Graduate Theological Union

Art Exhibitions at the GTU Library

Ceramic by Susan Duhan Felix Current Exhibition

Creation: A Susan Duhan Felix Retrospective
June 13, 2017 - August 15, 2017
Opening event, June 13, 2017, 5 pm, Tour of exhibit by artist begins at 5:15

The Graduate Theological Union is pleased to present a retrospective of Berkeley's Ambassador for the Arts, Susan Duhan Felix. The exhibition features a broad selection of her spirited ceramics over her long and highly productive career, from 1957 through the present.

The opening begins at 5 pm, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley. A tour of the exhibition with the artist begins at 5:15, followed by a reception in the Dinner Boardrrom on the third floor.

Felix is an amazing ceramic artist specializing in ritual objects for the past 50 years. Her work has been displayed at major museums throughout the country. For more information, see her website.

The exhibition is made possible by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment Fund and is free and open to the public during library hours. For more information, contact Caryl Woulfe at

Previous Exhibitions

Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
February 13, 2017 - May 31, 2017
Opening event, February 15, 2017, 6-7 pm

Martin Luther statue, Ottmar Horl

To commemorate 500 years of the Reformation, the library is exhibiting historical works by Martin Luther and his contemporaries, along with the ways Protestant anniversaries have been celebrated through the years. The exhibit cases will include a Luther Bible (1535 with hand colored prints) as well as early editions of works by Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Jean Calvin, Johann Eck and others. The exhibit will run from February 13 through May 2017.

German sculptor Ottmar Hörl, has graciously lent two Martin Luther statues based on the sculpture in Wittenberg. One meter tall, these statues were originally part of the “Martin Luther – Here I stand” project. Eight hundred Luther statues were set up in the market square in Wittenberg between August 14 through September 12, 2010 while the original statue was repaired and cleaned. The artist observes that the project took Luther off his pedestal, ”to make him accessible to the masses and thus to invite the public to reassess Luther’s ideas in our time.” They have been featured in myriad celebrations in Germany since then,

An opening reception will take place on Wednesday, February 15, at 6 p.m. in the library. Professor Kirsi Stjerna of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University will provide brief opening remarks. Several musicians will perform as well.

The exhibition is made possible by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment Fund and is free and open to the public during library hours. For more information, contact David Stiver at or Caryl Woulfe at

Celebrating the Life and Work of Fr. Michael Morris, OP
February 1 - May 31, 2017

The wall portion of the exhibition space continues with materials collected by Fr. Michael Morris. The second floor art wall features Catholic devotional objects and paintings and the first floor displays a few of the many movie posters on religious themes collected by the Dominican priest, who died last summer.


Previous Exhibitions

Celebrating the Life and Work of Fr. Michael Morris, OP
September 23, 2016 - January 31, 2017
Memorial Service, September 23, 2016, 2 - 4 pm, GTU Library

Ave Gratia PlenaMembers of the GTU community are invited to a Memorial Service and Art Exhibit opening that celebrates the life and work of Fr. Michael Morris, OP.

The Memorial begins at 2 pm. The event includes music, speakers, videos, refreshments and viewing of the art exhibit that consists of his writings and some of the objects that he collected over the years for the Santa Fe Institute, of which he was the director.

Fr. Michael (October 19, 1949 - July 15, 2016) was a much loved Dominican priest, professor and writer. He joined the Dominican order in 1972, after earning a BFA from University of Southern California. From there, he received a BA in Philosophy from St. Albert's College,Oakland, in 1974; a MDiv from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, in 1977; MA in Art History, University of California,Berkeley, in 1979; and PhD in Art History from University of California, Berkeley, in 1986.

A professor at DSPT, he is known for his writings on religious art and iconography in Magnificat and other publications; his collection of religious cinema posters; his biography of the film and costume designer and wife of Rudoph Valentino, Natacha Rambova; and his overall ministry.

Here are several links regarding Fr. Michael:

Funding for the memorial and exhibition was provided by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment.


Sylvia Ludins Exhibition
Spring 2016 - September 15, 2016 at the GTU Library

The works of Sylvia Ludins (1909-1965), an artist who last exhibited 70 years ago, are on display in the library of the Graduate Theological Union. The exhibit will run through the end of August 2016.

