“͞Searching for Jehanne: The Joan of Arc Project” by Susan Aurinko

Now through September 2018 in Mundelein Hall

We invite you to visit campus and view the latest art exhibit on display in Mundelein Hall, part of the Welcome Center on campus, open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily.

In 1412, Jeanne d’Arc, or Joan of Arc as she is known in the English-speaking world, was born. Just nineteen years later, after leading an army and freeing France from the English, Jeanne was burned at the stake in May of 1431, as she was accused of heresy for wearing men’s clothing. Had she been allowed to live, the hypocrisy rampant in both church and state would have likely been exposed. Based on the transcripts of her trial, Jeanne had a powerful following which naturally made her an enemy of the Church. After twenty-five years of effort by Jeanne’s mother and followers, the French government exonerated her of the crime of heresy in 1456. Nearly 500 years later, in 1920, Pope Benedict the XV declared Jeanne a saint. More than 30,000 people, including 140 of Jeanne’s descendants, were in attendance.

The story of Jeanne d’Arc’s courage and determination is both legendary and derived from the 367 pages of her trial’s transcripts. However, no image of her from the period remains. And yet, thousands of visual represen-tations of Jeanne have been created since her execution. Each artist portrays Jeanne as he or she imagines her to have looked.


Susan Aurinko, a photographer and curator, collaged and layered these photographs, placing images of Jeanne in real-life settings that were important in her story. The pieces, framed in heavy gold—similar to portraits that might have been presented in the church at the time—are meant to have the quality of a venerated object, giving a face to the heroine.

As a whole, the series attempts to form a concept of the physical truth of Jeanne d’Arc and to trace key events from her life. Searching for Jehanne gives substance to the legendary figure by showing the many faces created by artists over time and illustrates her journey in a visual, inspired, and reverent context.


Please visit our bookstore for:

  • a viewer’s guide that provides the titles and descriptions of each piece,
  • the artist’s book, “Searching for Jehanne – The Joan of Arc Project”, available for $60, or
  • for information on purchasing one of the artist’s works.