February 26, 2018 — The Fairfield University Art Museum is presenting a major international
exhibition, “The Holy Name—Art of the GesÃ¹: Bernini and his Age,” which runs from
February 2 through May 19, 2018.
The exhibit focuses on the Church of the GesÃ¹, the principal or mother church of the Society of
Jesus in Rome, and includes artistic treasures from the church never before seen in
Organized to commemorate Fairfield University’s 75th anniversary, the exhibition
features Bernini’s bust of Robert Bellarmine, SJ (the patron saint of Fairfield University); a
painted wood model of the apse by Bernini’s student Giovanni Battista Gaulli; a gilt bronze
altar sculpture by painter, draftsman and sculptor Ciro Ferri; the three-piece jeweled cartegloria
from the altar of St. Ignatius; and the embroidered chasuble of the church’s great benefactor,
Cardinal Alessandro Farnese.
More than 50 paintings, sculptures, rare books, precious objects, drawings, prints and historical
documents have been lent for the exhibition from museums and private collections including the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the
Princeton University Art Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery.
Jesuit Father John O’Malley, professor of theology at Georgetown University in Washington,
D.C., served on the exhibition planning committee and will give the keynote address at a related
international scholarly symposium at Fairfield University on April 5.
Guided tours and private group tours are offered, and an exhibition app with audio tour is
available in the galleries and remotely through the museum website.
Finally, Fairfield University has filmed the “sound and light” spectacle enacted
daily at 5 p.m. in the GesÃ¹: The church’s monumental altarpiece by Andrea Pozzo is lowered to
reveal a colossal silver sculpture of St. Ignatius in Ecstasy designed by Pierre Le Gros,
accompanied by music by 18th-century Jesuit missionary Domenico Zipoli and readings from the Bible
and the writings of St. Ignatius. The film will be screened in the museum throughout the run of