The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Welcomes Long-term Loan of Medieval Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

EUGENE, Ore. -- (January 10, 2017) – The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus has five objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection of medieval art on a two-year, renewable loan for the purposes of both public enjoyment and teaching. The objects --a reliquary, a censer, a diptych, a statuette, and a limestone sculpture of the Virgin Mary and Jesus--are on view in the museum’s John and Ethel MacKinnon Gallery of European Art.


These rare works reflect the diverse arts of Christian devotion and liturgy in Europe from the 14th through 16th centuries. Pieces like the reliquary offered Christian believers what they saw as a direct visual access to the divine. The copper container would have held a relic, such as a piece of bone, hair, or clothing, from a saint or holy person, which medieval Christians believed contained some of the holy essence of the saint; praying in front of a relic could, therefore, help facilitate one’s prayers. Statues of the Virgin and Child were one of the most popular sculptural forms of the late Middle Ages, and the stone and ivory versions on loan represent two different types of this motif.


“This loan a came from the desire to offer our visitors the opportunity to view items that we do not have in our own collection,” says Senior Curator of Western Art Johanna G. Seasonwein. “Furthermore, this will give students at the university the opportunity to view items in person that are relevant to their studies. Maile Hutterer, assistant professor of the History of Art and Architecture, and I worked closely together on this loan to ensure that items brought to the museum would connect directly with courses taught in a variety of departments and programs, from History to Music to Romance Languages.”


Loans like these take significant time to finalize and come with substantial costs.  In this case, support was generously provided by a JSMA Academic Support Grant, the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, the Office of the Dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, the Oregon Humanities Center, the Medieval Studies Program, the Giustina Professorship of Italian Languages and Literatures, and the Department of Romance Languages.


About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, the Americas, Europe, and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of seven museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,