Religious American Art




This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Religious American Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches, plus information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order








Also from the Web

A Church Record - Photographs from the Tiffany Studios Ecclesiastical Department was an exhibit held July 23, 2010 through January 15, 2012 at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. The museum says: "Tiffany kept a photographic record of completed ecclesiastical commissions. These records - which include photographs of interior schemes, window designs, and such varied objects as memorial stones and baptismal fonts - constitute an important part of the Morse Museum's Tiffany Studios Study Photograph Collection." Article includes a multi-page Exhibition Object Guide (PDF). Accessed August, 2016.

Adrian Kellard: The Learned Art of Compassion, an exhibit held September 24 through December 18, 2011 at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art. MOCRA says: "Despite his artistic training, Kellard remained grounded in his working class upbringing. Working in the stylistic tradition of German Expressionism, Kellard demonstrated expertise with wood carving by creating bold images of Christian subjects in contemporary contexts. Yet he worked with simple pine wood and household latex paint with the screws and hanging hardware fully visible-materials readily available at any local hardware store. He incorporated "high" art with "low" art, combining images quoted from artists such as Giotto and Michelangelo with images from pop culture." Page includes a brochure and podcast. Accessed February, 2016.

American Guild of Jewish Art, based in Alpharetta GA, has as its mission "to promote awareness of fine art and craft objects created "in the Jewish spirit."  It would be the first organization to serve the interests not only of Jewish artists but of Jewish art ­ those who sell and promote it as well as it's creators." Accessed 11/13.

Avoda: Objects of the Spirit: Ceremonial art by Tobi Kahn, September 2 - October 12, 2003 from Museum of Contemporary Religious Art. Accessed 3/14.

"California's Religious Awakening" is a 11/19/00 Los Angeles Times article by Mary Rourke written about an exhibit at LACMA. The article says: "California has a reputation for starting trends, and the state gets special credit for its contributions in religion at one local exhibition. "Made in California: Art, Image and Identity, 1900-2000," at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, traces the uninhibited history of religions, cults and spiritual beliefs that took root here during the past century. Religion is only one of many themes in the show, which focuses on art and culture. But spiritual references offer a lesson in how California artists relate to the sacred." Accessed September, 2016.

Chris Sauter, an exhibit focusing on the relationship betweeen science and religion, held February 8th - May 24th, 2014 at the Old Jail Art Center. Includes artist interview by Patrick Kelly, Curator of Exhibitions. Accessed April, 2015.

"Christian art hidden in America's dusty corners" by Marisa Martin, published 8/8/12 in WND.

Christians in the Visual Arts is an organization based in Wenham, MA that is devoted to religious expression in the visual arts. Accessed 11/13.

Contemporary Santos was a 2015 exhibit at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center / Taylor Museum which says: "Santos, depictions of saints in both two- and three-dimensional forms, make up a significant percentage of Taylor's original gift; the Fine Arts Center has maintained this legacy through the ongoing acquisition of these objects over the decades. This selection represents some of the most recently acquired santos and demonstrates that the art form is very much alive and is both reverential to tradition as well as innovative to appeal to a contemporary audience. Most of these artists are living santeros/santeras (craftspeople of holy images) and are working in New Mexico or Colorado, many of whom are nationally collected and renowned for their award-winning work." Accessed 10/16

Cooper-Hewitt Museum, The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Design, offered freely online as of 2013 over 25 titles highlighting the Museum's collections, published between 1978 and 1987, including Santos from Puerto Rico

"Early American Religious Art" by Tasha Brandstatter, Demand Media, from Accessed 11/29/13.

"Easton Bible Artist" is a May 14, 2011 article by Karen Samuels, accessed on February 9, 2013 from the website of The Express-Times of Easton, PA. The article is devoted to Johannes Ernst Spangenberg (1755-1814), a Fraktur artist known as the "Easton Bible Artist." He is also referenced in Resource Library. See Pennsylvania Fraktur; essay by R. David Brocklebank and Barbara L. Jones (6/28/07)

Episcopal Church and Visual Arts has as its mission to "...encourage artists and organizations to engage the visual arts in the spiritual life of the church. ECVA values the significance of visual imagery in spiritual formation and the development of faith, and encourages those who are engaged in using the visual arts in spiritual life." ECVA holds curated exhibitions and maintains an online resource center. Accessed 12/9/13.

Expressions of Faith Art Show, featuring 75 pieces from 51 artists, was held March 1, through November 24, 2013 at the Cardinal Keeler Center of the Diocese of Harrisburg in Harrisburg, PA. Accessed 4/14.

