Virgin and Child

Taking Class with Notre Dame

In Spring and Fall 2014, students in two Art History classes at Loyola University Maryland led by Dr. Kerry Boeye worked closely with this Gothic sculpture of the Virgin Mary and Christ in the collection of Loyola Notre Dame Library. Since the early 1970s the statue had sat in a case next to a stairway, where it was largely overlooked. Two challenges faced the students. First, what could they learn about this centuries-old sculpture of Notre Dame (Our Lady) and her Son? Very little historical documentation exists for this artwork, and scholars have written nothing about it. Second, how could the students transform this neglected statue into a focus of attention and learning? Answering the first demanded close investigation of the sculpture and careful research.

New Display in Loyola Notre Dame Library
Above: The new display in Loyola Notre Dame Library
Left: Virgin Mary Seated with Christ Child, northern Spain (Burgos?), 14th century, wood with modern stain. Gift of James St. Lawrence O'Toole, Loyola College Class of 1915.
Responding to the second compelled the students to design an entirely new installation with a display case and wall text panels, all of which required official approval and funding. Now, as a culmination of the students' work, the statue resides in a new display on the first floor of the Library. In addition to visiting in person, you are invited here to learn more about the research on the statue and the process of designing the new display.