Thursday, February 25, 2010

Photos of the Pere Marquette Gallery

A FORMER LIBRARY at Saint Louis University was renovated in 1995 into the remarkable but largely unknown Pere Marquette Gallery.  Located in DuBourg Hall and dating from 1886, the gallery is part of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - view of hall from 3rd level facing west

This great room is four stories tall.  According to a history of the museum:
Saint Louis University purchased the land at the corner of Grand and Lindell in 1867 with the intention of moving the campus away from the noise and dirt of industrial St. Louis. Plans were drawn for the "Grand Building," today's DuBourg Hall, though construction did not begin until 1886. The Pere Marquette Gallery was originally the university library and the great timber supports were once illuminated by sun streaming through an atrium that has long since been removed. The cast iron columns and spiral stairs supporting each level once held library stacks. Each level is now used as gallery space for the exhibition of Saint Louis University's collection of art with religious themes.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - view of side of hall from 3rd level

This still has books. I am normally a bookworm, but didn't have time to look at what volumes were stored here.

The history continues:
Entering from the second floor of DuBourg Hall, a visitor to the Pere Marquette Gallery will find many works brought to St. Louis by the Reverend Pierre Jean De Smet, S.J., in 1845. These Old Master and devotional works were the legacy of the destruction and disruption of the Napoleonic wars, collected from abandoned and war-torn places. The mother of a De Smet classmate, the Baroness Elizabeth De Ghyseghan, and her friends gathered paintings and books to support the efforts of the Belgian Jesuits in St. Louis. These works are found here, at the Historic Samuel Cupples House and in the Collection of the Western Jesuit Missions at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art. Altogether these works constituted the first art collection of St. Louis and were originally all found installed on the walls of DuBourg Hall.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - view of hall from 3rd level facing east

Continuing:
Religious images speak to the heart in the Christian tradition. The third and fourth levels of the Pere Marquette Gallery illustrate expressions of Christian devotion from three very distinct cultures: Retablos, oil painting on tin from colonial Mexico, Greek and Russian Orthodox icons from the 16th and 17th centuries, and Santos images from the Philippine Islands.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - spiral staircase

Spiral stairs lead upwards.  Note the gold fleurs-de-lis on the rich blue carpeting, which reflects the royal French history of this region.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - ceiling

A view of the ceiling.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass windows of Christ Pantocrator, Saint Francis Xavier, and the Evangelists

Stained glass window in the center shows Christ Pantocrator and Saint Francis Xavier; flanking windows show the Evangelists.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass window of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist

Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist, with his symbol the eagle.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass windows of Saints Jacques Marquette and Francis Xavier Cabrini

On the left, Jacques Marquette, S.J., who was an early explorer of this region, and who has an open cause for beatification; on the right, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass windows of Jesuit University logos

Some of the Jesuit universities in the United States.

The gallery includes works by anonymous Santos carvers from the Philippines, including the following:

Statue, polychrome and gesso on hardwood, "St. Francis of Assisi" by unknown Santos carver, Philippines, at the Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Saint Francis of Assisi.

Statue, polychrome and gesso on hardwood, "St. Isidore the Farmer" by unknown Santos carver, Philippines, ca. 1950, at the Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Saint Isidore the Farmer.

Statue, polychrome and gesso on hardwood, "St. Martin of Tours" by unknown artist, Philippines, ca. 1950, at the Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Saint Martin.

Another Philippines Santos statue can be seen here.

Statue, polychrome and gesso on hardwood, "Santiago de Compostella" by unknown artist, Colonial Mexico, 17th century, at the Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Santiago de Compostella is from colonial Mexico.

Carving of the Transfiguration, at the Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

The Transfiguration.

This gallery was once a library, and some of the stained glass windows portray the history of writing:

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass window "Manuscript"

Other windows portray scrolls and the printing press, and this one shows a manuscript codex.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass window "Computer"

And this one shows a computer. And on the computer screen reads:

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - detail of stained glass window "Computer"

“DESIGNED BY RODNEY WINFIELD
AN EMIL FREI ASSOCIATE 1995”

Oil painting, "Holy Famly", unknown painter, ca. 1800, at the Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Painting of the Holy Family, by an unknown artist, ca. 1800.

Detail of an oil painting of Saint Francis of Assisi, by Ludovico Cardi da Cigoli, ca. 1613, at the Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Detail of a painting of Saint Francis of Assisi, by Ludovico Cardi da Cigoli, ca. 1613.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass window of Teilhard de Chardin

Stained glass window of Teilhard de Chardin???????? His New Age writings are condemned by the Church, and he was deeply involved in the racist Piltdown Man hoax. He remained, however, a loyal priest of the Church and the Society of Jesus.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass window of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, who lived in the nearby towns of Florissant and Saint Charles; click here for photos of her convent.

Pere Marquette Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass window of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins, English poet, Catholic convert, and Jesuit Priest.

DuBourg Hall exterior, at Saint Louis University, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

The gallery is in DuBourg Hall, seen here. The gallery is open on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

2 comments:

  1. are the blues in this gallery as intense as they appear in your photos?

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  2. Here is a color calibration target I shot while on the second floor: http://www.flickr.com/photos/msabeln/4389979463. The colors are fairly close, but aren't completely accurate. I used this calibration for most of the pictures in this set, excluding the stained glass windows, where instead I used a calibration taken outdoors.

    The carpeting on the upper floors, according to my measurement here, is likely a pure blue color, and is probably slightly lighter than what appears in these photos. The ground floor is considerably lighter and less pure blue.

    I color calibrate my camera, but I don't really have good objective control over the final colors after my extensive processing - although I do make sure that neutral tones remain largely neutral. With my current computer software and equipment, I don't have the ability to do much more than what 'looks right' to me on my particular computer monitor.

    Now my images are heavily Photoshopped to get to what you seen here. Typically, I take multiple exposures of the same subject, and blend them together on the computer to show detail in both the highlights and in the shadows. Please take a look at one of my photos, as taken straight from my camera, with no Photoshop processing, and with default camera settings, and calibrated by the color target shown above: http://www.flickr.com/photos/msabeln/4390706429/. This single photo ought to give you a good idea of the colors, even though it lacks detail in the the shadows and in the highlights, which is why I use my multiple-exposure technique.

    But if you would like to see truly realistic color rendition here, please feel free to buy me a Pantone Color Cue meter, so I can make sure that the colors in real life are faithfully reproduced here.

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