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Arts and Entertainment

Sr. Corita Kent's work goes from a forgotten shelf to an entire wall
Lost work turns up at the UCC

Sister Corita Kent, who's work captured the nonviolence era of the 1960s.
Courtesy of California-based Corita Art Center
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In The Region:

A piece of pop art history, long thought to be lost, has shown up in Ohio. Sister Corita Kent who was an influential 1960s artist had a national reputation for creating anti-war and civil rights banners. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s David C. Barnett reports that one of her largest works was found stored in a Cleveland church archive.

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The United Church of Christ had its start in New York City and relocated to Cleveland in 1989.  During preparations for the move, the Rev. Robert Noble noticed a strange box on a high shelf.

“I climbed up onto the shelf, brought the box down, opened it up, and there it was -- I knew exactly what it was as soon as I saw it.

He had discovered a peace banner created by the noted artist and Catholic nun Sr. Corita Kent for a special exhibit at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.  This colorful artwork was acquired by the UCC after the Fair closed, and it was put in storage.

“It’s forty-feet-long, three-feet-high. So, when it came out of that space, it was always a problem of where were you going to find that much room again.

A huge gallery wall has been created at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art to display the 50-year-old banner as part of a special exhibit of the late-Corita Kent’s work.

Heather Galloway of the Cleveland-based Intermuseum Conservation Association has been retained to repair the minor wear and flaking paint that comes from being rolled-up for the better part of a half century.

“We’re trying to stabilize it, make it safe, and get it up on the wall where it belongs.

The public will get its first look at Corita Kent’s cleaned-up canvas, this Friday, at MOCA-Cleveland.

Listener Comments:

I am so glad that Sister Corita's work has been found and restored and is on display. I remember seeing it at the 1964 World's Fair in New York and I remember her work being popular in publications in those years, 50 years ago. Thank you for saving such a significant piece of art.

Posted by: Rev. Merlin Getz (Collegeville, PA) on July 1, 2014 12:07PM
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