The Archdiocese of New Orleans and the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, TX have collaborated to present an exhibition at NOMA entitled Portrait of Faith: John Paul II in Life and Art. Marking twenty-five years since Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to New Orleans in 1987, this exhibition celebrates his life through sculpture, photography, and video.

Three American artists whose work illuminates Pope John Paul II’s relationship to art will be highlighted: Gib Singleton (American, b. 1936), Frederick Hart (American, b. 1943), and Fred Villanueva (American, b. 1973). Singleton, a sculptor who lives and works in Santa Fe, NM, is known for designing the crosier favored by Pope John Paul II. A selection of Singleton’s bronzes related to Pope John Paul II will be displayed.

Hart is best known for his Creation Sculptures on the façade of the Washington National Cathedral and The Three Soldiers, a bronze sculpture commemorating the Vietnam War on the National Mall. Hart’s Cross of the Millennium, a sculpture created for and presented to Pope John Paul II in 1997, will be included in the exhibition.

Fred Villanueva paints large canvases and murals that focus on saints, events from the Bible, and theological principles. Villanueva will present an original commissioned piece depicting Pope John Paul II along with Blessed Francis Seelos, Blessed Henriette Delille, the Venerable Sister Cornelia Peacock-Connelly, Saint Frances Cabrini, Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, and Saint Katharine Drexel.

Central to the exhibition will be the Pope’s historic visit to New Orleans. Photographs by Mike Posey and Mitchel Osborne that chronicle the preparation for the visit, as well as various aspects of the visit itself will be on view. Memorabilia including his personal garments, liturgical objects, as well as especially produced china, and other items used by Pope John Paul II will be displayed. A film summarizing John Paul II’s life will be shown in the Stern Auditorium.

Portrait of Faith: John Paul II in Life and Art offers both Catholics and non-Catholics a time to reflect on the faith of this beloved man and the art he inspired. Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans said, “The doors of the exhibition, like the arms of John Paul II, are open to people of all faiths.” Twenty-five years ago, New Orleans was honored to host Pope John Paul II. This spring, New Orleans will proudly host this Portrait of Faith.


Adults: $15
Seniors and Active Military: $13
Children ages 7-17: $6
NOMA Members: Free

Wednesdays are free admission into NOMA only. This does not include admission into Portrait of Faith.

Tour Information: Tour reservations can be made for groups of 10 or more people for this exhibition.

Adults: $13
Students and chaperones on school tours: $5

School Tours:
Wednesdays and Fridays, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Tuesday-Sunday, beginning at 11:15 a.m.

Large Bowed Cross


Gib Singleton

The Cross of the Millennium one-third life-size


Frederick Hart

Pope John Paul II with Saints Venerated in New Orleans


Fred Villanueva

Pope John Paul II