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Exhibits and Publications

Art exhibit for Lent and Easter:

Visual Rumination on Dante, Scripture and World Suffering by artist Constance Pierce

On display in the Day Missions Reading Room from March 20 to April 25 is artwork of Constance Pierce, a former ISM research fellow and Yale Divinity School resident-artist. Pierce is a retired associate professor of art from St. Bonaventure University in New York state. Her sketchbooks were twice featured at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Her art is included in this museum's collection, as well as the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art, the International Marion Research Institute, the National Gallery of Art's rare book library, and the Yale Center for British Art, Prints and Drawings sketchbook archive. She has exhibited for three decades, both regionally and nationally, and most recently in Japan.

Her work has been featured in articles and reviews in the Washington Post, New Art Examiner, New York Times, New Haven Register, Journal of the Print World, and Image: Art, Faith, Mystery. Constance also designs numerous seminars for institutions and private groups in her original special expertise titled "Imaging Journal: Creative Renewal and the Inward Journey."

Artist's statement about the works exhibited in the Yale Divinity Library:

I am compelled by Biblical narrative expressed in a contemporary idiom. I often work with images of pilgrimage, lamentation, absolution and rebirth. Such archetypal themes flesh out parable and reveal the ancient stories, once again reborn, in our current world of dissonance and division. The sacred scriptures, in their mythic and consuming drama, are also played out in our most inward journeys.

In the series of drawings currently displayed, my intent is to bear witness to the suffering and alienation of Christ resurrected in the dispossessed within our own midst. Sometimes my images are disturbing because I hope to disrupt complacency and bestir compassion. I desire to express the betrayed and afflicted, yet also the presence of Divinity in ministering emissaries alive upon the earth. The Christ and Judas abide within each of us. The moment of crucifixion or resurrection is not ancient history, but is reenacted anew within each soul.

The watercolor series on exhibition emerges out of a somewhat different genesis. Through these allegorical images, I hope to incarnate the radiant energy and spiritual import of the human form in the epiphany of dance, as well as the archetypal gestures of the human soul in the solitude of personal anguish. My intention is to illuminate the transcendent aspects of life, especially those experiences where we are entrained by a grace beyond ordinary perception.

If one could learn to read the gestures of trees or the movements of clouds with clarity, one might be able to decipher them as messengers; to read them like ancient dancers are read. They are signs upon the flesh of the earth, a sensuous calligraphy, ever pressing into our dim vision. It is not enough to arrange, however sensitively or cleverly, visual elements. I believe an artist needs to be open and vulnerable to the synchronistic entrance of the spiritual, for the elements of the spirit often use sentient forms as their metaphor.



Current Exhibit in Rotunda Area:

Spreading the Word: A Selection of Missionary Posters, Games, and Ephemera from the Day Missions Collection

During the height of the missionary movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, tens of thousands of missionaries went abroad, seeking to spread their Christian beliefs and bringing with them their devotion to Western civilization. This exhibit focuses on two aspects of “Spreading the Word”: visual materials that were used to convey the missionaries' message to the people with whom they were working, and materials used to encourage the home public to understand and support the missionary enterprise.

Displayed in one case in the rotunda area and in the cases in the Day Missions Reading Room are examples of the many missionary posters and teaching materials contained in the Divinity Library's Special Collections. Visual materials were crucial to capturing the attention of the audiences that the missionaries sought to reach. Posters included illustrations of Bible stories as well as public health and Christian life lessons.

In order to sustain their work, the missionaries were dependent on churches and individuals in their home countries to provide financial and spiritual support. Two cases in the rotunda area illustrate various methods that were used to bring attention to the missionary movement with a view to encouraging support, including missionary exhibitions, concerts, postcards, plays, games, slides, and artifacts.

Online version

Online Versions of Past Exhibits

Yale Divinity School Milestones 1822-2012

2012 marks the 190th anniversary of the establishment of the Yale Divinity School in 1822, as well as the 80th anniversary of the Divinity School's move to its present campus at 409 Prospect Street. This exhibit documents some of the early faculty members of the Divinity School, its first campus in central New Haven and the development of the new campus, and the deans who have served the School over the decades.

Christianity in Nepal - Documentation from the Day Missions Collection

This exhibit features materials from the archives of the United Mission to Nepal, the International Nepal Fellowship, and the Nepal Church History Project . These collections, received by the Divinity Library in 2008, document the opening of Nepal to Christian organizations in the early 1950s and their programs in the areas of health services, education, rural development, and industrial development .

Eight Decades of Women at YDS

Milestones and recollections of women at Yale Divinity School, an exhibit from 2010.

Christian Responses to Charles Darwin, 1870-1900

This exhibit commemorating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth focuses on Christian responses to Darwin shortly after the publication of The Origin of Species.
Communications from the Field: Missionary Postcards from Africa
The images provided by missionary postcards provide a glimpse into the Christian missionary enterprise and its impact on society. They illustrate the customs, methods, and technology disseminated by the missionaries, provide depictions of indigenous life, and shed light on the culture of the missionary enterprise in the early 20th century.
Early African American Missionaries
Powerpoint presentation.
From Psalm Book to Hymnal: Selections from the Lowell Mason Collection
Excerpts from an exhibit at the Yale Divinity School Library held January 18-March 30, 2000.
The Centennial of the Boxer Rebellion in China
Photographs and documents from the collections of the Yale Divinity School Library that illustrate the impact of the Boxer Rebellion on the missionary movement in China.
Victorian Missionary Periodicals
Excerpts from an exhibit at the Yale Divinity School Library held September 15, 1999 - January 15, 2000.

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Occasional Publications

For more information, please contact Martha.Smalley@yale.edu

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This file last modified 3/20/14 .
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