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Art Illuminating the Spirit

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Media Contact:
Maeve Kiley
Director, Communications
Loyola University Chicago
312-915-7712

Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) Announces Its Inaugural Exhibit:

Caravaggio: una mostra impossibile

August 2005, Chicago, IL — Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) announces its inaugural exhibition, Caravaggio: una mostra impossibile, with presenting sponsor, Sara Lee Foundation. The exhibition will open on October 8, 2005, and run until February 11, 2006. LUMA, Chicago's newest museum, is the exhibition's first North American host. This educational exhibition is currently touring Europe with record visitor attendance.

Produced by RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana and the Regione Campania, the exhibition first opened in Naples in 2003 and uses the latest in high definition digital technology to reproduce the complete work of the artist. LUMA visitors to the exhibition will see 69, back-lit illuminated panels which produce an x-ray effect. Executed on a 1:1 scale, some images are as large as 9 x 12 feet in size. The exhibition makes it possible to view the entire collection of Caravaggio's paintings, a feat otherwise impossible, since the cultural institutions and private collectors who own the originals have become more reluctant to let these fragile and valuable works travel. Other sponsors of the exhibit include Graff and LaSalle Bank.

Pamela Ambrose, Director of Cultural Affairs, describes the exhibition as a meeting of the best of Italy's creativity, technology and the world of old master paintings. "Rai has embarked on a series of educational exhibitions in order to share the wealth of Italy's art and architecture. Not meant to replace the experience of viewing the original work of art, the digital process with its ability to replicate exact color in the original scale, provides a valuable teaching tool and hopefully provokes in the viewer a desire to see the original work in person." Rai is currently producing the second in this series on the work of early Renaissance painter Giotto.

Numerous digital panels from the collection are scheduled to be placed in public and corporate sites around Chicago for general viewing. The idea is to build awareness of Caravaggio's work and give the public a glimpse into what the exhibit will have to offer. A list of locations will be listed on the LUMA website (www.luc.edu/luma) upon the exhibit's opening.

Michelangelo Merisi was raised in Caravaggio, Italy (near Milan) in 1571. Orphaned at age 11, he spent much of his youth as an apprentice and assistant to painters in Milan and Rome and became known by the city of his birthplace. He was a revolutionary painter breaking traditional rules of art by utilizing dramatic lighting and painting realistic images depicting mythology and scripture. Although considered a ruffian with a dubious personal reputation in his own time, Caravaggio's influence was felt immediately among his contemporaries and later as seen in the works of Rembrandt and Rubens. This rascal, scoundrel and genius fell into oblivion after his mysterious death in 1610 at the age of 39. It was not until the early 20th century that new scholarly research and the re-discovery of Caravaggio paintings falsely attributed to other artists brought Caravaggio back into the forefront of the truly great old master painters.

LUMA will partner with the Italian Cultural Institute Chicago to bring lectures and a screening of the film Caravaggio, by Derek Jarman, to the Italian Cultural Institute at 500 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1450. For more information, please call 312-822-9545.

LUMA is Chicago's newest museum with 27,000 sq. feet of exhibition space. The museum will be located at Loyola University's Water Tower Campus, occupying the main floor (street level), 2nd and 3rd floors of Loyola's historic Lewis Towers on Chicago's famous Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile. LUMA will house the Martin D'Arcy Collection of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art which is being moved from Loyola's Lakeshore Campus where it was on display for the past 35 years. Other exhibitions scheduled at LUMA in 2006 are The Gods As We Shape Them, an exhibition focusing on how diverse cultures depict their sacred deities, Arts Botanica, works of contemporary artists and floral inspirations, and the Missing Peace: The Dalai Lama Portrait Project.

LUMA Mission Statement - Art Illuminating the Spirit 
The Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to the exploration, promotion and understanding of art and artistic expression that attempts to illuminate the enduring spiritual questions and concerns of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, Loyola University Museum of Art reflects the University's Jesuit Mission and is dedicated to helping men and women of all creeds explore the roots off their own faith and spiritual quest.

About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is among the largest of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Loyola has a total enrollment of 14,000 students, which includes 8,500 undergraduates, hailing from all 50 states, as well as 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses, three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola's nine schools and colleges include: arts and sciences, business administration, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, professional studies and social work. Loyola offers 66 undergraduate majors, 59 master's degrees and 36 doctoral degrees. Recognizing Loyola's excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the "top national universities" and "best values" in its annual publications. For more information, please visit our website at www.luc.edu.

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.

Art illuminating the spirit!

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