An Exhibition of Religious Art

An Exhibition of Religious Art

by Dorothea & James Kennedy

Exhibited at the Marian Library: March 4 - April 26, 1991

The combined exhibition of the works of Dorothea and James Kennedy represents the collaboration of thirty-one years of life together, which ended only recently when James died of a heart attack in 1990. This exhibit can be seen as a memorial to his talents as well as a testament to the vision he shared with Dorothea in their commitment to religious art. This collaboration began when Dorothea and Jim met in the late 1950s at Edgecliff College in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Jim was a professor of art history and sculpture. Their involvement in the liturgical movement and the Cincinnati Liturgical Arts Group led to commissions for sculpture and other art works for churches and religious institutions. [Religious Art]

Educated at Washington University in St. Louis, Miami University in Oxford and University of Cincinnati, Jim's works have included commissions for St. Meinrad Archabbey, Cardinal Ritter, Bishop McCarthy and the Pontifical College Josephinum, among others. His works have been exhibited in Valencia, Spain, Edgecliff Academy and Emery Gallery. Working primarily in bronze sculpture, he also produced other metalwork including chalices and processional crosses. As both an artist and an art historian, he brought to his work a deep appreciation of the history of images in the western world from ancient through modern times.

Dorothea received her education at Edgecliff College, Art Academy of Cincinnati, Xavier University and in private study. Her many exhibitions have included Liturgical Art '85, and the Josephinum Artist Series. She has also had numerous commissions from churches throughout the midwest. Her stoneware sculptures and bas reliefs reflect her belief that the role of the artist in the church is one of interpreting and visualizing faith and the Christian life. In their long years of collaboration, during which they raised a family and Jim was involved in the demands of teaching, Dorothea feels he was both her best critic and her moral support.

In 1988, Dorothea was one of three artists invited to submit ideas for a sculpture of the Holy Family to be placed in the Nazareth courtyard at the University of Dayton. Once chosen for this project, she and her husband worked together in developing the piece until his death. Since then she has spent most of her time completing the work. She sees the depiction of the Holy Family as appropriate to a university. Just as Jesus is stepping into the world with the blessing and support of Mary and Joseph, so university students are preparing for life, yet nourished and supported by their parents.


by Dorothea Kennedy

Mother and Child, 1987, stoneware on wood

The Bell, 1988, stoneware and glass

Assumption, 1986, stoneware on wood

Waiting, 1984, pastel

Holy Family, 1989, painted stoneware model

Fiat, 1965, ceramic

Mary of the Assumption, 1986, cast aluminum

Nativity, 1985, stoneware

by James Kennedy

Theotokos, 1962, bronze

Phoenix, 1962, bronze

Visitation, 1963, bronze

Root of Jesse, 1963, bronze

Life Force, 1963, bronze

Our Lady, 1952, ceramic holy water font

Nativity (Revised for casting in 1969 by Dorothea Kennedy), hydrocal

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