Johns Hopkins Magazine -- November 1998
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The Art of Devotion

From the Collection of
Barbe Awalt (MA '76) and Paul Rhetts

In the first centuries after the Spanish settled the Southwest and introduced Catholicism 400 years ago, most people dwelt in villages miles from a church. They worshiped instead at home altars and in village chapels, where artwork depicting saints and holy scenes (santos) became a focus for personal devotion. Santos took several forms, including hide paintings, three-dimensional carvings (bultos), and paintings on prepared board (retablos). "The art is very simple. It speaks to people," says Barbe Awalt (MA '76), who together with her husband, Paul Rhetts, has accumulated one of the largest collections of santos in the country (see Contributors section). The pieces featured here are part of their traveling exhibit, "Our Saints Among Us: 400 Years of New Mexican Devotional Art."

Cristo by Charlie Carrillo
Nuestra Señora de la Paz by Krissa Marie Lopez
Blue Cristo by Charlie Carrillo
Nacimiento by Charlie Carrillo
The Final Judgment by Charlie Carrillo
Sacred Heart Box by Charlie Carrillo
Muerte by Charlie Carrillo
Nuestra Señora del Pueblito de Querétero by Charle Carrillo
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe by the Santo Niño Santero
Nuestro Señora by Jacobo de la Serna
San Juan de Capistrano by Jacobo de la Serna