Scripture as Source: Artists Interpret the Bible

August 17, 2018 – January 27, 2019

Drawing from the Haggerty Museum of Art’s collection, this exhibition of work in a variety of media reveals the Bible as an enduring source of inspiration for artists across time periods, from early European masters to modern and contemporary artists. Using Marc Chagall’s 1958 Bible—a portfolio of 105 hand-colored etchings that illustrate passages from the Old Testament—as a starting point, this installation pairs artistic interpretations of similar Biblical scenes and characters.

As an academic art museum, the Haggerty works with departments across disciplines to integrate its exhibitions and programs into the teaching and learning that happens on campus. This exhibition will serve as an experiential learning opportunity for Honors Foundations in Theology and Foundations in Rhetoric courses at Marquette University.

Students in Honors Foundations in Theology will be reading selections from Genesis and Exodus and visiting the museum. In viewing various artistic interpretations of Biblical scenes, the students will deepen their understanding of the source texts: what did the texts mean in their historical contexts; what did/do they mean to the artists who worked with them; and what do they mean to us, now? Foundations in Rhetoric students will engage in a similar activity to learn and practice skills of rhetorical analysis. Beginning with Biblical passages, students will analyze the visual rhetoric of two distinct artistic interpretations of the same text, and then consider how meaning shifts when multiple texts are in dialogue with one another.