Sylvia Ludins, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, was an activist and artist in the Thirties and Forties in New York City. Her paintings and watercolors show the political commitment and strong visual impact of the day. Her themes  include the flight of refugees, poverty, and Jewish religious subjects. Upon moving to California, her work turned to landscape as well as abstraction. Her paintings and watercolors were shown at the Brooklyn Public Library, the YWHA, ACA Gallery and the Riverside Museum in New York in the 1940s. Since then, her work has mostly been in storage and has not been exhibited for years. Ludins died in Kentfield in 1956.

For additional information see a short video featuring her nephew, Jon Katz, and a website dedicated to her work.

Nicholas Ukraniac curated the exhibition with assistance from Peter Selz and Justin Cronkite. Funding for the exhibition was provided by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment.

Painting: "Mother and Child," undated



Love, Art and Devotion: Sacred Objects, Sacred Moments and Ars Mystica
December 8, 2015 - February 19, 2016 at the Graduate Theological Union Library.

applied cross of linen is tapestry—woven in green and red wool. The Flora Lamson Hewlett Library presents a new exhibition, Love, Art and Devotion: Sacred Objects, Sacred Moments and Ars Mystica, that runs from December 8, 2015 to February 19, 2016.

The work case exhibition features objects representing many different faiths and cultures. Among the featured objects are two unique pieces of antique Coptic and early Christian textiles that were originally collected by Louis Tiffany (one of the featured pieces shown here), a paper mache Virgin of Guadalupe, masks and bronze objects from the Sacred World Art Collection,  an array of crosses and rare books. This is the first time any of these items have been exhibited in the library.

The walls feature Madhubani paintings, a wonderful folk art tradition used for decoration for social and religious ceremonies. This rural art form was developed by women from Mithila, an area in the state of Bihar, India. 

Please check our website for the hours when we are open to the public as we have shorter hours in January .

In addition, please visit the Ars Mystica exhibition at Blackfriars Gallery, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, which inspired our exhibit.



by Christel Dillbohner and Danae Mattes 

April 30 - Nov. 19, 2015 at the Graduate Theological Union Library.

A reception for the artists was held on April 30th, 6pm-8pm with a special event, "Interval at the Atrium" at 7pm.
Special thanks to the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment for making this exhibition possible.



In Celebration of Tibetan Year 2142: Year of the Wood Sheep
February 26-April 3, 2015 at the Graduate Theological Union Library

An exhibition of Tibetan art and artifacts from the Sacred World Art Collection, the Northern California Tibetan Community, and the Graduate Theological Union Special Collections. The exhibition also includes a full Tibetan Shrine, unique Tibetan objects, and Thankas on loan from Jamyang Lama of the Tibetan Culture House.  Several activities are scheduled to coincide with the exhibition:

  • Thursday, February 26 at 3 pm,Venerable Thepo Rinpoche, the 8th Thepo Tulku, will give a short talk on the exhibit.  The talk will be followed by Tibetan New Year Auspicious music by well-known Tibetan Music Master Mr. Tsering Dorjee Bawa at 3:30 pm in Henry Mayo Newhall Plaza in front of the library.
  • Wednesday, March 11 at 7 pm, Thepo Tulku will talk on “Life as Sacred Text: The Life and Times of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk” at the annual Sacred Text Lecture in the GTU Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley. A reception at 6:30 pm precedes the lecture.

Celebration of the Tibetan New Year, Losar, which follows a lunar calendar, begins on February 19. In the Tibetan calendar, an element (this year, wood) is combined with an animal (this year, sheep), resulting in 2142, Year of the Wood Sheep.

View Flyer



Formless Form, the Art of Sho, recent works by Ronald Y. Nakasone
October 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015

The Graduate Theological Union Library invites you to Formless Form, the Art of Sho, an exhibit of recent works by Ronald Y. Nakasone. Sho (as it is referred to in Japan; Ch shu) or calligraphy, is the simple exercise of writing kanji (Ch hanzi ) and phonetic script to communicate thoughts, feelings, and information. Its origins can be traced to pictographs inscribed on bone, turtle shells, and other surfaces that expressed yearnings for good harvest, aspirations for health and safe passage through life; many of the inscriptions asked for prognostications for war. 


