Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art


Media Contact:
Steve Christensen
Manager, Communications
Loyola University Chicago

Global Ethnographic Art On Display at LUMA

Art and Artifacts Represent Religious Deities from Across the World

CHICAGO, March 27, 2006 — The Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) announces the opening of its newest exhibition, The Gods As We Shape Them, from the collection of Dr. May Weber, a well-known and long-time collector of ethnographic art and artifacts. The exhibition, which includes more than 150 examples of art and artifacts from around the world, illustrates how various cultures and faiths depict their religious deities and shape visual impressions of their gods. The Gods As We Shape Them opens on April 8 and runs until September 10, 2006.

The collection includes textiles, paintings and functional objects from the Weber Collection of Cultural Arts and will be on display in five galleries throughout the museum. The material reflects both ancient and contemporary cultures from across the globe. The faiths and indigenous cultures represented are from Australia, China, India, Japan, the Pacific Islands, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Italy, France, the Iberian Peninsula, the Mediterranean, sub-Saharan Africa and North and South America.

"Man's compelling desire to master the trials of everyday life and to assert a measure of control over destiny leads us to shape our gods in ways that help us worship and appeal to them," said Dr. Weber. "The long history of the forms that we choose to represent our gods is the story of shapes and practices arrived at by group agreement in harmony with community and cultural convention. It is the story of endlessly inventive, emotionally charged thought."

The exhibition is designed to show similarities and differences between cultures, and reflects Dr. Weber's belief that every object, regardless of its use, has a valuable story to tell about the maker.

Public Programs:
Docent Tours 
Held daily at noon and 2 p.m.; Free with admission 

Sculpting the Spiritual Realm in Indonesia
Wednesday, April 12 at noon
$25 (members) / $35 (non-members)
Reservations are required. Please call 312.915.7630 or e-mail luma@luc.edu.

Join us for our second Lunch at LUMA with Loyola professor of anthropology, Kathleen Adams. In many Indonesian societies, the artistic, spiritual and political realms are closely connected. This slide lecture explores how visions of self, social relations and the gods are embodied in the arts of groups such as the Toraja in the Sulawesi highlands of Indonesia.

Sunday, May 14 at 3:00 p.m.
Free with museum admission
Reservations are strongly suggested. Please call 312.915.7630 or e-mailluma@luc.edu

Walkabout is a hypnotic, nearly dialogue-free, film about siblings marooned in the Australian outback who are befriended by a young aborigine on his "walkabout." This coming-of-age drama has stunning cinematography (1971).

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!