Alfred Berkowitz Gallery will showcase colonial period religious paintings and sculptures during 'Saints and Angels' exhibition

January 12, 2010

Above, two pieces of art to be shown during the Alfred Berkowitz Gallery's 'Saints and Angels' exhibition. At left is 'Saint Michael and the Judgment of Souls,' courtesy of Gerry S. Culpepper. At right is 'Saints of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy,' courtesy of John P. Cameron.

DEARBORN / Jan. 12, 2010---The Alfred Berkowitz Gallery at the University of Michigan-Dearborn will present an exhibition of 17th, 18th and 19th century colonial period religious paintings and sculptures from Latin America Jan. 15 through Feb. 12.               

Most of the works were painted by anonymous artists and include images of angels and saints as well as the Holy Family and other Christian subjects. Many of the paintings are very sophisticated, rich in color and decorative in nature; others are rendered in the folk traditions of self-taught Indian artists and are more narrative in nature.    

A number of retablos, devotionals rendered on rectangular panels of tin or wood, and a group of carved figures of saints and Christ also will be showcased in the exhibition.   

The art is on loan from the private collections of UM-Dearborn alumnus Gerry Culpepper of Northville and a colleague of his, John Cameron of Dearborn. Both are former Ford Motor Company employees who were introduced to colonial religious art while on assignment in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Their interest remains strong and each continues to add to his collection, in an effort to learn more of the history of the artworks and to seek opportunities to share the collections and knowledge with the greater community.   

Culpepper is a graduate of the College of Business from the class of 1964. Now retired from Ford, he remains active in campus activities.   

“The years I spent as a student at UM-Dearborn were some of the best of my life,” said Culpepper. “The art that I collected, primarily while working in Brazil, is something I feel proud to share on our campus and hope that these unique pieces of art help make our campus more culturally aware.”     

A special opening night reception is planned for Jan. 15. The Alfred Berkowitz Gallery, which is located on the third floor of the campus’s Mardigian Library, is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is free. Call 313-593-3592 for additional information.


About University of Michigan-Dearborn
The University of Michigan-Dearborn is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the 2009/2010 academic year. Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future.


CONTACT: Jennifer Thelen
PHONE: 313-593-5644
The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn