Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art

Crossings and Dwellings: July 19–October 19, 2014

Using historical maps, books, objects, and textiles, Crossings and Dwellings tells the story of European Jesuits and women religious who arrived in America’s borderlands to serve indigenous and immigrant populations. It marks the 200th anniversary of the Jesuit Restoration and a century of women’s education at Loyola-Mundelein. LUMA/ticket information and exhibition preview.

Themes of the exhibition

In 1773, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuits throughout the world. Forty years later, after the American and French revolutions and Napoleon’s wars, Pope Pius VII restored the order. How did the Jesuits face the challenges of this new world? Learn more
Two hundred years ago, Chicago and St. Louis were mere outposts on America’s borderlands. But over the next few decades they grew at a breathtaking pace. See what role Jesuits and women religious played in turning these tiny towns into thriving cities. Learn more
The Jesuits brought with them a 250-year old educational tradition and modified it for the needs of 19th-century urban immigrants. Along with women religious, they established grade schools, prep schools, and universities across the country. Learn more
As early as 1818, women religious—including the Sisters of Charity (BVM) and the Society of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ)—opened schools for indigenous and immigrant girls and women. Find out how these pioneers of education helped build America. Learn more
On October 16-18, Loyola will hold an academic conference marking the bicentennial of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus and a century of women’s education at Loyola-Mundelein. Scholars from Europe and the U.S. will discuss the role that Jesuits and women religious played in shaping a new nation. Learn more

The Centennial Monstrance was created in the 1920s to celebrate the 100th anniversary of St. Stanislaus Seminary in Missouri. (Lender: Midwest Jesuit Archives, St. Louis)

Coming soon

In Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience, 1814-2014: Crossings and Dwellings, Loyola history professors Kyle Roberts and Stephen Schloesser, S.J., bring together essays by 18 scholars from the conference that closed the LUMA exhibition. The book will be available in August 2017.

5 galleries, 5 iconic objects

Hundreds of items will be on display at LUMA’s Crossings and Dwellings exhibition, including these five iconic objects. Click the tabs below to learn more and watch a video about each of the items.

  • Gallery 1 • This is the only known pair of Blaeu globes in the Western Hemisphere. Created by Dutch cartographer Willem Blaeu just a few years after the first Jesuit mission to the New World in 1609, the globes represent the world as these early missionaries understood it. Blaeu built his globes by gluing paper segments over a wooden sphere and often sold them as pairs: one of the earth, another of the heavens. Jesuit missionary Pierre Jean De Smet, S.J., brought these globes from Belgium to America in 1834. (Lender: Midwest Jesuit Archives, St. Louis)

  • Gallery 2 • Belgian Father Pierre Jean De Smet, S.J., made several journeys in the mid-19th century to establish missions among the indigenous peoples of present-day Montana and Idaho, and he received this coat as a gift from his hosts during one of his trips. In the American borderlands of the mid-1800s, hunted deer and harvested berries signified life-sustaining nourishment. Their use in this western-style coat represents a hybrid—a "crossings and dwellings," if you will—between Europeans and indigenous peoples. (Lender: Midwest Jesuit Archives, St. Louis)

  • Gallery 3 • This gold dalmatic is part of a set of 19th-century vestments from Holy Family Parish, established in 1857 on Chicago’s Near West Side by Dutch Father Arnold J. Damen, S.J. Worn by deacons during special occasions such as Christmas and Easter, this dalmatic helped inject a sense of grandeur into the lives of the Irish immigrants who attended Mass at Holy Family. Despite its age, the dalmatic is well preserved because it spent decades locked in a safe—where it was used to protect chalices and other valuables. (Lender: Holy Family Parish, Chicago)

  • Gallery 4 • This rare first edition of “Spiritual Exercises”—published in Latin in 1548 as “Exercitia Spiritvalia”—is a foundational document of the Society of Jesus. Translated from the original “Spiritual Exercises” written by Saint Ignatius of Loyola between 1522 and 1524, the book gave early Jesuits a common manual of inspiration and spiritual practice as their ranks grew from a small group of friends to a global Catholic order. (Lender: Loyola University Chicago Archives & Special Collections)

  • Gallery 5 • This art deco lamp was one of several that lined the reading tables in the library of Mundelein College nearly a century ago. With its sleek profile and clean lines, the lamp is a case study in art deco design and fit in perfectly with the architecture of the college itself. This lamp—as well as others like it from the time—played a key role in educating young Catholic women of the 20th century, illuminating their books and their minds. (Lender: Loyola University Chicago Women’s Leadership Archives)

They helped bring it all to life

The research conducted by these Loyola students was vital to Crossings and Dwellings. Learn more about each of their projects below.

Sarah Muenzer

Uncovered hidden histories of library books from St. Ignatius College, the precursor of Loyola University Chicago

“I hope museum visitors will be able to see this exhibition and understand that finds of historical significance can be discovered in the most unlikely places.”

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Liam Brew

Developed an audio tour for the LUMA exhibition about the artwork of Jesuit missionary Nicolas Point, S.J.

“Through my research I was able to gain an appreciation for what Jesuits did in Illinois, the Rockies, and throughout the American frontier.”

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Jess Hagen

Helped build a virtual library system based on Loyola University Chicago’s first library catalogue, which dates from roughly 1875

“I’d love to be an archivist at a university. Being able to work with students in a setting where I can pursue my passion for archives and history would be fantastic.”

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Ed Englestad

Created a modern map of the journey Father Pierre Jean De Smet, S.J., took through the Midwest in the 1840s

“We wanted to show that (De Smet) was able to traverse mountains and rivers on horseback and on foot with thousands of pounds of supplies.”

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Image at top of page: "Map of the Sources of the Columbia River," by Pierre Jean De Smet, S.J. (1847). Courtesy of the Midwest Jesuit Archives, St. Louis.