October 10, 2013
Communications and Marketing
Father Iain MacLellan, O.S.B. recently added two important works to the permanent collection of the Chapel Art Center, expanding an already impressive range of paintings and art objects.
Winter, Tibbetts Creek, was painted around 1915 by Earnest Lawson, a Canadian-American painter who was a member of "The Eight," a group of artists who protested what they viewed as the narrow rigidness of the conservative, powerful National Academy of Design. The 25 x 30-inch oil painting shows a small brook running in rural Manhattan, N.Y. Lawson primarily painted landscapes, according to Fr. Iain, and his work falls somewhere between impressionism and realism.
The second acquisition is a drawing by Giuseppe Cesari, known as Cavaliere d'Arpino. Working mostly in Rome, Cesari was commissioned by three different Popes to do important work in and around the Vatican. This drawing was a draught sheet for his painting, The Annunciation. It was drawn sometime in the late 16th or early 17th century in red chalk on light brown paper. It depicts the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God.
Fr. Iain was interested in finding a piece of artwork that could be presented in honor of Father Jonathan's 24-year presidency. Cesari's drawing turned out to be just the piece needed, as the artist's nationality represents Father Jonathan's heritage. The religious scene stands for his Benedictine life and faith.
The acquisition of this remarkable artwork is for the benefit of the Saint Anselm community as a whole, says Fr. Iain, who has been the curator for nearly 16 years.
"It is your, mine, and our collection," he says. He encourages people to come and share in his love of great art.
Michael Morse '14 contributed to this story.