Albertus Magnus College Honors President Emerita with Portrait
(New Haven, CT)-- The Albertus Magnus College community on November 17, 2016, honored Dr. Julia M. McNamara, president emerita, at the unveiling of her portrait, painted by Connecticut artist Tony Falcone.
The College’s Board of Trustees commissioned the portrait to celebrate McNamara’s 34 years of service as president; she retired June 30. The framed portrait, which is 45 x 39 inches, is on permanent display in the John P. McNamara Reference Room of the Library in Rosary Hall.
“It is fitting that we honor Dr. McNamara with this commissioned portrait for she has honored us all by generously sharing her many talents over these years,” said Jeanne M. Dennison, chair of the Board of Trustees and an alumna of the College.
“This is such an honor, not only to be presenting this portrait, but to be part of the Albertus Magnus family. I’ve always admired Dr. McNamara and thought she was a great community leader and a very special person. As an artist, I wanted to work with her and with Albertus. My wish has come true,” said Falcone.
“I express deep gratitude to our Board of Trustees for making this gift to the College. The process was very much of a learning experience for me. For several months, I had the privilege of seeing the extraordinary care and detail that goes into one of Tony Falcone’s portraits; he views his work as a partnership, a collaboration, with the subject,” said McNamara. “There is a portrait within this portrait, a view of Rosary Hall, which celebrates the spirit, service and community of Albertus.”
The McNamara portrait is the fourth work by Falcone on the Albertus campus. In 1998, through the generosity of the Marie Louise Bianchi ’31 Fund, the College commemorated the life of the great 13th-century Dominican theologian and scholar Saint Thomas Aquinas, a student of Saint Albert the Great. The title of Falcone’s mural “Those Who Hear the Word of God by Truth are Fed” comes from the meditative hymn “Adoro Te,” written by Saint Thomas. The 10 x 16 foot mural is in the College’s De Dominicis Dining Hall.
Two other large murals, both titled “Vintage New Haven: The Green circa 1895,” were originally commissioned by Da Silva Associates in 1983, then generously donated to the College in 2002 by Alvaro Da Silva and his family. Falcone’s interpretations of The Green are on display in the New Haven Room of the College’s Dining Hall and the lobby of the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center.
In 2004 Albertus Magnus College awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Falcone, for having “enlivened public spaces, added color and dimension to massive structures, heightened our awareness of the beauty around us, and masterfully brought to life the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, right here on this campus.”
Albertus Magnus College, founded in 1925 by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, was the first Catholic, liberal arts, residential college for women in New England; it became co-ed in 1985. Today, Albertus, with an enrollment of 1,550 women and men, offers a traditional undergraduate program, accelerated undergraduate programs for adults and 10 master’s programs, including the only Master of Arts in Art Therapy degree in the state of Connecticut. For more information, go to albertus.edu.
Tony Falcone has painted professionally since 1974. After serving as a New Haven firefighter for seven years, he discovered his love of mural-painting and left the Fire Department to establish his studio in a vintage dairy barn in Prospect, Connecticut. It is there, as well as on location throughout the United States, that Falcone creates most of his “imaginistic” murals, canvases and portraits. His works enhance public spaces, corporate settings and private homes. For more information, go to www.falconeartstudio.com.