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Art Illuminating the Spirit

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Media Contact:
Steve Christensen
Communications Manager
312.915.6164
schris6@luc.edu

Loyola University Museum of Art to Unveil Three Thought-Provoking Exhibitions

Open to the Public Beginning February 17


CHICAGO, January 29, 2007 — The Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) welcomes three new exhibitions to its galleries on Saturday, February 17. The new exhibits include: Science and Faith Between Observance and Censorship: Rare Books from the Libraries of Campania from XVI to XVIII Centuries, Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs, and I Remember Purim: Molly J. Schiff.

Science and Faith Between Observance and Censorship: 
Rare Books from the Libraries of Campania from XVI to XVIII Centuries

February 17 - April 29, 2007

Four libraries from the Regione Campania of Italy have loaned an impressive collection of rare books that were listed on the now infamous Liborum Prohibitum("Index of Forbidden Books"). The works illustrate the wide range of writings in science and faith that were banned by the Roman Catholic Church between 1563 and 1765. The 158 exhibited books illustrate the religious anxiety of the Church following the Reformation as well as the intellectual flourishing of the Italian Renaissance and include the works of great minds, such as Copernicus, Euclid, Galileo, and Don Scotus.

Thousands of books were listed on the Indices, first published following the Council of Trent (1545-1563). The last Index was published in 1948, although it was not officially done away with until Pope Paul VI ended the Index in 1966. Later, a condemnation of the Index was articulated in a historic 1979 address by Pope John Paul II.

The exhibition was curated by Dr. Loredana Conti, superintendent at the Beni Librari, Regione Campania along with Dr. Roberto Severino, professor emeritus of Italian and faculty of languages and linguistics, Georgetown University. Regione Campania libraries participating in the loan of these rare volumes are: Biblioteca Universitaria Statale, Napoli; Biblioteca San Francesco del Convento di San Francesco, Vico Equense, Napoli; Biblioteca Provinciale di Salerno; and Biblioteca Landolfo Caracciolo, Napoli.

The exhibition was organized with the generous sponsorship of the Region of Campania, Italy, through the coordination and assistance of Italian Muse, Washington DC, and Rome, Italy. It is also sponsored in part by the Istituto Italian di Cultura Chicago (Italian Cultural Institute) with generous support from the Illinois Arts Council.

Public Program:
Tuesday, March 27, 2007, 6:00 p.m. 
From Printing Press to Forbidden Books: Notes of a Rare Book Collector
William B. and Marilyn M. Simpson Lecture Hall at LUMA (820 N. Michigan Ave.)
Free with museum admission
Reservations strongly suggested: luma@luc.edu or 312-915-7630

Join us for an enlightening discussion about the world of rare book collecting led by Dr. Roberto Severino, professor emeritus of classical studies, Georgetown University and curator of Science and Faith Between Observance and Censorship: Rare Books from the Libraries of Campania from XVI to XVIII Centuries.

Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs
February 17 - May 20, 2007

This exhibit includes 45 rare icons that illustrate the stylistic changes that occurred between the golden age of icons (10th-16th centuries) and the age of the Romanovs, which began with the reign of Peter the Great in 1682. When Peter the Great established St. Petersburg as the new capital of Russia, centuries of Russian isolation ended in a flurry of new ideas, styles, and ideologies. These changes had a pronounced effect on the art of religious icons, and a new type of icon, the oklad, became popular in homes as an object of everyday veneration.

The exhibition was organized by the Hillwood Museum and Gardens in Washington DC, from their collections: the original bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the bequest of Madame Frances Russo to Hillwood, and from the collection of Laurence A. Steinhart-Sherlock Trust, a promised gift to the Hillwood Museum.

Also on view are Russian icons from the Martin D'Arcy Collection, the Loyola University Museum of Art's permanent collection, as well as an icon from the Rudis Family, a promised gift to LUMA.

Public Programs:
Sunday, February 25, 3:00 p.m.
History and Spirituality of Icons 
William B. and Marilyn M. Simpson Lecture Hall at LUMA (820 N. Michigan Ave.)
Free with museum admission
Reservations strongly suggested: luma@luc.edu or 312-915-7630

Iconographer Meltem Aktas and liturgical consultant David Phillippart will lecture about the history and spirituality of icons followed by a short demonstration of the traditional icon writing technique, which uses egg tempera and gold leaf. The word icon comes from the Greek "eikon," meaning image or portrait. The beauty of icons derives from a unique blend of prayerful meditation, devout faith, and centuries-old symbolism. When combined with liturgical practices, time and distance fall away, bringing the believer into the very presence of the saint or holy event depicted.

Tuesday, April 17, 6:00 p.m.
Russian Empire Under the Romanovs
William B. and Marilyn M. Simpson Lecture Hall at LUMA (820 N. Michigan Ave.)
Free with museum admission
Reservations are strongly suggested: luma@luc.edu or 312-915-7630

In conjunction with the exhibition Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs, Michael Khodarkovsky, a Loyola University Chicago professor of Russian history, will discuss the major historical trends and cultural influences in the Russian empire from the early 17th century until its collapse in 1917.

I Remember Purim: Molly J. Schiff
February 17 - April 29, 2007

The subject matter of Schiff's paintings on paper is based on her fond memories of Purim, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the time when Jews living during the 3rd or 4th century BC in Persia (now Iran) were saved from extermination by the heroic act of their queen, Esther.

Using an oil stick and acrylic resist technique and a bright palette of traditional spring colors, the artist works both figuratively and abstractly. Each work is playful in its depiction of Old Testament figures and epitomizes the spirit of Purim as one of the most joyous celebrations on the Jewish calendar. This presentation is part of a larger body of paintings and drawings done over a series of years on the Purim holiday.

This exhibit illustrates not only the story of Esther but also the continued celebration of the queen's heroic story. Molly J. Schiff holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute. She is a well known instructor, lecturer, and organizer of unique travel programs.

For information on educational programs related to these exhibitions, or for group tours, please contact 312-915-7630.

Science and Faith Between Observance and Censorship: Rare Books from the Libraries of Campania from XVI to XVIII Centuries, Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs, and I Remember Purim: Molly J. Schiff are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, LUMA reflects the University’s Jesuit mission and is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. Located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, the museum occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

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