Mother and Madonna: Photography of Madonna and Child

Nancy L. Campbell

Exhibited at the Marian Library: June 28 - August 27, 2010


Madonna as Mother and Child? Where does one begin? When does one lead into and merge with the other? Both share a common reality, that of life: life received, life celebrated - sometimes in blood and tears - life passed on. It is all a matter of how we see life. As nature only, biology pure? Human experience gathered, treasured and shared in history? Or, life as promise of eternity? It takes both Mother and Child, and Madonna to give life its fullest possible meaning. The different variants of Mother and Child in the exhibit are reminiscent of beauty as a "many-splendored thing": the beauty of ever new beginnings, the beauty of being, simply and fully, and that of life ever-lasting because, after all, what are Madonnas for? --Fr. Roten.

Artist Statement

In my present series, "Mother and Madonna: Photography of Madonna and Child," the focus is on one of the most fundamental human relationships - that between a mother and her baby. To prepare for this extended project, I studied the works of the Old Masters [see An example from Martin Schongauer (ca. 1430-1491)]. These sculpted, painted, and sketched images have informed western culture for thousands of years and provide us with the paradigm of motherhood. In my own work, I deal intuitively with each woman and child to draw from them that pure, Madonna-like quality which suggests the ideal of motherhood and, at the same time, reveals the distinctive nature of their particular familial bond.

Nancy L. Campbell

Nancy Campbell was born in Minneapolis and educated at the University of Minnesota. She studied photography at the Art Center of Minnesota under George Gambsky, a student of Minor White, from 1980-1985. She also had a mentorship with the late Aaron Siskind in Providence, Rhode Island from 1985-1992.

Campbell received the 2006 Arts in Harmony Wanda Gatke Memorial Award for a photograph from the "Madonna and Child" series. Her work has been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minnesota Center for Photography, Minnesota Museum of American Art, among others, and appeared in numerous publications including Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, Hallmark, and several other professional publications.

Her portfolio, "Madonna and Child" was shown at the Teresa of Calcutta Gallery at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, Minnesota before coming to the Marian Library.

Following the artist on her journey of inspiration by Old Masters, we contrasted Nancy's photography with Madonna engravings of some illustrous illustrators.

Art Work

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