The House That Wimmer Built
The American-Cassinese Congregation
ounded by Archabbot Boniface Wimmer O.S.B., in 1855, the American-Cassinese Congregation is a Catholic association of Benedictine monasteries that consists of 20 independent monasteries with houses or dependencies in 16 of the United States, Puerto Rico, and in six other countries on three continents, with Saint Vincent originating the motherhouse. Blessed Pope Pius IX erected the American-Cassinese congregation under the patronage of the Holy Guardian Angels.
This exhibition will explore the founders, Houses of the American-Cassinese Congregation, and their contributions to the Order in the United States and abroad.
Br. Cosmas Wolf, O.S.B.
Master Sculptor and Draftsman
r. Cosmas Wolf, O.S.B., was a Benedictine lay-brother of Saint Vincent Archabbey active in the mid-19th century. Studying at the Royal Academy of Art in Munich, Br. Cosmas was trained as a master sculptor and designer/draftsman. During this period, monks of Saint Vincent Archabbey operated the Altar Building Stock Company of Covington, Kentucky, which was under the direction of Br. Cosmas Wolf, O.S.B.
The Covington Altar Building Stock Company was a productive institution that fulfilled the needs of Catholic German-Americans for the decoration of their new churches in North America during the second half of the nineteenth century, creating and designing everything from altars and statues, to croziers and sacred vessels. Combined, the artistic initiative of Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., and the dedication of the individual artists and craftsmen of this group were virtually unparalleled in the American arts scene. The Covington-based church decorators were grounded in thetradition of German Gothic art. It served them well, since a Gothic Revival movement dominated architecture and design in the United States beginning in the 1830's and lingering into the 1870's. Just as in Europe a few decades earlier, the American Gothic Revival attempted to recreate the idealized Middle Ages.
This Fall the Saint Vincent Gallery will host an exhibition of sculpture and architectural renderings completed by Br. Cosmas Wolf and his studio. Viewers will experience the artworks in an unique way; sculpture will be juxtaposed with their preliminary pencil sketches and a set of statues will rejoin their mates (for the first time in 55 years), recreating Br. Cosmas Wolf's last artistic creation, the magnificent altarpiece from Saint Vincent's Old Choir Chapel. Of particular note is an early exterior proposal for the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica.
| A catalogue will accompany this exhibition |