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Biblical Movie Poster Collection

Vintage posters from the golden age of “Sword and Sandal” cinema

Art, Religion, Cinema, and Culture

Purpose: Aligned with the overall mission of Blackfriars Gallery at DSPT, the purpose of maintaining a collection of first-edition posters related to Biblical movie themes is three-fold: 1) restoration and preservation of these important historical art pieces; 2) education; and 3) fostering conversation and study on the role that art, religion, and cinema play in contemporary culture.

View full collection

See the 2007 interview of Fr. Michael Morris with Jim Kirchherr of “Living St. Louis,” at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art for the exhibition “The Celluloid Bible.”

Background

Over the course of several decades, Fr. Michael Morris, OP (+2016), an art historian who taught at DSPT, cultivated his interest and expertise in the history of cinema. Part of this interest included collecting first edition movie posters and ephemera. The work of restoring and professionally mounting and framing these first-edition pieces proceeded slowly, but was finally completed around 2005, with the inaugural exhibition taking place in Blackfriars Gallery, traveling from there to the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA) in St. Louis, the University of San Francisco (Thacher Gallery), The Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) in Manhattan, and The Jewish Museum in Melbourne Australia.

Present Objectives

The collection includes approximately 90 professionally framed first edition posters, at least 100 unframed posters, along with first edition lobby cards, movie stills, and other ephemera. We are currently in the process of digitizing and cataloging the artwork so that it is more accessible for teaching and research to the GTU community as well as to the general public. Please visit the online art catalog regularly to view the newest additions.