Category Archives: Exhibitions

Exhibition: Selected Photographs from St. John’s University Library’s Special Collections

March 21 – May 3, 2017
Public Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 21, 5-7 pm
Please join us at the gallery April 4, from 1:50 – 3:15 pm, when students will share their experiences as curators in bringing this exhibition to fruition.

Dr. M.T. Geoffrey Yeh Gallery, Sun Yat Sen Hall
Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
Third Saturday of each month 11am-4pm

The Dr. M.T. Geoffrey Yeh Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of the first exhibition curated by graduate students in the M.A. Museum Administration Program.

Selected Photographs from St. John’s University Library’s Special Collections, features the work of internationally recognized photographers Manuel Àlvarez Bravo, Elliott Erwitt, Ralph Gibson, and Garry Winogrand.

Six student curators – Laura Brownlie, Kristen Dorata, Michal Erdogan, Justine McEnerney, Suzanne Nelson, and Jonquil Schaller-Harris – each created a mini-monographic exhibition focused on works by a single photographer. The show offers a broad overview of works by major contributors to the history of twentieth century photography, and showcases the graduate students’ unique curatorial visions. The exhibition includes photographs gifted to the university by S.D. Alimonte, (Law ‘68) and by Theodore L. Barba (Law ‘65).

Encompassing examples of documentary photography, street photography, commercial photojournalism and fine art photography, the exhibition emerged from the students’ deep research on their subjects, as well as their studied application of theories and practices of contemporary curating. The group experimented with different display techniques and different approaches to juxtaposing text and image. The exhibition highlights students’ interpretative responses to the photographs’ distinctive visual, affective, and narrative qualities.

“The students’ work reveals an exceptional level of professionalism,” said Dr. Susan Rosenberg, Director of the M.A. Program in Museum Administration, who oversaw the project’s realization as part of her class, “Introduction to Curating.”


Exhibition: Lecture on American Friends of Irish Neutrality

To mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the American Friends of Irish Neutrality, the St. John’s University archives will exhibit some of the records and materials of the World War II era organization at a special academic lecture on Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m. at its Manhattan Campus.
For more information and to RSVP:
American Friends of Irish Neutrality lecture and exhibit

Exhibition: Papal Travels to New York City and Selections from the Halpern Collection

Exhibitions on view in the Main Librarypope letter image
In Celebration of Pope Francis’ Visit to New York
St. Augustine Hall, 3rd Floor Lobby
September 23-September 29, 2015

Selections from the Halpern Collection of Popes and Saints Letters
Six letters from popes, dating from 1572-1854, are featured from this special collection, a gift of Congressman Seymour Halpern. The entire digitized collection can be viewed online here.

Papal Travels to New York City: Items from the University Archives
On view is a book commemorating the Vatican Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair, at which Pope Paul VI made a brief stop to extend his blessing after addressing the UN on October 4, 1965. Also included are articles and editorials from the student newspaper, The Torch, about the visits of previous popes in 1965, 1979, 1995 and 2008.

Exhibition: Book Arts: Student Work Inspired by Special Collections Material – A Second Look

Curated by Claudia Sbrissa and Blythe Roveland-Brenton

April 14, 2015 – May 1, 2015
St. Augustine Hall, Floors 3 & 4

book arts poster 2015Since 2005, Claudia Sbrissa, associate professor in the Department of Art & Design, and Blythe Roveland-Brenton, archivist and special collections librarian, have partnered in an undergraduate project for a Book Arts class. The project, entitled “A Special Collection,” utilizes the library’s Special Collections as a source of inspiration and information. The assignment requires the students to research and figuratively deconstruct a book of their choosing. The end result is the creation of a unique book inspired by the University’s Special Collections.

During library visits, students have the opportunity to view and learn about a wide range of books from Special Collections – from incunabula (books produced during the first fifty years of the invention of printing) to art exhibition catalogs, and from late 19th-century Japanese crepe-paper fairy tales to Barry Moser’s Pennyroyal Caxton Bible published at the end of the 20th century. The books feature novel cover material, multimedia inserts, and a variety of binding styles.

Initially exhibited in the fall of 2012, the present selection includes some new works. The items in this exhibition represent a small sample of the work created by students in the Book Arts class together with material drawn from Special Collections that inspired them.

