Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art



Steve Christensen

Holiday Exhibitions at LUMA Celebrate the Saints

Mirroring the Saints and Santitos Debut on November 20

CHICAGO, November 15, 2012 – Faced with fear of plague and pestilence, natural disasters, and human catastrophes, many in cultures around the world have sought the protection of patron saints and guardian deities. Beginning November 20 and running through January 13, 2013, the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) will present a pair of exhibitions that explore and celebrate the role of saints, guardian spirits, and other deities.

Mirroring the Saints: The Wierix Collection from De Krijtberg in Amsterdam features an assortment of copper-printing plates engraved by members of the multi-generational Wierix family from 17th-century Flanders (modern Belgium). This collection of copper plates was rediscovered in 2002 in the attic of the Jesuit community in Amsterdam. While the plates’ origins remain a mystery, their purpose is evident: to reinvigorate the Catholic veneration of saints following the Protestant Reformation. The small plates, just three inches tall, produced cheap prints, easily disseminated, that could be pinned up at home or bound into prayer ‌books and taken to church. Not only were popular medieval saints like the Archangel Michael (patron of the dying), St. Cecilia (musicians), and St. Hubert (hunters) portrayed, but new Counter-Reformation religious movements and devotions, such as the Jesuits with their adherence to the cult of the Holy Name of Jesus, were portrayed as well. Catholic missionaries carried this popular imagery of saints devised by the Wierix family around the world. Examples of these prints have been found as far away as Goa (India) and China.

The concurrent exhibition, Santitos, illustrates contemporary beliefs in protective saints and deities. The prints depict official and folk saints in the Latin American Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches, as well as deities from Japanese Shintoism, Irish Celtic mythology, and Haitian Santaria. Thirty-four artists are represented, forming an international roster of printmakers from Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and the United States, many of whom have Chicago connections as alumni or faculty of institutions like the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The prints are executed in a variety of print techniques, including woodcuts, wood engravings, etchings, and linocuts. The prints are available as a portfolio from Chicago’s Arceo Press.

Public Programming

All events take place at LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Avenue.

Opening Reception

Thursday, November 29, 5:30–7 p.m.

Join us to celebrate the opening of Mirroring the Saints, Santitos, and LUMA’s other winter exhibitions. Admission is $15 and free for LUMA members.

Meet the Curators

Tuesday, December 11, 6 p.m.

Join us for this free tour of Art and Faith of the Crèche and Mirroring the Saints with LUMA’s Ann Meehan, curator of education, and Jonathan Canning, senior curator.

Image Credit: Hieronymus Wierx, Saint Michael: Who is Like God? (detail), print and copper engraving, long-term loan from the Nederlandse Provincie der Jezuïeten, Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, organized by Manresa Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Carmen Alarcón (Mexican), The Little Miner (Saint Child of Atocha), etching & aquatint, ©Arceo Press Chicago

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!