If you’ve never seen the pop art of Sister Mary Corita Kent (and if you’ve ever seen Boston’s Rainbow Tank, you have), Jonathan Shaw’s article in Harvard Magazine is worth a read: “Corita Kent: Nun with a Pop Art Habit.”

Sr. Mary Corita moved in some of the same circles as Andy Warhol, but subverted pop images to make provocative Catholic statements. I’ve transcribed  the text embedded in one of her early successes, featured to the left of this paragraph. The poem by her friend Samuel Rubenstein fills in the letters ATO and is based on the Del Monte Foods byline, “the juiciest tomato of all.” Is one misled here to see a Tau cross, flanked by the A[lpha] and O[mega])? Mary always points to Jesus. Peggy Olson, eat your heart out — or better, try a tomato.


About The Author

The Rev. Dr. Michael Cover is associate professor of theology at Marquette University. A graduate of Harvard, Yale, and the University of Notre Dame, he was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Dallas in 2010, and has served in multiple parishes in Indiana and Wisconsin.

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