Skip to main content


Explore the Marian Library’s Art and Color Our Collections!

By Olivia Gillingham, Library Specialist in the Marian Library

The Catholic faith has played an important and fascinating role in the history of art, providing some of the most well-known artists with inspiration for many of the most famous paintings in the world. Throughout time religious artworks have been the focus of spiritual devotion, a tool of conversion, objects of controversy, and priceless pieces of cultural heritage. The celebration of Mary, particularly, has inspired countless and diverse representations of the Blessed Virgin.

The Marian Library began collecting art not long after its founding in 1943. In April, 1945, the library’s newsletter reports having received “an interesting assortment of Marian pictures for our growing art collection.” In 1951, Rev. Lawrence Monheim, S.M., then Director, commissioned a statue known as “Our Lady of the Marian Library” by Xavier Hochenleitner of Oberammergau, Germany. Since then hundreds of other statues in a great variety of materials have been donated and commissioned to fill gaps in the collection. The significant purchase of the Leon Clugnet Collection in 1953-54 included a number of prints for the art collection as well.

Now, in the 75th year of the Marian Library, the holdings are impressive and varied, boasting of engravings by Old Masters like Rembrandt van Rijn and Albrecht Dürer alongside original contemporary paintings. Exciting recent additions include 24 oil paintings honoring Mary and Marian flowers by Cincinnati artist, Holly Schapker, a woodcut by Gwen Raverat, and engravings by Eric Gill.

This month we invite you to explore our art through Color Our Collections. Below you can see a small selection of pieces from the flat file collection, which is made up of over 1,400 prints, etchings and engravings. Also included is a piece from the Library’s Ukrainian collection and framed art collection.

A coloring station is available in the Marian Library’s reading room on the 7th floor of Roesch from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day this week with free coloring pages. Come color, see the space and the current art exhibit, “An Artist’s Meditation on Song of Songs,” and learn about the fantastic resources available here. When you’re done coloring, post your pictures on Instagram and Twitter with the #colorourcollections and #marianlibrary75!

If you can’t make it to the Marian Library, you can download and print all the coloring pages. Make sure to post your pictures! Happy coloring!

Previous Post

IMRI Weekly Features: Feb. 5 2018

Virtues, veneration, Vailankanni, Vassula Ryden, Our Lady of Lourdes and more
Read More
Next Post

中文博客 — 2018 年二月 (Chinese Features for Feb. 2018)

Special Chinese language features for February 2018.
Read More