Collecting art is "ultimately an act of faith."

Exhibit Date March 1- April 10, 2005

That's the view of Edward and Diane Knippers, whose exhibition of fifty-five original works on paper of twentieth century Biblical themes is currently in its fourth year of touring the country under the auspices of Christians in the Visual Arts. Representing a cross section of cultures and styles, the exhibit features works by such well-known artists as Marc Chagall, Georges Rouault, Karl Caspar, Kaethe Kollwitz and Sado Watanabe.

"It's a very significant private collection of very accessible works and one of the biggest shows we've ever had," said Larissa Raddell, artistic activities director of the Marian Library. "The collection has a culturally diverse scope, yet allows artists and non-artists to connect with each other through the Bible stories many of us grew up with. Since this is a private collection, it shows how art can be part of our personal lives and beliefs."

Edward Knippers, a painter who has been a leading figure in the contemporary Christian art movement, and his wife began the collection thirty years ago. The exhibit includes drawings, paintings and various fine art printing techniques such as woodcut, lithograph and intaglio. Interpretations of Old and New Testament subjects, such as Adam and Eve, Sarah and the angel, the Last Supper, Noah's ark and Christ carrying the cross, are included.

"While we have wide-ranging tastes and interest, over the years we have particularly focused on Biblical or Christian imagery. When possible, I have purchased works from the art movements and artists that have most influenced me," said Knippers, who calls Rouault "one of my heroes in the faith."

In an interview with the Chicago Daily Herald in 2002, Knippers said, "Our home is filled with images that demand something of us, that point to ultimate meanings, and that evoke the sacred. Much like great literature and great music, high-quality original art can help shape us to be more profound people."

"The Artist and the Bible" will have traveled to twenty-seven galleries by the end of 2004 under the patronage of Christians in the Visual Arts, an international fellowship and clearinghouse for artists of faith. The exhibit is the second major exhibition The Marian Library has offered this year. More than ten thousand people visited the recent free Vatican exhibit, "The Mother of God: Art Celebrates Mary."  

The following is a selection of the art on display. To view the commentaries on artists and artwork, and a larger view of the picture, click on that image.


















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