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Multicultural Madonnas for May

By Ann Zlotnik

Not only is May the month of Mary, it is designated as the month that we celebrate Asian and Pacific Americans and their cultures in the United States. The visual art traditions that stem from these various cultures have greatly impacted Marian art, and Mary is often portrayed through these specific cultural lenses. The Marian library has several exquisite items throughout our collections of postcards, stamps and artworks from these diverse cultures. In fact, in 2017 Asian art from the Art and Artifacts collection was showcased in the exhibit “Ex Oriente Lux.” In conjunction with the exhibit, the Marian Library acquired a stunning statue of Mary and the infant Jesus (commonly known as the Madonna and Child) by Dayton artist Yufeng Wang. Its title, “Love and Grace,” describes it well. 

Featuring  vibrant bursts of color, soft, serene pastel shades or warm earth tones, these selections provide a glimpse into the richly diverse Madonna imagery from various Asian and Pacific cultures housed in the Marian Library’s collections.

— Ann Zlotnik designs print, digital and exhibit materials across University Libraries while managing marketing, communication and websites specific to the Marian Library.

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