Welcome to the Annunciation Project

Annunciation fresco (Florence, San Marco) by Fra Angelico

This website is devoted to images of the Annunciation—the archetypal encounter between the human and the divine as first told in the Gospel of Luke (1:26-38): an angel, Gabriel, announces to a mortal woman, Mary, that she is the bear the son of God.

The authors—mother and daughter—came to this subject independently of one another and from different paths. Each has been working on it for over fifteen years, collecting visual representations of the Annunciation scene, searching out amplifications of the story, and comparing the ways in which the image has been represented at different times in a variety of cultures. The mother is primarily interested in the history of its representation, while the daughter is concerned with how the spiritual meaning of the image is reflected in Christian art.

Who are these authors? Dorris (the mother) earned a Ph.D. degree in Sociology from UC Berkeley in 1952, but retired early to finish rearing a family. Of this project she writes: "I am now in the process of revising the last of the 10 ten chapters of my history of the Annunciation, covering the years up to 1,000. My Annunciation datebase (a Cumulus file) for this span of history contains exactly 100 images. When I noticed the serendipitous zeros I felt that something was telling me that I had come to a (hopefully temporary) stopping place in my all-but-obsessive investigation into the early stages of this beguiling image."

Anne (the daughter) received her B.A. in French from Vassar in 1967 and, while rearing two children, earned Master's degrees in Russian and in Theology (focusing on Biblical Studies).

The authors are now living in Santa Barbara, California. They welcome commentary and feedback from others involved in the subject of the Annunciation. Please contact the website editor at the address provided below.


Text copyright ©by the authors unless alternate credit is given. Images are assumed to be in the public domain; locations of originals and publication references provided when known. Kindly contact the website editor (editor "at" annunciationproject.net) if you have a comment or contribution.