The City Reliquary Museum presents
Like a Virgin: Madonnas and Madonna from the Collection of Kay Turner
On View Dec. 3, 2015 – Feb. 28, 2016
Beginning December 3, The City Reliquary will proudly feature the Community Collections display of images of the Virgin Mary from folklorist, artist, and Williamsburg resident Kay Turner. Turner has a long-term scholarly interest in representations of the Virgin and a consequent personal interest in images of the pop star Madonna. She is an expert in folk Catholic belief and has collected numerous images of the Virgin Mary in forms such as altar statues, planters, medallions, and even emblazoned on pillowcases and socks. Turner’s collection presents a powerful female figure beloved by believers and non-believers alike through the lenses of faith, art, fashion, and kitsch.
Turner will discuss her collection at the opening reception for this Community Collections display on Dec. 8 at 7 PM, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Light refreshments will be served.
Kay Turner served as Folk Arts Director for the Brooklyn Arts Council from 2000 to 2014. Turner initiated numerous field research projects resulting in public programs such as Praise in the Park: Musical Expressions of Faith; Williamsburg Bridge 100th Anniversary Celebration; and Brooklyn Maqam: Arab Music Festival. Turner continues to teach as Adjunct Professor in the Performance Studies Graduate Program at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore and Anthropology from the University of Texas, Austin. Among her publications are Beautiful Necessity: The Art and Meaning of Women’s Altars (Thames and Hudson); I Dream of Madonna: Women’s Dreams of the Goddess of Pop (Harper Collins); and Transgressive Tales: Queering the Grimms (Wayne State University Press). Turner was recently elected President of the American Folklore Society (2016 – 2018). Turner, also a performer and musician, is currently at work on a book and performance project called What a Witch, a rethinking of the fairy tale witch in folklore and popular culture.