“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
Spiritualist writer Thomas Merton coined this phrase, and it perfectly encapsulates the feeling I get whenever I visit the John C. Favalora Archive & #Museum located within the St. Thomas University Library. I found a plethora of eye-catching pieces on one of my recent visits:
- A rapier that was held by one of the knights serving under Pope Gregory XVI in 1831
- A monstrance collected from the Church of the Resurrection
- A woven banner depicting the Lady of Guadalupe
- The ceremonial headdress worn by Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll
Different museums feature pieces of art and history, but I like to believe that the two go hand-in-hand. The St. Gregory Knights rapier is intricately sculpted with attention to the stylized shapes seen in regal crown designs, and the cover of St. Anthony Church’s missal dazzles with its gold-plated hieroglyph aesthetic.
Displays in the Museum are presented in cubic UV glass cases that protect the more valuable exhibits. Specialized lighting is used for banners and statues, and ventilation is controlled in order to prevent artifact oxidation. Museum staff makes layout alterations every four to five months. There are also two sub-galleries used for exhibits that alternate at a much higher frequency. Among the excellent staff members who keep the Archive & Museum in check are the Assistant Archivist, Julia Ricks, and the Museum/Library Acquisitions Coordinator and Budget Assistant, Isabel Medina.
Past Museum Exhibits
Past museum exhibits include His Holiness Pope Francis Visit to Israel 2014 Photography Exhibition, which opened in May 2016, and three photographic exhibits as part of the Library’s and the Archive & Museum’s Latino Americans: 500 Years of History festivities in September 2015. One of the Archive & Museum’s upcoming exhibits will depict Mother Teresa’s visit to Miami.
Connect with the Archive & Museum
The Archive & Museum is steadily developing an expanded cache of photos and information on its five social media sites, so check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. The Archive & Museum also has a blog. If you like what you see from my coverage, they’re definitely worth checking out.
This post was authored by Jonluc Borno, a Communications Major and Social Media Intern at St. Thomas University Library who works with the Outreach Librarian, Nina Rose.