Graces Received


September 16, 2011 – May 25, 2012: Graces Received: Painted and Metal Ex-votos from Italy

Within Catholicism, ex-votos are votive objects presented in thanks for heavenly intercession with a misfortune such as an accident or illness. This book features two types of Italian ex-votos from the collection of Leonard Norman Primiano, dating from 1832 to 1959: metal objects in the shapes of people, afflicted body parts, or hearts, and painted narrative tablets depicting the dramatic moment of crisis for which intercession was requested. Collectively, the three essays address a history of ex-votos and their place within Catholic thought, their creation and use by Italian Americans, and finally, the ex-votos’ social life beyond their original religious context, in particular, as collectibles and inspiration for studio-trained artists.