2 October 2014, 6 pm - 7:30 pm, opening reception

5 November 2014, 6 pm - 7:30 pm with Nufa Gukuru – My Spirit Dances, Majikina Honryu



Imaging Religion
October 1, 2012 – January 31, 2013

The Graduate Theological Union Library invites you to an exhibition of visual and textual expressions that characterize religious beliefs. Titled Imaging Religion: An Exhibition in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Graduate Theological Union, the exhibition runs from October 1, 2012 through January 31, 2013.

Included in the display are Orthodox icons; Catholic paintings, prints, and vestments; Protestant prints; Islamic and Buddhist calligraphy; Jewish scrolls; and printed material, statues and objects from these and other traditions.

Of special note are works by contemporary artists Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiang, Ron Nakasone, He Qi, Alfonso Castillo, Corita Kent, Angelica Vasquez Cruz, and Virginia and Louis Naranjo.

To officially open the exhibit, a blessing and celebration of the library’s collection will take place on Monday, October 8 from noon  to 1:30 pm at 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, California. GTU Dean Arthur Holder will be the master of ceremonies. Participants include representatives from the member schools, centers, and affiliates.



orae Beatae Mariae Virginis (Book of Hours), fragment, uterine vellum,  French 1440-1460

Yisrael K. Feldsott: Earthen Spirit
June 28 - September 21, 2012

An exhibit of works by Yisrael K. Feldsott, Earthen Spirit, will be on display in the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library from June 28 to September 21. From his studio in Bolinas, Feldsott creates works that represent his deep journey into spiritual life and healing. The opening reception followed by a conversation between the artist and art historian Peter Selz will take place on Thursday, June 28, from 5 to 6:30 pm in the library.

The exhibition is made possible by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment Fund.

For additional information about the artist, please visit his website and the Paul Mahder Gallery.

For more information about this exhibit, contact Caryl Woulfe at 510/649-2541.



“Dark Water River Guides,” 2011, mixed media on board, 7 x 6 ft.

Art For Change
March 15 - June 15, 2012

Tilt, Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Art For Change is on display at the Graduate Theological Union Library from March 15 to June 15, 2012.

The exhibition features prints, paintings, posters and mixed media created to inspire or promote social, political and economic change. Selections from the social justice collections of the GTU Archives are shown together with works by select artists over the past 50 years. Artists include Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Shephard Fairey, Matt Gonzalez, Joel Isaacson, Richard Kamler, Corita Kent, Earl Newman, Rigo, Lizabeth Eva Rossof, Favianna Rodriguez and others.

Painting: Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Liberty #5 (Tilt) 1992, photo silkscreen and acrylic on canvas, 42 x 48 inches

An opening reception and lecture with Matt Gonzalez took place on March 15. Gonzalez, a San Francisco politician, attorney, activist and artist, remarked:

I like the title for the show, this idea of Art For Change, I like very much. It is not art about change. It's not just here's some art that depicts a struggle. These are works of art primarily about trying to push a particular idea. And clearly they are, if you are with the movement, they inspire you. They work as a memory device, to remind you of what it is you are fighting for. They idealize what it is that you are working for. They make things larger than life. On the other hand, in many ways you can imagine that the same art can do other things, the historical document being the propaganda from the other side.

And of course the educational component, I mean somebody that isn't tuned into your cause sees a poster, sees an aesthetic object, worthy of contemplation,  worthy of stopping and looking at, and just wondering what is that about,  that looks interesting, we all do it in our lives.  And maybe it would cause, just like that rabbit stick caused me to want to look it up and try to figure  out what is this about, a similar thing happens in the mind when someone is trying to interact with their surroundings under their every day walks.

Curated by Nicholas Ukrainiec, the exhibit is  made possible by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment Fund.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours. For more information call 510-649-2500 or visit



Connie Goldman:  Silence, Stasis and Flux
September 1, 2011 - January 15, 2012

Connie Goldman Painting

Goldman's art is informed by her reductive aesthetic and her interest in the common thread of architecture, music, science, sculpture and painting. She writes, "I see each piece as being analogous to the rhythmic and contradictory forces of stasis and flux that propel my world toward both constancy and change."

Nicholas Ukrainiec,  the curator,  observes, "In this age of information overwhelm and hyper-communication, her deep, quiet and patient work is a refreshing and thought provoking still-point."

