Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lilias Trotter: Painter and Missionary

What is the role of art going to be in my life?

Cover Art of Biography by Miriam Rockness

Last Saturday, I had a chance to see the wonderful film Many Beautiful Things (Kurosawa Productions), directed by Laura Waters Hinson. Every seat in the auditorium at the National Gallery of Art was taken. The 70-minute documentary, which premiered last summer at the 2015 Manchester International Film Festival, is playing in theaters across the United States through the end of February (see screenings).

Briefly, the film tells the story of the life of a painter and missionary to Algeria most of us have never heard of: Lilas Trotter (1852-1928), whom John Ruskin (1819-1900) befriended and mentored. Trotter's biographer, Miriam Rockness (A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter and A Blossom in the Desert: Reflections of Faith in the Art and Writings of Lilias Trotter), who spent some three decades researching Trotter's life and art, is featured, as are others who helped bring Trotter's story to the screen or otherwise worked to make her artistic and spiritual contributions known.

Trotter was enormously talented, a defiant, courageous, inspirational role model. I commend this film to everyone.


Many Beautiful Things on FaceBook

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