Faith Artists, in Garland, TX, says that its mission is "To create visual art that glorifies GOD; To share truth in fresh ways; To promote visual arts with the body of Christ; To mainstream biblically inspired art for the ages in the world." Accessed 11/29/13.

Festival of Religious Art: Religious Art by Artists of Chicago and Environs is a 1931 exhibit from the Renaissance Society Accessed 1/19

Fine Arts Council of the Catholic Diocese of Austin, in Austin, TX, says "The mission of the Religious Fine Arts Council is to act as a catalyst and lead a renaissance in visual religious fine art with a focus on the Judeo-Christian faith." Accessed 11/29/13.

Four Saints in Three Acts is a 2017 exhibit at the DePaul Art Museum which says: "Art and the representation of saints have been intertwined for centuries. An upcoming winter exhibition at the DePaul Art Museum, "Four Saints in Three Acts," will feature works by contemporary artists who use religious imagery to consider their own relationship to religion, belief and faith." Accessed 2/17

Fragments of a Crucifixion is a 2019 exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago which says: "Rather than depict the image of the crucifixion itself, artworks in this exhibition offer only fragments-incomplete images and narratives. These works invoke agony and ecstasy through bodily traces and scenes of absence and loss." Includes website for exhibit.  Accessed 12/19

Gib Singleton: Religious Works, an exhibit held July 10 - Nov. 14, 2010 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Also see "Cowboy Michelangelo visits the Vatican - Exclusive: Marisa Martin spotlights artistic genius of Gib Singleton" published 12/26/12 in WND. Accessed 8/14.

The Grove Center for the Arts & Media, in San Clemente, CA, "...cultivates the spiritual life and creative work of artists." Accessed 11/29/13.

Go Tell It On The Mountain, an exhibit held October 4, 2012 to June 30, 2013 at the California African American Museum. Accessed May, 2014

Grünewald Guild in Leavenworth, WA, offers art classes and workshops. Accessed 11/29/13.

"The Hand And the Spirit: Religious Art in America," an exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art held February 21-April 15, 1973. "The show includes approximately 100 excellent works, mostly paintings, but some important sculpture as well..." from Indianapolis Museum of Art. Catalogue:: "The Hand and the Spirit: Religious Art in America, 1700-1900," with essay by Joshua Taylor, from UC Regents. Accessed 11/13.

Herminia Albarrán Romero / Matrix 148 is a 1991 exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive which says: "For this installation, the artist has adapted elements of a traditional ofrenda to the specific conditions of the MATRIX Gallery. Romero herself has produced much of the material included in this installation, including the large-scale image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the finely cut papel picado, and the varieties of shaped bread." Also see information in Accessed 3/17

Holiness and the Feminine Spirit, Paintings by Janet McKenzie an exhibit held Aug. 25, 2010 - Jan. 2, 2011 at the Haggerty Museum of Art. Accessed December, 2014

InterVarsity Arts, in Chicago, IL says that "Our primary goal is to plant and grow witnessing communities in the art schools and programs of Chicago:  to see students and faculty transformed as creative disciples of Jesus, renewing their campus and changing the art world and the direction of its influence!" Accessed 11/13.

Ivan Metrovi and Notre Dame is a 2019 exhibit at the Snite Museum of Art which says: "Ivan Metrovi (1883-1962) was among the most famous and prolific figurative sculptors of the 20th century. Born in humble circumstances in rural Croatia, he went on to receive international acclaim for his sculpture first in Europe, then in the United States. Although his career coincides with many of the most dynamic currents of modern and contemporary art -- notably abstraction and conceptual practices -- Metrovi maintained a life-long commitment to the human form and to religious themes."   Also see article in Resource Library Accessed 2/20

Kahlil Gibran and the Feminine Divine is a 2017 exhibit at the Telfair Museums which says: "This exhibition features approximately 25 works that demonstrate Gibran's fascination with the idea of the feminine divine. Although he was raised as a Maronite Christian, Gibran had a long-standing interest in ancient religions and mythology, particularly the ancient traditions of Goddess worship. His personal spirituality was centered on the idea of the oneness of all things, and, as described by scholar Suheil Bushrui in his 1998 biography of Gibran, 'the fundamental unity of religions.' His representation of goddess imagery not only reflects his holistic belief in a Universal Spirit, embodied through symbolic female figures, but also speaks to the powerful influence women exerted in his own life."  Accessed 5/17

Keith Haring: Altarpiece: The Life of Christ, April 8 - May 7, 1995 from Museum of Contemporary Religious Art. Accessed 3/14.

