VIRGINIA GAERTNER BRODERICK is one of the most well-known and influential religious artists of the 20th Century. Her artwork has been featured in various publications, exhibits, auctions, and can be seen in churches across America. Along with her husband Robert, Virginia's contributions to the religious community has been incalculable.
Virginia was born in Milwaukee in 1917. She asked to attend Catholic school, even though her family was not Catholic, and was accepted at Holy Angels Academy.
Her artistic talent became apparent at the age of nine when she took classes at the Layton Art School in Milwaukee. At 16, she converted to Catholicism and graduated magna cum laude from Mundelein College in Chicago in 1939. In 1941, she married Robert Broderick, who was an important Catholic writer and editor. She and Robert were married for 50 years until his death in 1991.
Together, the Brodericks created 14 books, most notably their masterwork, “The Catholic Encyclopedia,” for which Virginia completed 150 illustrations. In 1982, the Brodericks were honored with the highest award the papacy bestows upon the laity when they were both inducted into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher.
Virgina's style is simple. Yet beneath that simplicity lies great depth and technical proficiency. She called her approach to art “Cloisonism,” which contains elements of both Impressionism and Cubism, yet which is uniquely her own. “This is the style I am happiest with. It’s a basic use of the elements of art - line, form, color, and chiaroscuro.”