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FUAM Exhibition-Out of the Kress Vaults


Out of the Kress Vaults: Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting

This guide was created as a partnership between the DiMenna-Nyselius Library and the Fairfield University Art Museum and provides additional resources and information on the artists, objects, and themes included in the Fairfield University Art Museum exhibition:

Out of the Kress Vaults:
Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting

September 16 - December 17, 2022

Fairfield University Art Museum
Bellarmine Hall Galleries

About the Exhibition

Out of the Kress Vaults: Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting explores representations of femininity and virtue in Italian Renaissance paintings of the Virgin Mary, female saints, and nuns. Ranging from small, devotional images intended for the highly gendered spaces of the Renaissance home, to large altarpieces originally on display in churches, these artworks intertwine depictions of idealized beauty with messages of virtue and piety, presenting these women as models of virtue and devotion for emulation – and admiration – by their Renaissance viewers.

This exhibition is the first in the museum’s history to be co-curated with Fairfield University students. Taking inspiration from two paintings of the Madonna and Child in the museum’s own Samuel H. Kress Collection, students in Dr. Michelle DiMarzo’s art history seminar developed the exhibition by examining Kress collections at other institutions, with an emphasis on works typically held in storage. Lenders to the exhibition include the National Gallery of Art, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Harvard Art Museums, and the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami.

With generous funding from the Humanities Institute (Fairfield University) and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Image: El Greco, The Holy Family with Saint Anne and the Infant John the Baptist, ca. 1595-1600, oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1959.9.4


About Fairfield University Art Museum (FUAM)

An essential academic and cultural resource for students, faculty, and residents of the surrounding geographic community and region, the Fairfield University Art Museum (FUAM) offers meaningful opportunities for first-hand experience of original works of art and their unique historical resonance. We foster appreciation of the visual arts; cultivate cultural literacy and critical engagement; conserve, research, and impart knowledge about the collection in accordance with best scholarly and museum practices; and champion human creativity of all cultures and time periods.



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