Fritz Eichenberg (1901-1990), American, born in Germany
St. John Baptist de La Salle, 1980
Woodcut, Ed. 25/50
Commissioned in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Brothers of the Christian Schools
Fritz Eichenberg’s delicate print depicts a familiar scene: a teacher, John Baptist De La Salle, leaning toward a pair of students laboring over an unidentified book which contains their school work. The teacher might be answering a question, explaining a concept, commenting on a student’s answer, or just listening.
In this exhibition, Teaching and Learning in the Art Museum: La Salle University Faculty Selections, La Salle faculty share how they have replaced a printed text with a work of art -- a painting or a print or a sculpture. A future artist might depict today’s professor and students in front of a painting in the Art Museum as the professor leans in to listen or comment.
The very familiarity of the scene might make it appear unremarkable. But students and teachers appreciate that the relationship of teacher to student can unleash power that transforms lives, institutions, societies, and history. John Baptist De La Salle founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools because of his belief that teachers can lead their students toward such transformation.
The late Brother Daniel Burke, FSC, President Emeritus of La Salle University and founder of the Art Museum, made this a “teaching museum.” Brother Daniel might be gratified that so many of La Salle’s faculty have chosen to approach the holdings of the Art Museum as “texts” that invite all students to seek transformation by exploring worlds beyond their immediate lives.
Michael J. McGinniss, FSC
Director, University Honors Program
See this object in the Art Museum Online Collections Database:
Collection of La Salle University Art Museum; Art © Estate of Fritz Eichenberg/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. http://artcollection.lasalle.edu/kiosk/rights.htm