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Pop Art Nun’s Historic Work is Unveiled in Cleveland

Monday, June 23, 2014 at 3:00 AM

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Sr. Corita Kent (Corita Art Center)

A pop art treasure, long thought to be lost, has shown up in Cleveland. Sister Corita Kent, who was an influential 1960s artist, had a national reputation for creating anti-war and civil rights banners. ideastream's David C. Barnett reports that one of her largest works was found stored in a local church archive.

Unfurling Sr Corita from David C Barnett on Vimeo.

The United Church of Christ had its start in New York City, but relocated to Cleveland in 1989.  During preparations for the move, Rev. Robert Noble noticed a strange box on a high shelf.

ROBERT NOBLE: So, I climbed up onto the shelf, brought the box down, opened it up, and there it was --- I knew exactly what it was as soon as I saw it.

He had discovered a peace banner created by the noted artist and Catholic nun Sr. Corita Kent for a special exhibit at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.  This colorful artwork was acquired by the UCC after the Fair closed and it was put in storage.

ROBERT NOBLE: It’s forty-feet-long, three-feet-high.  So, when it came out of that space, it was always a problem of where were you going to find that much room again.

A huge gallery wall has been created at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art to display the 50-year-old banner as part of a special exhibit of the late-Corita Kent’s work.  Heather Galloway of the Cleveland-based Intermuseum Conservation Association has been retained to repair the minor wear and flaking paint that comes from being rolled-up for the better part of a half century.

HEATHER GALLOWAY: We’re trying to stabilize it, make it safe, and get it up on the wall where it belongs.

The public will get its first look at Corita Kent’s cleaned-up canvas, this Friday, at MOCA-Cleveland. 

Additional Information

CLICK HERE for more on the Corita Kent Exhibit at MOCA Cleveland

CLICK HERE for info on the Corita Art Center

Tags

Arts and Culture, History, Painting, Education, Government/Politics, Ethics/Religion, Women's Issues, Race

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