The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery was established in 1983 to present exhibits of art that enhance the cultural, academic and spiritual life of Holy Cross students, faculty and staff. Upon its opening, Rev. John E. Brooks, S.J., president emeritus of Holy Cross, said that “an undergraduate liberal arts college is academically strengthened when its students and staff are exposed to works of art . . . the presence of the gallery on campus affords the entire Holy Cross community an opportunity to experience that artistic beauty which so readily helps us attain the openness and tolerance necessary if we are to understand who we are and how we relate to one another.”
The gallery presents five to six original and loan exhibitions every year, comprised of multi-disciplinary contemporary and historically significant exhibitions. In conjunction with exhibitions, the gallery also serves as a locus for social interaction between students, faculty and community members through receptions, guest lectures, readings and student presentations.
The climate and temperature controlled gallery contains 1,800 square feet of exhibit space, and blends an elegant mixture of 19th-century architectural detail with the clean lines of museum walls, casework and lighting.
Distinguished Holy Cross faculty members often serve as guest curators for exhibitions, while also contributing their expertise through essays, gallery lectures and didactic explanatory materials. Recent faculty-curated projects include: Keris/Cloth: Sacred Metal and Textile Arts of Indonesia (2003) and Gold Cloths of Sumatra: Indonesia's Songkets from Ceremony to Commodity (2007), by Susan Rodgers, department of sociology and anthropology; Envisioning Jacob’s Ladder: Religion, Representation, and Allusion in American Visual Culture, 1750 – 2000 (2004), by David Hummon, department of sociology and anthropology; Catholic Collecting, Catholic Reflection 1538 – 1850 (2006) and Pilgrimage and Faith: Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, (2010) by Virginia Chieffo Raguin, department of visual arts, art history; The Spiritual Landscapes of Adrienne Farb (2006) by Joanna E. Ziegler, department of visual art, art history; and Zoologia Fantastica (2008) by Cristi Rinklin, department of visual art, studio art.
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation was established in 1976 to promote and encourage the recognition and appreciation of excellence in the arts; to enhance cultural life internationally through support of art exhibitions, scholarship, and the endowment of galleries at major museums around the world; and to support biomedical research. Iris and B. Gerald Cantor's dedication to arts patronage is represented in galleries, sculpture gardens, endowed curatorial positions, and scholarship programs at such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Stanford University Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum, New York as well as the gallery at the College of the Holy Cross.
Header images courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society; detail of Edward Ruggles, Map of the World Drawn from the Latest Discoveries and Best Authorities.Pomfret, Conn., 1788; and detail of Chinese Export Famille Rose Punch Bowl, mid-19th century. Porcelain. Bequest of the Estate of Mary Gage Rice, 1978.