About this site:

These exhibits are brought to you by St. Norbert College. The content originates from the Digital Commons @ St. Norbert College.

Questions? Contact us at sarah.titus@snc.edu

About the Ancient Religious Mothers Art Gallery:

To listen to an audio version of this text, please click here (please note that this audio may only play on the Firefox browser)

Welcome to the “Ancient Religious Mothers”Art Gallery Resource!

Learning about world religions is an essential and important part of our education as cultural beings living in a multicultural world and this resource is designed to help everyone on that journey, regardless of how much you may (or may not) already know about the Ancient Mothers.

First and foremost, the goal of this professionally researched and carefully curated digital collection is to portray the Ancient Mothers accurately as pillars of their respective religions and to help dispel racist and sexist myths that surround the Mothers. This means to see them as they were: North African / Southwest Asian women of color whose experiences, actions, and strength helped lay the foundations for the emergence of their respective religions and whose stories continue to fortify those religions.

This collection also serves as a strong counter-narrative to the inaccurate traditional (dominant) narrative that all religious founders were white males. Despite the persistent lingering of this incorrect perspective, we know that all of these Ancient Mothers continue to serve as powerful symbols of their respective religions today and deserve to be represented as such.

As you virtually wander through this resource, notice that each collection includes a brief overview about the Mother it highlights. These overviews provide Gallery visitors with some general background information on the Mother; they are not complete biographies, however. Scholars and historians are still piecing together what scant knowledge exists about many of the Ancient Mothers as patriarchal power structures have diminished much of the religious experiences of women as matriarchs and spiritual beings in their own right. This means that we need to dig deeper, ask tough questions, and have reflective conversations to truly begin to understand who the Ancient Mothers may have been.

Use this Art Gallery resource to help engage in those questions, conversations, and critical thinking skills! Let the Ancient Mothers and beautiful artwork speak to you, show reflections of you, and help you question existing, traditional narratives. Access the “Visitor’s Guide to the Ancient Religious Mothers Art Gallery” for additional information, ideas, tips, and examples of how to successfully navigate through both the Gallery and your own personal reflection journey.

With deep gratitude, we, the creators of The Ancient Religious Mothers Art Gallery, celebrate all national and global participating artists and their courage to bring art into our world. This Art Gallery would not exist without our Artists’ generosity and goodwill and we are humbled and honored to be able to collaborate with each one of them. Thank you, our wonderful Artists!

*NOTE: Visitors, please respect the copyright of each artwork. If interested in a specific artwork, use the artwork’s “Credit Line” hyperlink to contact the Artist (as appropriate). This Art Gallery Resource adheres to the standards and guidelines of the College Art Association regarding Intellectual Property & the Arts and Fair Use for the Visual Arts.

Finally, enjoy this resource and thank you for visiting. If you have any questions, concerns, or wish to serve as a participating artist, please contact Dr. Erica Barnett at erica.barnett@snc.edu.