Don Brown Rosary Collection
This VR was taken in the middle of the Don Brown Rosary Collection. The collection is housed in the “Spiritual Quest” gallery of the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson, Washington, and is the largest rosary collection in the world. It was my entry for the WWP “Decade” project, using a less common meaning of the term (check out my essay there to see how it all played out). It was a little challenging to find a good image, but this ended up working.
The museum itself is quite nice, and focuses on human history of the Gorge from ancient times until now. The exhibits are very well done, with a lot of detail and planning evident throughout. Many are great examples of creating a space to communicate information, rather than just a collection of objects or even a diorama. From the Grand Gallery’s collection of large machines, to the gentle presence of the First Peoples exhibit, each space seems carefully designed to communicate more than just information.
The VR shows only the rosary collection of the Spiritual Quest gallery; next door are some other displays that talk about spiritual influence of the gorge. I resonated with that, for the Columbia River gorge has been a place of spiritual growth in my own walk, even though I never planned that to happen.
For me, VR photographs are more than photography, similar to the gallery’s description of each person’s spiritual longing as “a vision only partly seen”. The gorge has been my most consistent source of ideas for exploring this medium, and in fact my very first one was taken there. And as my photography has grown, a love of waterfalls has brought me back here over and over, until I began to appreciate the spiritual side of those magical places.
It’s interesting that the gorge has been a source of spiritual inspiration in so many ways over time. From the ancient legend of Tsagaglalal (used as the Center’s logo), to modern technology-driven interactive media, the region speaks to people’s hearts in a unique way.
Because of the bright outdoor lighting and relative dim space of the collection itself, this picture was taken as a bracketed set, with HDR software used to merge them together. I took another VR in the big room on the bottom floor, which hopefully will be posted later. Since many of the galleries are so beautiful, I may go back and take more pictures.