Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Silk Screen Prints by Sister Corita Kent

W, serigraph, Sister Corita Kent, 1969

damn everything but the circus - e.e. cummings

...damn everything that is grim, dull,
motionless, unrisking, inward turning,
damn everything that won't get into the
circle, that won't enjoy, that won't throw
its heart into the tension, surprise, fear
and delight of the circus, the round
world, the full existence...- S. Helen Kelley

A Delight in the Alphabet, Works of Sr. Corita Kent, IHM, are on display in the Flora Lamson Hewett Library through May, 2009

In these prints Sister Corita Kent(1918-1986) combines text and either circus themes or other graphic images to promote a more loving, joyful life. She taught art for years at Immaculate Heart College (IHC) in Los Angeles. In 1968, she resigned from the order citing personal reasons. However, another factor was that as her work became well known, she came to be considered dangerous by conservative church leaders. She and her fellow sisters were considered rebels. They insisted on freedom from traditional rules of the cloister. After a three year conflict with the archdiocese of Los Angeles and with the Vatican, about 90% of the nuns resigned and formed a secular community.

Kent had already moved to Boston and continued to produce prints and illustrations. After fighting cancer for eight years, she died in 1986. Her prints are owned by many museums. During the last year, they have been on display in a number of different venues. The GTU Archives received partial sets of two of her alphabet series in 1999. As far anyone can remember, this is the first time that they have been on display here.

For more information about these prints, contact Special Collections at 510/649-2523.

There are many entries for Sister Corita on the web. The best place to start is The Corita Art Center.

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