Interfaith Student Council's Interfaith Art Show was presented by the Interfaith Student Council at UCLA in 2012. Accessed June, 2015

The Jubilee Museum Contemporary Sacred Art Biennial 2014 - Cain and Abel: Am I My Brother's Keeper?, an exhibit held December 6, 2014 - February 8, 2015 at the The Jubilee Museum. Accessed February, 2015

Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain in Niland, CA. Accessed 11/29/13. Also see Salvation Mountain in Niland, CA, from Wikipedia

Lockwood de Forest's The Wreck was an exhibit held October 23, 2012 through September 27, 2015 at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. The museum says: "The larger context for The Wreck includes the longstanding tradition of desert settings in religious paintings. These subjects, notably St. Jerome and St. Francis in the desert, were widely recognized art historical references among American audiences." Accessed August, 2016.

Logos Guildworks Ministries is an interfaith community art guild founded in 2007 in Santa Fe NM. Accessed 11/29/13.

Man of Visions: The Inspired Works of the Reverend Howard Finster is a 2016-17 exhibit at Albany (GA) Museum of Art,which says: "Finster's work depicted a diverse range of religious, didactic and humorous paintings, sculptures which typically included biblical, historical and pop culture icons. The overall subject of his three decade career was religious inspiration and the promotion of Christianity." Accessed 11/16

"Mormonism and American Religious Art," by Jane Dillenberger, is an essay in Reflections on Mormonism: Judaeo-Christian Parallels, ed. Truman G. Madsen (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1978), 187-200. From Brigham Young University. Accessed 11/13.

Nineteenth Century German-American Church Artists by Annemarie Springer from Max Kade/SGAS. Accessed 11/13.

Oded Halahmy: Exile is Home  is a 2018 exhibit at the Bronx Museum of the Arts  which says: "Oded Halahmy: Exile is Home includes over 100 works representing Halahmy's work from the mid-1960s to the present and features a selection of Judaica ­ handmade by the artist for Hanukkah and Sukkah celebrations with close friends. Halahmy currently lives and works in New York and Old Jaffa, Israel."  Also see artist's website  Accessed 5/18

A Pilgrim Lens, an interfaith art exhibit held September - October, 2013 at the Presbyterian Center Chapel in Louisville, KY in partnership with the the Louisville-based interreligious nonprofit Interfaith Paths to Peace. Accessed June, 2015

Rachel Hecker: Jesus Paintings, an exhibit held September 20th, 2014 - January 4th 2015 at the Old Jail Art Center. Includes interview by Patrick Kelly, Curator of Exhibitions, and 6:44 online video. Accessed April, 2015.

Religion, Ritual, and Performance in Modern and Contemporary Art, an exhibit held August 28, 2012 - May 26, 2013 at Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College. Accessed 4/14.

Sacred Art in the Age of Contact: Chumash and Latin American Traditions in Santa Barbara is a 2017 exhibit at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum (UC Santa Barbara)  which says: "Sacred Art in the Age of Contact  focuses on the relationship between art and religion in both Chumash and Spanish traditions in the early Mission period, highlighting themes of devotion, sacred space, language and materiality. The exhibition investigates the mutually transformative interaction among these traditions, and will draw implications for the ways in which one can understand the cultural dynamics of Santa Barbara County today."  Accessed 11/17

Sacred Spaces: Devotional Images and Photography by Alex Harris, an exhibit held April 2008 - February, 2009 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Accessed 8/14.

"Shaker Gift Paintings," By Daniel W. Patterson. Accessed July, 2016

Sharon Kopriva: No Small Thing is a 2019 exhibit at the Hilliard Museum which says: "Spending a great deal of time looking at and thinking about the work in Sharon Kopriva: No Small Thing is refreshingly humbling and ought to give one pause. At risk of presenting Kopriva's work as resolutely Old Testament, most images you will see illustrate how even small decisions can have big consequences." Also see artist's website  Accessed 5/20

Sister Mary Charles: Engagement and Transcendence, an exhibit held June 3 - September 21, 2014 at Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth. Includes video, press release, several press links and articles, including "Saved by Beauty" from UMD. Accessed September, 2014.

Smithsonian Institution Conservation Institute provided online as of 2013 the exhibition brochure for Santos and related reading lists

Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent, an exhibit held September 27, 2014 - January 4, 2015 at the Baker Museum. Accessed March, 2015.

"Stalking the Spiritual in the Visual Arts" by David Morgan, a book review of The Visual Arts and Christianity in America: From the Colonial Period to the Present. Expanded Edition. by John Dillenberger. Crossroad, 290 pp. from Accessed 1113.

