Tomorrow is my mother’s 93rd birthday. The photo above was taken during her college days. A midwestern Irish tomboy who loved sports learned to love art as well while attending college in Baltimore in the 40’s. Three incredible artists and human beings encouraged my mother’s artistic talents many years ago at the College of Notre Dame. Through art, their profound influence shaped mom’s life, and in turn, those of her children and grandchildren. In honor of her birthday, I want to share a little bit about those who helped her on her journey. Happy Birthday Mom!
Sister Mary Noreen Gormley, SSND
Professor of Art
College of Notre Dame of Maryland
My mother loved Sister Noreen dearly. From the stories I’ve heard over the years the feeling was mutual. The good sister believed in my rather eccentric mother, recognized her talent, and did everything in her power to help guide her. Sister Mary Noreen Gormley’s keen planning and understanding of Modernist talent brought in the finest visiting artists, creating a rare climate for budding art students. The College’s Gormley Gallery was named for her.
Father Marie-Alain Couturier, O.P.
Chief Editor, L’Art Sacré
Designer, Stained Glass
Friend and collaborator with Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger and Henri Matisse
Read more about Father Couturier here:
After my mother finished one of her first paintings at Notre Dame, Father Couturier excitedly rushed to tell Sister Noreen, quite delighted, that my mother was a “Modernist”. Seventy years later, that still life hangs in a prominent place in my mother’s bedroom. Brilliant, devoted, and well-connected, Father Couturier provided my mother with a deep understanding and respect for modern and spiritual art.
Mexican Artist and Painter
In the 1940’s, Tamayo resided with his wife Olga in New York, venturing down to Baltimore as an artist in residence. My mother enjoyed his abstract thinking and cultural background.
Read more about Tamayo here: