Creighton Honors Students Spin Fables Into Art

Dec 19, 2017

Creighton University honors students recently finished up a semester focused on Aesop’s Fables by creating content for two exhibits opening in January.

"The Ox and the Frog," from The Fables of Aesop and Others Translated into Human Nature, 1857, designed and drawn on the wood by Charles H. Bennett, engraved by Swain, handcolored by the publisher (Hardbound. London: W. Kent & Co.), Creighton University’s Carlson Fable Collection

Father Greg Carlson, S.J., associate professor of theology and literatures, says the students spent half of last semester learning the genre of fables and the second half researching them for an exhibit opening at the Joslyn Art Museum next month called I See That Fable Differently.

Another exhibition, Thundering Tortoises and Horrified Hares: Aesop in Popular Culture, will be on view at Creighton’s Lied Art Gallery at the same time. 

This exhibit was also organized by the honors students and will feature thousands of items inspired by Aesop’s Fables. 

Carlson says for the Joslyn show, the students’ job was to research the 40 pieces that will be on display.

"And what does it mean that they researched them?  The need to put accurate information on the labels that go up on the walls at the Joslyn, together with something like a 150 word comment on this handling of a particular fable.  And then they have written the docent’s guide, material a docent can work from in talking about any one of those 40 works.”

Carlson says the idea of the Joslyn show is to display different artworks that demonstrate the diversity of how one can understand a single, simple fable and bring it out differently.

Carlson says the Lied Art Gallery show opens January 12th while the Joslyn Art Museum exhibit opens January 27th.  For more information, the website is