A reception with the artist is scheduled for Sunday, September 25, at the library, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.

The exhibition  is made possible by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment Fund.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours. For more information call 510-649-2500 or visit



Imaginarium:  Drawings by Bernard Maybeck, February 24 - June 6

Maybeck drawings


The work of Bernard Maybeck, one of the most respected and creative Bay Area architects, is on display in the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library from February 24 to June 6. The exhibit features original drawings that Maybeck created for his colleague Julia Morgan’s Western Hills cemetery project. Though never built, the drawings stand as a monument to Maybeck’s imagination and artistry. The works from the private collection of Foster Goldstrom, as well as documents, photographs, and books from the GTU archives and other Bay Area collections, will be exhibited to honor the unique contribution of this visionary architect.

The exhibit formally opens at 6:00pm, February 24, 2011, in the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library with a lecture by Daniella Thompson of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA), followed by a reception in the Dinner Board Room.

The exhibition and lecture is made possible by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment Fund.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours. For more information call 510-649-2500 or visit



Robert McAfee Brown: Glimpses of What Life is Meant to Be

Brown ExhibitRobert McAfee Brown: Glimpses of What Life is Meant to Be will be on display in the library from October 1, 2010 to January 15, 2011.

Robert McAfee Brown,  was a Christian theologian, ethicist, teacher, author, preacher, and advocate for peace and justice in social, economic, and gender issues. He taught theology and religious studies at Macalister College (St. Paul),  Union Theological Seminary (NY), Stanford University, and  Pacific School of Religion (PSR).

He emerged in the early sixties as one of  America's foremost theologians while also becoming an influential activist for peace and social justice.

The exhibition includes a selection of photographs, articles, talks, books and memorabilia that document the many contributions that he made to national and international dialogue and social engagement. To further illustrate the times,  the exhibit includes posters, bumper stickers, newspapers, and handouts from other collections. These include Albert G. Cohen Campus Ministry, Social Justice and Environment Collection; Daniel O'Hanlon's Vatican II Collection; and the Sanctuary Oral History Project Records.

For additional information on Brown, see the finding aid.  In addition to the in-library exhibit, visit the online exhibit that features additional  images, articles, talks and audio files.

The exhibit, along with the reception and talks on October 6,  are sponsored by the GTU Library and the American Theological Library Association in celebration of Theological Libraries Month and Archives Month.



Al Pounder's Umbria: The Pulse of Place


Al Pounders: Umbria, The Pulse of Place is on display in the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library from March 17 through Summer 2010.

The artist is professor emeritus of Purdue University, and has been a working artist for over 50 years. Since 1986, he and his wife Loren Olson, also an artist, have spent their summers at their home in Umbria.  During this time, Pounders has focused on the Italian landscape as his primary "motif for metaphor" in his painting. 

Nicholas Ukrainiec, the curator, writes, "In these works, a window is opened to our mind and senses that enables us see and smell and feel the vibrant sensations of Umbria, but even more so, in these paintings we catch a glimpse into the inner world of an artist, his vision and his painstaking artistic labors, and they reward our attention. Here, life, and place and art merge to create this beautiful, bold, and emotive exhibition."

A lecture by Al Pounders and  an opening reception in the library is scheduled from 6:00 to 7:30 pm on Thursday, March 18, 2010. 

The exhibition and lecture is made possible by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment Fund.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours. For more information call 510-649-2500 or visit



Crucifixion Meditations: Drawings by John Steczynski and Aileen Callahan
March 3 - May 31

Two artists from Boston College are exhibiting their different interpretations of the crucifixion in the display cases at the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library,  March 3 through May 31, 2010.

John Steczynski,  who received a BA in Studio Art at  Notre Dame and an MFA from Yale, has exhibited religious drawings across the United States over the past 50 years. The particular focus of these prints is to evoke emotions based on different images of the crucifixion.

Aileen Callahan's drawings are more abstract representations of elements of the crucifixion.  These prints  also work as visual prayers.  Callahan received a MA as  Spellman Scholar from  Graduate School for the Arts, Florence, Italy-Dominican University, and a MFA from Boston University.