Steve Moseley Patience Bottles is a 2016 exhibit at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art which says: " 'Whimsey Bottles' are small scenes and objects built inside of bottles. These are not the typical 'Ship in a bottle' pieces, but rather scenes or objects that are more meaningful to the artist creating them. This concept sparked Moseley's imagination. If a ship could be put together in a bottle, almost anything could. Moseley's bottles transformed from ships to scenes of various figures made from basswood and a two-part clay mixture." Accessed 3/17

Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster is a 2012 exhibit at the Akron Art Museum which says: "This exhibition provides an in-depth survey of Finster's career, covering the variety of themes inherent in his work, much of it relating to his visionary experiences. Well-known and misunderstood, his position remains polarized, suspended somewhere between awe for his tireless, faith driven creativity and reluctance by the art community to accept his place in the pantheon of contemporary art." Accessed 3/17

Tapping the Third Realm, an exhibit held September 22- December 8, 2013 at the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University. Includes works by "thirty-four artists who deal with ideas of spirituality through four main avenues: conjuring, communication, collaboration and chance." Accessed February, 2015

Tasha Robbins: Malachim: Coming Out of Darkness  is a 2019 exhibit at the University Gallery, University of Massachusetts Amherst which says: "Robbins' body of work is both an abecedarian adventure in paint and a personal meditation on the Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet depicted in, what is known as, angelic script, in an effort to keep their meaning in contemporary life."   Also see These Are My Angels at Big Bridge

Tesoros de Devoción, an online exhibit of the New Mexico History Museum. Includes biographies of artists. Accessed March, 2015

Tiffany Chapel is an ongoing exhibit at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. The museum says:"In 1996, the Board of Trustees of the Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation endorsed an expansion project for the Morse Museum that would fulfill the dream of the McKeans to reassemble Tiffany's 1893 chapel. A team of architecture, art, and conservation experts was named to begin the over two-year project of reassembling the chapel. The chapel opened to the public in April 1999, the first time since it was open at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago." Accessed August, 2016.

Turn Turn Turn, an exhibit held May 24, 2014 to August 24, 2014 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Although not religious art per se, the museum's website says: "Inspired by the lyrical language of Ecclesiastes 3, which meditates on the circular nature of time as reflected in the seasons, the exhibition addresses the ongoing cycle of changing circumstances in the course of human events." Accessed February, 2015

Vices and Virtues, Bruce Nauman's 1988 site-specific outdoor installation at the Stuart Collection. Includes a video (3:37) about the installation. Installation includes aspects of religious expression. Accessed December, 2015.

View from the Pier contains in Compass Rose section On the Santos Trail in Puerto Rico, published in four parts April and May, 2011

Unraveled: A Visual Response to RavelUnravel, an exhibit held at venues across the US during 2014 and 2015. The website for the traveling show says that artworks' themes include "spirituality and all the ways it can be defined, practiced, questioned, ignored, and embraced; the ways that the threads of someone's spirituality have woven through their upbringing, their lives, and their communities; and statements on prejudice, faith, misperceptions, community, isolation, celebration, ritual, tradition, connection, deities, grace, humanity, and identity." In January 2015, Project Interfaith's Board of Directors dissolved Project Interfaith, the sponsor of RavelUnravel, as a non-profit organization. Project Interfaith's online programs, including RavelUnravel, will continue through the non-profit organization World Faith. Accessed June, 2015

The Word of God: Jeffrey Vallance is a 2011-12 exhibit at the Andy Warhol Museum which says: "Jeffrey Vallance is a California artist who creates objects, installations, performance and curatorial works." Also see Jeffrey Vallance at Wikipedia. Accessed 3/17



