20. In Touch



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Corita aka Sister Mary Corita Kent (1918-1986), American

In Touch, 1969

Published by International Graphic Arts Society (IGAS)

Color Serigraph, Edition of 210

Collection of La Salle University Art Museum, 69-G-267

Corita, as she would later be known, was born in Iowa as Frances Elizabeth Kent. She entered the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at age 18, taking the name Sister Mary Corita. In 1947 she began teaching art classes at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, and was quickly drawn to the ease and accessibility of the art of screen printing. Her prints incorporate images and words from biblical verses, advertising slogans, song lyrics, poetry, and literary texts (as seen here in this quote from D. H. Lawrence’s controversial Resurrection-inspired The Escaped Cock/The Man Who Died). Working throughout the 1950s and 1960s, she was influenced by the world around her – from Vatican II to Pop Art – and her work became increasingly more graphic, more political, and reflected her passions for social justice, ethics, religion, and education. In 1968 she left the Order, moved to Boston to focus on her art, and remained active until her death in 1986.

Though she made the covers of Newsweek and The Saturday Evening Post, and completed commissions for the 1964 New York World’s Fair and also a popular postage stamp, she remains mostly unknown in the canon of art history. Still it is not surprising to find several of her artworks here at La Salle University Art Museum, selected by Brother Daniel Burke, and added early to the teaching collection before the Art Museum even opened. Her multi-layered silkscreens offer multiple points of entry for engaging dialogue around religion, history, culture, gender, and social issues and injustices still relevant today.

This print is one of thousands of prints and works on paper in the permanent collection not regularly on view due to their fragile nature and susceptibility to fading with long exposure to light. With the completion and recent launch of our new online collections database (http://artcollection.lasalle.edu), faculty, students, and the larger community can now find and access these once “hidden” artworks. With over 5,000 objects available for teaching and learning, Art Museum staff can help make suggestions or connections, and pull artworks from storage for lessons with advanced scheduling.

Rebecca Oviedo, M.A.

Collections Manager/Registrar, La Salle University Art Museum

Broader Identity

  • 2. Reflective Thinking and Valuing

Effective Expression

  • 9. Creative and Artistic Expression

Active Responsibility

  • 12. Collaborative Engagement

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Collection of La Salle University Art Museum; http://artcollection.lasalle.edu/kiosk/rights.htm