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The Tidings Newspaper
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Santa Barbara News
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Santa Barbara, CA United States,
012/31/2006 - Professor creates religious art sanctuary on the
founded by Santa Barbara City College marketing professor
Julie Ann Brown, is not your everyday e-commerce venture.
Inspired by a desire to preserve and share antique European
religious images from prayer books and holy cards, Brown has
devoted much of her limited free time, and all of her
inheritance, to collecting, scanning and posting over 100,000
of “God’s calling cards” on the web.
Taking advantage of travel discount tickets obtained through
her airline pilot husband, she scoured eight European
countries collecting holy cards and lavishly illustrated
antique prayer books at auctions, bookstores and estate sales.
In spite of knowing it will be years before she can recoup her
$150,000 investment, she is thrilled she is accomplishing her
goal of preserving this fragile, paper-based religious art for
“Time is running out for most antique paper,” said Brown.
“Modern technology is a part of God’s plan to help not only
with remembering the past but creating future possibilities
that at this time we cannot imagine. My goal is to get my
entire collection up on the Web before I die. I want to
preserve this art, this history, for future generations.”
A fan of holy cards since childhood, she hopes her website’s
religious images of Jesus, angels, saints, Easter and
Christmas scenes will inspire a new generation of the
faithful. “I’m hoping this art will create a resurgence of
faith in Europe,” said Brown.
She may be onto something. Entrepreneurs from around the world
are finding their way to
for affordable images to use in a multitude of projects. Since
the website’s religious images are at least 75 years old, with
the majority created in the 1800s and early 1900s, they are
royalty-free because they are classified as “public domain”
under copyright law. Brown charges a nominal one-time fee of
$2-5 per image.
Customers have used her images for projects such as wedding
and christening announcements, needlepoint patterns, t-shirt
transfers, home schooling materials and personalized holy
cards. Sophia Loren’s production company in Canada used many
of the images for a mini-series on the lives of the saints
while the Hallmark Channel in the U.S. recently used an image
of St. Hildegard of Bingen obtained from
“These images can be used by anyone, from the little
entrepreneur to the Vatican,” said Brown.
All Regions (Including Int'l)
December 22, 2001
Professor Julie Ann Brown is
delighted to announce that she has received an appointment as a new
faculty member at Santa Barbara City
College. She will begin
teaching at her new institution during the Spring Semester of
2002. Her work at Archivalart.com and Holycards.com will
continue. She is selling approximately two CD's a week, and about
three holy cards, so her joy in her "mini vocation" is
continuing. She feels that her work as a Victorian paper
archivist, is helping to combat negative visual images, through
digitally offering comforting images from the past.
Additionally, she is happy
to have been selected to describe her journey as a "happy
Catholic Christian" in the Doubleday book, "I like being
Catholic" by Michael Leach and Therese J. Borchard.
considers herself blessed to be in the company of Father Andrew
Greely, the authors of the book, Mother Theresa of Calcutta,
Thomas Merton, Mario Cuomo, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Florence
Henderson, Maria Shriver, Joan Wester Anderson, Nicole Kidman, and
many others. She doesn't know why a small town ordinary
Catholic Christian would be given such honor. She also is
delighted that the authors are allowing her to share her excerpt,
with you her internet visitors.
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