On display in the Connie A. Eastburn Gallery:

Narrative Expressions

by Herbert Mandel


January 28 – May 10
Gallery Hours:
8:30 am–4:30 pm

Mandel - Annunciation

Mandel - Jonah Disgorged

Mandel - Are You King of the Jews

Herbert Mandel was once told that there is enough content in the Bible for a lifetime of artwork. He took this idea seriously and created a body of work that includes hundreds of paintings and prints. Over the course of his career, Mandel considered several art styles in which to explore and express the content as he engaged with the narrative of the Bible. This show is a retrospective in that it examines the styles Herbert Mandel explored as a tool for narrative expression.  

Mandel was a storyteller. He painted and illustrated in a manner meant to provide a pictorial path to the stories he told—stories that reflected the tenets he leaned on from time to time to explain and illuminate life. Mandel liked to show people and would try to identify with them—giving them personalities and reactions appropriate for the role they played in their unfolding drama. Mandel believed viewers of paintings also want to identify with what they see in an act of their own discovery.

The work of Herbert Mandel spans 70 years until his passing in 2016. It is now stored in his studio in Levittown, PA, under the care of his family.


Raised and artistically educated in Philadelphia, PA, Herbert Mandel (1925–2016) obtained a BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts, a BFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, and an MS in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

He worked as an illustrator for the US Army Signal Corps and as an administrator at the Bucks County Technical School, where he taught commercial art. In the later decades of his life, Mandel dedicated himself to the exploration of Bible verses through his art and the development of a stream of consciousness drawing technique he named “Spiroleander.”  

Over the years he has exhibited work at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Print Center, the Academy of Fine Art, the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Philadelphia Flower Show, and other shows around the tri-state area.

If your church, school, or homeschool group is interested in a tour, please contact Matt Stemler at mstemler@cairn.edu or 215.702.4382.

Cairn University believes that truth, beauty, and goodness find their source in God and that artistic, creative endeavors manifest the divine image in humankind. Because of this, the University Arts Initiative seeks to integrate the creative arts into every student’s experience. In addition to sponsoring an integrated art gallery that exhibits fine art in every major building on campus, the Arts Initiative also hosts visiting artist presentations, supports the Student Visual Arts Society and academic arts courses and programs at Cairn.

Community Art Opportunities & Resources:

Cairn Community Arts AcademyCairn Community Arts Academy

Arts and Cultural Council of Bucks CountyArts & Cultural Council of Bucks County

Philadelphia Museum of ArtPhiladelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Asian Arts InitiativeAsian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Christians in the Visual ArtsChristians in the Visual Arts

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