Artstor is collaborating with Via Lucis to share approximately 2,000 high-resolution images of medieval Christian churches in France and Spain by photographers Dennis Aubrey and PJ McKey in the Digital Library. The intent of the photography is to both document these magnificent structures and to capture the mystery and the hidden presence of medieval spirituality. The collection primarily features interior architecture, especially the arches, vaults, domes, and buttressing that define the Romanesque and Gothic styles. The collection also features a selection of images of the Vierges Romanes, stylized wooden statues of the Madonna and Child, from the 11th century to the 13th century, usually polychrome but sometimes covered in plate and jewels. A subset of these sculptures includes the Black Madonnas, which are particularly venerated in Spain and France.
Via Lucis Photography and Via Lucis Press are part of a long-term project to document Romanesque and Gothic churches throughout Europe. The projects include the photographs in the collection and a forthcoming book Light and Stone featuring the Via Lucis photographs accompanied by text from Dennis Aubrey and edited by Ann Hanson. The ongoing process of their work is documented in a blog.
Dennis Aubrey has concentrated on digital photography since 1998, specializing in French and Spanish Romanesque monastic and ecclesiastic architecture and Throne of Wisdom Madonnas. He intends to shoot every Romanesque church in France that interests him and every Throne of Wisdom Madonna to which he can gain access. Aubrey is a member of the International Association of Architectural Photographers. He was founder and CEO of the pioneering digital imaging company Altamira Group, where he developed Genuine Fractals and other applications for scalable high-resolution digital imagery.
PJ McKey is affiliated with the International Association of Architectural Photographers and has recently begun to hand color photographs using a variety of techniques. McKey has been an exhibiting artist at the Cotuit Center for the Arts and the Falmouth Artists Guild in Massachusetts and participated in Smith College Alumni exhibitions in 2005 and 2010. She has been a faculty member in the theater department at Cape Cod Community College since 1993. McKey was active in the creation of the Playwrights Workshop with the Provincetown Theater Company and has directed and designed numerous theater productions in the Cape Cod and Boston areas. She is currently on the board of Treasure Time Children's Literacy Program.