was everything that we could have hoped for from the American Friends of Chartres event. PJ talked about our shooting styles, so […]

✿ Bones ✿ (PJ McKey)


The Église Saint-Pierre in the town of Parthenay-le-Vieux near Poitiers is mentioned for the first time in the texts in 1092. Today, it is an empty church, privately owned. On this day, it was being unconsciously watched over by a house painter working on the house next door. Our equipment and question about whether church […]

✿ Stone and Light ✿ (PJ McKey)


The Haute-Provence is Van Gogh country; immense blue skies, fierce mistral winds that blow constantly and a powerful sun that bakes colors into intensities that send artists running for their brushes. Van Gogh came here to try to paint the light; it is said by some that he went mad in the attempt. I understand […]

Getting the shot redux (PJ McKey)


Photographs are elusive. They are images, moments seen or missed, teasing at the corners of our consciousness. Once you find them and know they are there, they must be captured and this is where Dennis’ style differs so completely from mine. Our photography of the Romanesque churches is a bit like a safari. There is […]

Sirens (PJ McKey)


Romanesque churches have a language. It is not only one of architecture and frescoes but one of sculpted images that have their origins in early Christian mythology, pagan, Roman, and all the art that came before. To modern eyes many of these images are mysterious and their meanings buried beneath time, but their power is […]

Bones (PJ McKey)


The Église Saint-Pierre in the town of Parthenay-le-Vieux near Poitiers is mentioned for the first time in the texts in 1092. Today, it is an empty church, privately owned. On this day, it was being unconsciously watched over by a house painter working on the house next door. Our equipment and question about whether church […]

Thuret (PJ McKey)


Some churches bear a starkness that evokes their origin. The church’s stone and light are her only decoration. There is very little evidence of the individual worshipper, of the community that surrounds her. Perhaps a little bouquet of flowers, or a candle or two for a personal request can be found in a small side […]