A Curator’s Perspective: Writings on Mary Baker Eddy and the Early Christian Science Movement
Howard, Stephen R. A Curator’s Perspective: Writings on Mary Baker Eddy and the Early Christian Science Movement. Chestnut Hill, MA: Longyear Museum Press, 2015.
This beautifully organized and crafted book is essentially a compilation of the writings of Stephen R. Howard, who served as director-curator of Longyear Museum from 1997 to 2014. (The museum is an independent historical institution dedicated to the understanding of Mary Baker Eddy’s life and work.) Nearly every page includes multiple photographs, facsimiles, and portraits representing the holdings of the museum. The chapters of the book are devoted to some of the most impactful events and ideas in Eddy’s life, but they also pursue subjects and details less familiar to both her followers and scholars. For example, a fuller sketch on Sibyl Wilbur’s experience with Christian Science yields more than the typical snapshot of an adoring follower; Eddy’s personal experience in Chicago broadens the historical perspective of Christian Science outside its New England place of origin; and the lengthy section devoted to Eddy’s homes convey Mary Baker Eddy’s maturing relationship with her own writing. Two of the museum’s major exhibits receive special attention: “A Curator’s Tour: Mary Baker Eddy: A Spiritual Journey” and “Exploring Mary Baker Eddy’s Revisions to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” The book’s representations of documents, artifacts, artwork, and illustrations are as tastefully produced as Howard’s essays and other writings.