Faith and Form: Fine Art and Decorative Art from Acadiana’s Catholics
Faith and Form surveys some of the remarkable fine art and decorative art from area churches, cathedrals and private collections. The exhibition has been in development for over two years and is a partnership between the Hilliard Museum and the UL Lafayette Public History program. Faith and Form is part of Louisiana's Bicentennial Celebration. This exhibition consists of religious artifacts from a variety of Catholic churches in Acadiana as well as a few artworks from the Museum's permanent collection.
In Faith and Form, visitors will have the opportunity to consider objects used in Catholic rituals; the shapes, the iconography, the symbolism, and the functions which signify Catholic faith.
Catholicism has a long presence in the State of Louisiana beginning with its history as French and Spanish territories. Catholic practices of these European nations persisted as the state grew in population during the 18th century. By the early 19th century immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Germany furthered proliferation of Catholicism as they settled in the Southern part of the State. Until the American purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803, everyone in the Lafayette area was legally required to be Catholic. As Anglo Americans moved in to region Protestantism grew and by the end of World War II the northern part of the state was predominately Protestant. In Acadiana, Catholicism remains the primary denomination mirroring that of the nation as a whole. Catholics make up about 22% of the population or 77.7 million as the largest religious denomination in the United States.
This exhibition consists of religious artifacts from a variety of Catholic churches in Acadiana as well as a few artworks from the Museum’s permanent collection.
The exhibition has been in development for over two years and is a partnership between the Hilliard Museum and the UL Lafayette Public History program. Initial research for this exhibition was performed by the following graduate students in public History taught by Dr. john troutman: Lauren Albarado, Alaina Comeaux, Meagan Dossmann, Jennifer Hopkins, Leigh Rutherford, Lauren Talley, and Simon Wooster. The exhibition would not have been possible without the endorsement of the Most Reverend Michael Jarrell, Bishop of Lafayette.