Gilded Art

The University of Dayton's Marian Library will feature an exhibit that uses precious 22-karat gold leaf for art featuring Mary, the mother of Jesus.

"Past into Present: Gilded Treasures," will be on display Feb. 9 to April 24 in the Marian Library Gallery, Roesch Library. The exhibit is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday by appointment by calling 937-229-4214. It's free and open to the public.

Twenty-nine pieces by Christian artist Sandra Bowden are featured in the exhibit. Using 22-karat gold leaf, Bowden interprets historical, religious works as delicate line drawings, illuminated by gilding. 

Bowden's gilded drawings celebrate the life of Mary, interpreting artwork ranging from Michelangelo's "Pieta" to Fra Angelico's "Annunciation" along with a number of crosses.

"Her collection reflects an interpretation of Renaissance art, helping one to appreciate the past by bringing it to the future," said Rev. Johann Roten, S.M., director of research and special projects at the Marian Library. "The genetic code of each art piece resurrects it to the present, hence the title, 'Past into Present: Gilded Treasures'"

A painter and printmaker, Bowden has exhibited her work in more than 100 one-person shows. Her art is in many collections including the Vatican Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, the Museum of Biblical Art and the Haifa Museum. For more on her, visit

The University of Dayton's Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute is a globally recognized center for the study of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and holds the world's largest collection of printed materials and artifacts devoted to her. The collection includes more than 100,000 books and pamphlets in more than 50 languages, and a vast collection of more than 3,000 Nativity sets and Marian art from around the world. Visit the library at


News and Communications Staff