Date(s) - September 14, 2023
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, University Center for the Arts

Flowers and the Virgin Mary: Cultivating Devotion

A lecture by Joel Bacon, followed by a tour of the CSU Annual Flower Trial Gardens with John Murgel

Robert W. Hoffert Learning Center: Thursday, September 14 at 5 p.m.

Flowers have long been associated with the Virgin Mary. Gardens of roses inspired the rosary, and countless flowers honor Mary by name, such as marigolds, Lady’s slippers, and rosemary. In this lecture in GAMA’s Robert W. Hoffert Learning Center, Professor of Music and Fr. Don Willette Chair of Catholic Studies at CSU Joel Bacon explores the significance of flowers in devotion to Mary, illustrating both medieval legends and current religious practice with examples from the visual arts.

After the lecture, Extension Horticulture and Natural Resources Specialist John Murgel will discuss the practice of planting “Mary gardens,” and offer a tour through the CSU Annual Flower Trial Gardens to find flowers associated with Mary.

Free & open to all!

Register for Flowers and the Virgin Mary: Cultivating Devotion via Eventbrite.


Flowers and the Virgin Mary: Cultivating Devotion
George Perfect Harding, The Virgin and Child with St. Catherine, St. Rosa and Two Angels (after Pietro Perugino), 18th-19th century, watercolor on paper, gift of Larry Hartford and Torleif Tandstad, 2016.1.39


About the lecturer

Joel Bacon is the Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair of Organ and Liturgical Studies and the Fr. Don Willette Chair of Catholic Studies at CSU. As a concert organist, his recent performances have focused on music by W. A. Mozart, Herman Berlinski, and Petr Eben, as well as works for organ and orchestra. His teaching and research centers on topics related to Catholicism and the creative arts, especially Gregorian chant.




About the horticulturist

John Murgel is horticulture faculty for Colorado State University Extension. He worked in public gardens for 10 years before joining Extension in 2020; he is interested in drought-tolerant landscaping and the deep connections that humans make with plants.





Ongoing support for the museum’s exhibitions and programming is generously provided by the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, the FUNd Endowment at CSU, and Colorado Creative Industries. CCI and its activities are made possible through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the arts.

Fort Fund