Sing of Mary
An Exhibition of Woodcuts and Woodcarvings
by Robert F. McGovern

On display November 10 - December 26, 1997. All works displayed are copyrighted by the artist.
The Marian Library Gallery
seventh floor of Roesch Library
University of Dayton
8:30 to 4:30 M-F
Tel.: 937-229-4214.
Nativity Prayer 14"x 20", woodcut print

The Artist

Robert F. McGovern was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and studied at the University of the Arts, then the Philadelphia Museum School of Art. After graduation he joined the faculty and is now full professor and co-chairman of the Foundation Program at the University. Throughout this time he has been involved in making paintings, prints and sculptures and has had many solo and group shows. Robert McGovern has received many commissions for works in churches, schools and hospitals throughout the United States. In addition, he has illustrated numerous books and articles by such authors as Rev. Daniel Berrigan, S.J.; Rev. John McNamee; Rev. Gerard Sloyan and Frank Sheed. Most recent illustrations include The Salvation Novena by Larry London and The Way of Compassion...into the Heart of the Seven Sorrows of Mary by Rev. Richard C. Antall, both published by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Huntington, Indiana. He also lectures on the concerns surrounding religious art in our times.

The Artist's Statement

"I have always seen my task as one of shaping and presenting images that enable the viewer to have a possible window from the finite to the infinite. This is not a task that I invented but one that I joined myself to. It traces itself back to the beginning of the Christian era. I do not espouse any particular style or "ism" of art. The forms that are made in my studio gain credence from the long and diverse traditions of religious art. However the forms gain much life energy from their own material substance. There is after all a kind of natural law of the materials. This rightness of substance in the wood, stone, bronze etc. instructs me in how the chisel, brush or any tool can best be used with respect. I find in Creation clues for our small efforts at creativity.
"It becomes ever more difficult today to present glimpses of the infinite to a world frantic with expanded human sensitivity. New worldly discoveries surround us on all sides. The good and bad of it all converge on the artist and society alike. I have tried to meet the "new" with an attitude of alert discernment. There are questions to be asked: what is the source of the discovery? what are the moral ramifications? does the discovery have the potential to help us see, if so how?
"It is no accident that Mary is a key subject of my work. Like others, I reach out to her as an important part of the solution to the excesses and self indulgences of our age. Pursuing her representation gives the artist the opportunity for the special confluence of an image that is royal and approachable, nurturing and strong, merciful and just, and above all, a vision of hope. For every time Mary is invoked waves of hope fill the mind and spirit. I consider Mary the perfect model and subject challenge for my work."


This is not the first time Mr. McGovern has been associated with the Marian Library. His work was featured in the February 1962 issue of The Marianist, a former publication of the Marian Library.


[Angel with Trumpet]
< Angel with Trumpet
25"x 7.5", wood relief - oak

Burning Bush >
24"x 9.5", wood relief - ash and gold leaf

[Burning Bush]
< Visitation
11.75"x 8", wood relief - basswood

Mary Meets Jesus >
10x11.5, wood relief - basswood, color stain

[Mary Meets Jesus]
[Descent from the Cross]
< Descent from the Cross
14"x 9", wood relief - pine, color stain

Epiphany >
18"x 14", wood relief - ash, color stain, gold leaf

< Head of Mary
8"x 6.75", incised cherry wood

Madonna and Child in a Circle >
24"x 24", linoleum cut with color

[Madonna and
Child in a Circle]
< Annunciation
29"x 17", oil

Madonna and Child in Dark Light >
20"x 16", mixed media

[Madonna and
Child in Dark Light]
[Crushing the Head of the Beast]
< Crushing the Head of the Beast
20"x 15", casein and acrylic painting

Radiant Creatures >
20"x 18", mixed media

< Holy Family
20"x 24", mixed media

The Flowering of the Child>
20"x 16", woodcut print

of the Child]
Child Enthroned]
< Madonna and Child Enthroned
15"x 11", drawing on linen

The Lord Is with Thee >
18"x 14", woodcut print

Lord is
with Thee]
Takes Her Place in Gladness and Joy]
< The Queen Takes Her Place in Gladness and Joy
18"x 14", woodcut print

Joachim and Ann: Presentation of Mary >
18"x 14", woodcut print

[Joachim and
Ann Presentation of Mary]
< Sorrowful Mother
20"x 24", woodcut print
For more information, please contact:

University of Dayton
Dayton, Ohio
Telephone: 937 - 229-4214

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