Exhibition: Chinese Paper Cuttings

Asian Library, Sun Yat Sen Hall
On view through May 12, 2015 (M-Tu 10:00-4:00; Th-F 9:30-2:30)


Chinese paper cutting (Jianzhi 剪纸) is a form of folk art spanning back millennia.  The University Archives & Special Collections Department holds a collection of paper cuttings from the 1960s through the1980s.  The selection on view includes works by prominent artist Deng Gong Yunzhang, known as “Grandma Teng.” For more information: 718-990-1465/

Exhibition: A Decade of Change: St. John’s University in the 1960s

On view December 2-22, 2014
St. Augustine Hall 3rd Floor

1960s logo largeThe University has witnessed enormous change since its humble beginnings on Lewis Avenue in Brooklyn in 1870. One of the most pivotal decades of all was that of the 1960s. The Queens campus expanded tremendously as the University’s Brooklyn presence shrunk, academic programs blossomed, the student body diversified and grew in numbers, the faculty unionized and had greater curricular input, and the administrative structure was altered to include more lay people on its Board and in senior positions. A faculty strike in 1966 marked a time of divisiveness and healing. The 1960s saw the University at the cusp between its first century of existence and the future. Change was in the air.

The curators of the exhibition are the graduate students in the course on Archives and Manuscripts (LIS 249), taught by Dr. Blythe E. Roveland-Brenton. The students are enrolled in the Library & Information Science and Public History master’s programs. Assistance was provided by Alyse Hennig.

Laura Andrews
Brian Awgul
Abigail Banks
Eileen Brennan
Alana Coulum
Valerie Denton
Kanisha Greaves
Lisa Ha
Alma Sakic
Sonali Sugrim
Brandon Williams

Exhibition: The Churches and Chapels of St. John’s University

On View November 25 – December 19, 2014
St. Augustine Hall 4th Floor

stained glass



In honor of the 10th anniversary of St. Thomas More Church on the Queens Campus, this exhibition revisits the many churches and chapels that have been a part of St. John’s. The elaborate stone Church of St. John the Baptist in 1894 on the original Brooklyn campus at Lewis Avenue (and the wood frame church that stood before it), and the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul in 1952 at Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn, were the first two sacred spaces to serve the St. John’s community. The dream of building a freestanding church as illustrated in the original 1955 master plan of the Queens campus evolved from a temporary chapel in St. John Hall, to the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes, and finally in 2004 St. Thomas More Church. Also highlighted are the faculty residence chapel in St. Vincent Hall, and the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul on the Staten Island campus, which was originally part of Notre Dame College of Staten Island.

Exhibition: A Window onto NYC History: The View from St. John’s University’s Archival Collections

Exhibition Dates: October 6-24, 2014
M-Tu 10-4; Th-Fr 9:30-2:30, Wed by appointment
Opening Reception: October 6, 2014
5:30 pm -7:00 pm
Location: Chin Ying Asian Library, Sun Yat-sen Hall, St. John’s University, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, NY 11439


The exhibition highlights more than a dozen collections with connections to the history of New York City. The wide-ranging collections include those that focus on tennis, music and art, science, politics, criminal justice, World War II, the Catholic Church, and Irish-American organizations. The exhibition will be held in the Chin Ying Asian Library, which features carved panels from the Republic of China Pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.

This event is part of New York Archives Week 2014.

For more information, contact us at 718-990-1465 or

Exhibitions: Notable Selections: An Exhibition of Music in the St. John’s University Archives and Special Collections

April 11, 2014 – May 9, 2014
St. Augustine Hall, 3rd Floor

music exhibitThis exhibition showcases the history of music at St. John’s, including a pamphlet (c.1909-1912) that give a description of the music courses offered for adults and children at the time, a Glee Club record album, and pictures from a James Taylor concert in the 80’s. Also included are a variety of items from Special Collections, from historical children’s books with nursery rhymes and songs, to operas and illustrated collections of famous songs and composers. All of these and more music-related books and historical materials are available for research in the St. John’s University Archives and Special Collections.

Exhibition: Sacred Botany: Seed, Leaf, Flower in the Healing Arts

An Exhibition of Botanical Specimens from the Mary Garden at St. John’s
February 13 – March 5, 2014
St. Augustine Hall 4th Floor
St. John’s University

Mary Garden

Hidden within the pages of illuminated manuscripts, books of hours and breviaries, intricately illustrated botanical specimens have formed an integral part of medieval manuscripts and religious iconography and later, the Renaissance aesthetics. They illustrate botanical symbolism and its Christian orientation and enhance the visual beauty of a work on paper.

For Mariology students (THEO 3215) of Prof. Andrea Florendo as cross-curricular Mary Gardeners, they constitute intriguing footnotes to the larger but related subjects of art, botany & theology. Their Academic Service- Learning and participation in Learning Communities events lead in part to artistic documentation and record-keeping of botanical specimens from the Mary Garden at St. John’s habitat, and preserved in a herbarium at St. Albert’s Hall for research purposes. Several works from the Library’s Special Collections showcase images of plants that are used to sustain not only the body, but the mind and spirit as well.