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The Art of Direction

Have you ever come up out of a subway station in an unfamiliar neighborhood and been confused? Help, it appears, is on the way. Fordham visual arts students are taking part in the Compass Decal Design Exploration sponsored by the New York City Department of Transportation.

The competition is soliciting design proposals for orientation elements to point pedestrians toward their destinations as they exit from below-grade subway stations or descend to the street from above-ground platforms at 16 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The proposals will include a full-scale mock up; a site plan illustrating the proposed location; visual documentation (drawings, renderings, photographs or footage of proposal located at site); and research, including a description of site and community and copies of any surveys or interviews.

Between six and 10 students from the “Graphic Design II” class will have their proposals ready this month, said Abby Goldstein, associate professor and head of the design concentration at Fordham. The project began in Goldstein’s “Graphic Design III” and Colin Cathcart’s “Design and the City” classes last fall. There will be an exhibition of the proposals, and they will be judged by some of the most prestigious designers in New York, according to Goldstein.

Fordham is the model for the project, Goldstein says, and is one of the few universities invited to participate. Later this month, the top proposals will be reviewed, and winners selected, by officials from the Business Improvement Districts in which the 16 subway stations are located. The temporary compasses are scheduled to be installed next spring.

New Research Illuminates Byzantine Artistic Heritage

A prominent scholar of medieval art spoke at Fordham on Oct. 17 about new research that is shedding light on the full artistic splendor of the Byzantine Empire.

Hundreds of relic containers all over France can give a more complete view of the Byzantine artistic heritage if they are systematically inventoried, said Jannic Durand, curator of objets d’art at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

He spoke of various relic containers, or reliquaries, that held the body parts of saints or objects associated with saints. Some of the reliquaries are missing, and must be reconstructed through drawings or descriptions hidden in obscure archives. Some are likely waiting to be discovered or identified, he said.

Sometimes, relics or reliquaries that were destroyed long ago can be re-envisioned through engravings, inventories, images and scholarly writings, he added.

In this way, “we can sometimes arrive at a relatively clear vision of the objects which made their way to France” at various times—in the immediate aftermath of the Crusades, but also in the centuries that followed, he said.

It was during the Crusades and shortly after the fall of Constantinople in 1204 that large numbers of Byzantine relics and reliquaries appeared in the West, particularly in France, he said. After the empire had been pillaged, its relics and reliquaries continued to trickle into the West without ever entirely stopping, he said.

Some are entirely preserved, such as the True Cross of Anjou, housed in Baugé, Maine-et-Loire, whose pearls and precious stones indicate its Byzantine origin, he said.

Others can be seen only in photographs, such as the skull of St. Akindynos, which had been stamped with a gilded silver medallion depicting his bust-length portrait. It was stolen from a church in Arbois, France in 1991.

More than 150 people attended the lecture, “Recovering a Part of Byzantine Heritage: The Afterlife of Byzantine Relics and Reliquaries in France,” held in the 12th Floor Lounge of the Lowenstein Building at the Lincoln Center campus.

The lecture drew art historians, medievalists from around the New York area and Byzantine scholars who were in the area for the Byzantine Studies Conference held that weekend at Rutgers University.

Durand visited Fordham through the Forsyth Lectureship, set up by the International Center of Medieval Art to support lectures by a distinguished scholar of medieval art at multiple venues.

—Chris Gosier

Archbishop Hughes Society Dinner
Celebrates University Benefactors

Susan Conley Salice, FCRH ’82, and Thomas Salice, CBA ’82, with John Tognino, FCLS ’75, (left) and Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham
Photo by Chris Taggart

Thomas P. Salice, CBA ’82, and Susan Conley Salice, FCRH ’82, who recently gave $7 million to build new residence halls on the Rose Hill campus, were inducted on Oct. 20 into the Archbishop Hughes Society along with 23 other members.

The new initiates were honored at the second annual Archbishop Hughes Society dinner, which celebrates Fordham’s most generous benefactors. Salice and Conley Salice received a crystal Steuben ram from Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, as a token of appreciation from the University.

“To see Tom and Sue and their families up here is to see Fordham history before our eyes,” Father McShane said, as the couple posed for pictures with their parents. “Fordham University has always been about making dreams come true, about young men and women who come to Fordham with the dream of making a better life for themselves. We are able to look at that dream come true for these two families.”

More than 80 guests attended the event, including various benefactors who were inducted into the society at last year’s dinner. John Tognino, FCLS ’75, chairman of the Fordham Board of Trustees, told the society members and their guests that they are appreciated and celebrated for playing a major part in Fordham’s history.

“This dinner, this celebration, embodies the spirit of our beloved University,” Tognino said. “Never before has the University held such promise—a promise inspired by its timeless values, its place at the crossroads of the world and a restless intent to realize its destiny.”

Salice and Conley Salice met on the A train as Fordham undergraduates, while chaperoning a group of Bronx schoolchildren to a baseball game. Since then, they have continued down the track of service to others.

Father McShane said that the couple wanted to name the dormitories—Salice and Conley Halls—after their parents, since it was their parents who taught them every important lesson in life.

“Their parents made it possible for them to go to Fordham, and this way they can make sure their parents are always remembered at Fordham,” Father McShane said.

— Gina Vergel

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