Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art

Locking It Away: The Signs, Symbols and Secrets of Keys

January 31 March 8, 2009

Patricia Brett Erens’s fascinating collection of 135 keys and locks is primarily European in origin and dates from the Roman period, the Middle Ages, and the 18th and 19th centuries. The collection also includes locks from 19th- and 20th-century China, as well as a large, impressive wooden lock from Africa. All of these treasures were collected by Erens beginning in the 1980s, with the help of the late Chicago art dealer Bud Holland. In this exhibition, each key was viewed as a decorative object with delicate castings and emblems.

Image: Key from the Patricia Brett Erens Key Collection