January 1 - 31, 2016
The bronze statue of St. Martin de Porres by Thomas McGlynn is just outside of Martin Hall on the side nearest to Phillips Memorial Library. Thomas M. McGlynn was born May 23,1906, the son of Frank McGlynn and Rose O'Beirne. His father was a well-known actor famous for his stage portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. McGlynn received the habit of the Dominican Order September 8, 1925, taking the religious name of Brother Matthew. He was ordained a priest May 20, 1932 at St. Dominic's Church, Washington, DC by Archbishop Michael J. Curley of Baltimore, Maryland.
McGlynn began sculpting at the age of four with his first sculpture. He cultivated his artistic talent until the age of nineteen when he entered Dominican religious life and began his studies for the priesthood. He interspersed these years of study with creative work and later, as a priest, he continued to combine apostolic work with creative endeavors.
Thomas McGlynn was a man of vision. Although his sculptures deal with realistic subject matter, a reading of his 1950 unfinished manuscript on modern art, "Cube and Cross," clearly shows that he understood well the value of the modern art movement. He defended modern artistic experimentation with its emphasis upon form and its de-emphasis of recognizable subject matter. He credited this contemporary movement with restoring primary importance to form in a work of art. But he also held that the advancement of art during this period did not preclude representational subject matter for artistic expression, a pluralism which art critics of the 1980s still recognize as valid.