Book Art: Ido Agassi and Even Hoshen Press of Ra’anana, Israel
December 7 - February 28

In Everyone There Are Four Sons -  2
  Ido Agassi designed the casing for this special edition of Nilly Digan's volume of poetry, In Everyone There Are Four Sons. Separated with a metal cutout by David Gerstein, one side holds a Hebrew edition, the other, an English one.


Ido Agassi and Even Hoshen Press of Ra’anana, Israel, are exhibiting their handcrafted fine art books in the display cases at the GTU Library December 7, 2009 through February 28, 2010. 

Ido Agassi is a master bookbinder,  printer, and publisher who, in an age of mass production, has returned bookmaking to a genuine craft and fine art form.  His handcrafted, limited, and numbered editions transform classic and Hebrew literature into works of art. 

From their letterpress and intaglio publishing house in Ra’anana,  Ido and his father Uzi Agassi craft their art books,  which have been purchased by  libraries, museums, galleries, and private collectors throughout the world. Hoshen Press is named after the twelve precious stones of Aaron’s breastplate –brother of Moses-- as described in the Book of Exodus.

The exhibit is curated by Barbara Mortkowitz.

For more information, and to see other works that are on display here, go to the Ido Agassi’s website and the Even Hoshen Publishers and Private Press site.


THE C.A.R.E. COLLECTION [Center for the Arts, Religion and Education]

October 22, 2009 through February 5, 2010

Gerard Valcin, Vodun A La Bourgeois, 1970,
oil on masonite, 35 x 24 inches
Head of Christ, unknown date and origin,
sculpted wood, 4 x 6 inches


A selection of works owned by C.A.R.E. (The Center for the Arts, Religion and Education) is on display through February 5.

To open the exhibit, the Dillenberger Lecture took place on October 22 in the GTU Dinner Board Room. Terrence E. Dempsey spoke on "The Image of the Wounded Body of Christ and the Modern Social Conscience." He is the May O'Rourke Jay Professor of Art History and Relgion and Director of the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA), Saint Louis University.

The exhibition is made possible by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment Fund.

Free and open to the public during library hours.



Eva Bovenzi: Messenger

Eva Bovenzi lives and works in San Francisco and Colorado. She first exhibited in 1981. Her work is routinely exhibited in museums and galleries.

From DeWitt Cheng's review of the exhibit in San Francisco Art Magazine, May 2007:

"Yet these rich, lyrical works, for all their elegance, aim at something more difficult; they aim, I believe, in effecting a kind of psychic or emotional healing in viewers, realigning them with the world of nature (so unfashionable lately in the world of art theory); they aspire to transcendent metaphor and even spiritual elevation.


From Peter Selz, Messenger Exhibit Catalog:

"In 1992, traveling in northern Italy, Eva Bovenzi was engrossed by the abundance of sunflowers growing in the large fields along the roads. She became aware that each individual flower with its cyclopean head appeared not only as an emblem of the sun, but that inside the halo was a huge black center, 'a heart of darkness.' In a statement for the catalogue Elusive Nature for the Cuenca Biennial of Painting in 1996 she wrote that her paintings of sunflowers "allow me to deal more directly with the themes around which my work has always circled: the dualities of matter and spirit, and time and transcendence."

"This, in effect, is a fine description of the Messenger series which she produced in 2006. There the impact of the Italian trip is even more apparent. She was deeply affected by trecento and quattrocento painting by Giotto, Simone Martini, Fra Angelico and Piero della Francesca, the experience of which left an indelible mark on her work as it developed to its present phase. Unlike many artists who, at this time, do work which is disconnected from tradition, Bovenzi has been able to create authentic painting precisely because she is aware of her patrimony (if this word is permissible for an artist who has been active in the feminist movement since the 1970s). She also speaks with admiration of 20th century artists such as Max Beckmann, Marsden Hartley, Giorgio Morandi, Philip Guston, Alice Neel and Eva Hesse. Hesse's dangling expandable hangings, fragile in structure, abstract and allusive at the same time, find an echo in Bovenzi's paintings, although they share no similarity in appearance."

For the rest of this essay and for additional information go to the Eva Borvenzi website.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours at the Graduate Theological Union library from March 19-June 15, 2009. This exhibition is made possible by the Jane Dillenberger Fine Arts Endowment Fund.