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Ex Oriente Lux

A new art exhibit at the University of Dayton will explore how the Virgin Mary is perceived and represented in some Asian countries.

“Ex Oriente Lux: Marian Art in Asia” runs June 26 to Sept. 8 in the Marian Library Gallery on the seventh floor of Roesch Library. It is free and open to the public 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

With the exception of famous artists such as Japan’s Sadao Watanabe and China’s He Qi, the variety and originality of Asian religious art isn’t well-known in the Western world.

“The exhibit is an attempt to open our horizons to the originality of Asian Marian paintings and statuary,” said the Rev. Johann Roten, S.M., director of research, art and special projects for the Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.

“The Asian continent is not only immense but immensely diverse,” he said. “It is our intention to give initial impressions on how Mary is received, to show some traits of cultural and religious originality, and so to prepare a deeper and more specific understanding of the rich contribution the many countries of Asia are making to religious art in general and to Marian art in particular.”

The pieces are drawn from the Marian Library, which houses the largest collection in the world of printed materials and artifacts on Mary, mother of Christ.

The exhibit will be closed July 4 and Sept. 4. Free parking passes can be obtained at the visitor parking information center. More information is available online at


News and Communications Staff