Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

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Media Contact:
Evangeline Politis
Communication Specialist

Loyola University Museum of Art Presents
Annual Holiday Exhibition
Art and Faith of the Crèche Returns to Michigan Avenue

CHICAGO, November 16, 2015 – Art and Faith of the Crèche: The Collection of James and Emilia Govan, a holiday tradition, is now on display at the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) through January 10, 2016. This year’s display features more than 70 works and includes an emphasis on crèches from Latin America and the special Crèche of the Year from Italy.

Every holiday season since 2007, LUMA has exhibited crèches donated to the museum by collectors James and Emilia Govan. The exhibition is curated from more than 500 works created by artists from 100 countries illustrating how artists across the globe depict the Nativity.

LUMA’s Crèche of the Year is a newer tradition, beginning in 2012. The 2015 Crèche of the Year celebrates the great tradition of praesepe (crèches) in Italy and commemorates Pope Francis’s recent visit to the US. Created by Sicilian artist Francesco Scarlatella, the work is a small masterpiece that honors Italian heritage and evokes 17th-century Baroque sculptures like those in the museum’s permanent Martin D’Arcy Collection.

This year will also be marked by a supplemental exhibition of 25 Latin American crèches, ranging geographically from Mexico to Brazil. Each crèche celebrates the cultural differences across North and South America. In a Guatemalan crèche by Erick Zamora, local saint San Hermano Pedro leads the Holy Family in procession. A pair of crèches, one by leading Mexican ceramicists Irene Aguilar, celebrates the country’s ancient tradition of ceramic arts.

“The pieces in this year’s exhibition span from the colonial work by the Brazilian Avila brothers to folk art reflecting indigenous styles and devotional practices,” said Pamela Ambrose, director of cultural affairs at Loyola University Chicago. “Visitors will see how artists from Latin American cultures and across the globe depict the Nativity through their own cultural lenses that incorporate native clothing, art, and architecture.”

To learn more about the exhibition, visit LUC.edu/luma. Friends of the museum are also invited to sponsor a crèche and celebrate their heritage or that of a loved one. These sponsorships support LUMA’s care of this special collection and the display of the annual exhibition. Details can be found here.

Public Programming

All events take place at LUMA, 820 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611.

Tour with the Director
Saturday, December 5, 11:15 a.m.

Join Pamela Ambrose, director of cultural affairs, for a complete tour of the exhibition. Ambrose will recount how she first heard of the Govans’ collecting passion and why she established this annual exhibition as the museum’s winter holiday tradition. Admission is free to the public, with museum admission, and for LUMA members and Loyola students, faculty, and staff.

Opening Reception
Saturday, December 5, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Celebrate the opening of the holiday exhibition: Art and Faith of the Crèche: The Collection of James and Emilia Govan. Admission is $15 for the public and free for LUMA members and Loyola students, faculty, and staff.

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. The museum is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. The museum is located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, and occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Michigan Avenue. For more information, please visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

Art illuminating the spirit




LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO · 1032 W. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660 · 773.274.3000

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