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September 15, 2017

Ernst Barlach, “Meeting Again

Ernst Barlach (1870-1938),

Meeting Again, stone composite reproduction. Brigham Young University Museum of Art.

Though he had heard the rumors of Christ's Resurrection, Thomas struggled to accept that the Savior had truly risen until he could see Him personally—the moment captured in this sculpture. Thomas leans forward timidly, hoping yet not daring to believe, his expressive eyes full of humility and reverence. Christ tenderly supports Thomas, as he looks upon His Savior once more—the two figures bound in a fraternal embrace of profound humanity. Ernst Barlach's art was inspired by the spiritual and formal qualities of medieval imagery. The original wooden sculpture of this subject was created during the rise of the Nazis in Germany, and its Expressionist style evoked intense criticism for its defiance of the regime's aesthetic tastes. The original piece was shown in the Degenerate Art Exhibition, held in Munich in 1937—an exhibition comprised of confiscated work deemed heretical by the Nazis. This piece is currently on display at the BYU MOA in the exhibition To Magnify the Lord: Six Centuries of Art and Devotion.