Museums, art centers and galleries focusing on religious art

Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery in Greenville, SC contains in its collections Benjamin West: The Progress of Revealed Religion.
Buffalo Religious Arts Center in Buffalo, NY collects and preserves fine art from closed houses of worship in Western New York.
Christ In The Smokies Museum and Gardens in Gatlinburg, TN features life-size depictions of Biblical themes.
ClearStory Gallery is located within Life Center Foursquare Church in Spokane, WA. Accessed 1/20/14.
Doug Adams Gallery, located at the Badè Museum, Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education, Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley, CA, presents "...modern and contemporary art through thematic exhibitions that provide a new lens for reflecting on spirituality, belief, ritual and the sacred." Accessed 1/20/14.
Episcopal Diocese of West Texas opened Cathedral House Gallery, located at the Bishop Jones Center in San Antonio, TX. The gallery "showcases the excellent work of Christian artists and photographers in our diocese and region." A January 10, 2014 article in the San Antonio Express-News explains an upcoming exhibt. Accessed June, 2015
Gallery 1055, located within the Diocesan House of the Episcopal Diocese of California in San Francisco, CA, offers temporary art exhibitions featuring American artists. Accessed 4/14.
The Jubilee Museum & Catholic Cultural Center in Columbus, Ohio, says on its website: "The museum's focus embraces primarily liturgical art and secondarily any art that in some way tells the story directly or indirectly of the lives of Christ, Mary, the saints, and the history of the Catholic Church. The museum also embraces some art that is merely Christian and helps reference Christian history and the congregations of the Reformation.  The museum holds in high esteem the Jewish faith and preserves a significant collection of Jewish art and history."     
Manresa Gallery in San Francisco says in its mission statement: "...juxtaposes traditional and contemporary art to highlight diverse expressions of faith. It provides a space for local and international artists to contemplate and expand spiritual practices through artistic expression and community dialogue." Accessed 4/10/14.
Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, TX has an American Art Gallery. A Web page for the Museum says that the Gallery contains "American religious paintings from renowned artists like John LaFarge, Albert Pinkham Ryder and John Singer Sargent."
Museum of Biblical Art in New York, NY has exhibitions featuring American religious art.[Access unavailable as of 2016 audit. There is currently no other acceptable online reference for this artist. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]
Museum of Church History, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Website includes images of religious paintings in the museum, which is located in Salt Lake City. Accessed 1/17
Museum of Contemporary Religious Art at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO offers multi-faith exhibits, including several featuring American artists.
Museum of Religious Arts in Logan, IA offers permanent and rotating exhibits, including exhibits featuring American artists.
The National Museum of Catholic Art and Library in Washington, DC provides exhibitions of multi-faith art including American artists.
San Diego Center for Jewish Culture includes the Gotthelf Art Gallery with rotating exhibits The Gallery says: "The Gotthelf Art Gallery is part of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture and is devoted to expanding and enriching cultural life in San Diego by presenting the finest in Jewish artistic expressions, encouraging the preservation of Jewish culture and heritage, and nurturing new creativity in the arts ... this 1,000 square foot space offers the opportunity for the community at large to explore the richness and diversity of Jewish culture through exhibits that feature contemporary artists and a wide variety of visual media." Accessed August, 2015.
St. Paul's Monastery Gallery in St. Paul, MN hosts exhibits of Sacred art. Accessed 1/20/14.
Seeds Fine Art Exhibits, a ministry of St John's Lutheran Church in Orange, CA, organizes exhibits on Biblical art. Accessed 11/29/13.
Thrivent Financial Collection of Religious Art Gallery in Minneapolis, MN is a corporate art collection including American art.


Recurring Religious-theme exhibitions

Art for God's Sake in Troy, MI at St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church, is a "...3-day, multi-faceted exhibition includes an elegant opening-night gala, interactive art demos, and educational opportunities for all! It also showcases the non-juried artwork of well-known artists and local clergy and religious." Accessed 11/29/13.
Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California hosted an interfaith art exhibit May, 2013 in Oakland, CA, curated by members of Christian, Jewish and Islamic groups, according to an article published May 9, 2013 by the San Jose Mercury News. The show is also featured in an article published on the website of Montclair Presbyterian Church. An article published April 29, 2015 in the Contra Costa Times covers the 2015 show. Also see an article published September 13, 2011 in Accessed June, 2015
Sacred Art Show and Sale is a juried exhibition held at Blessed John XXIII Diocesan Center, Lincoln, NE. Accessed 1/20/14.
Springville Museum of Art Annual Spiritual and Religious Art of Utah Exhibition is a decades-long tradition of the Museum featuring Utah-based artists. Multi-faith artworks in the exhibition are eligible for cash awards and are offered for sale. Workshops and discussions accompany the exhibitions.
Why a Spiritual Art Show? by Nicholas P. Heille describes the juried 11th Annual Northeast Minneapolis Spiritual Art Show, held at John Paul II School's Kolbe Center, "...grown to where over 9,000 visitors attend its six-day event..." The article is posted in the SPARGEX - Spiritual Art Guild Exchange website. Accessed 1/20/14.


Online audio

Sister Corita was aired March 03, 2007 on "Weekend America." American Public Media says "When you think about pop art and counter culture, in all likelihood, you don't immediately think of a convent in Los Angeles in the 1960s. Sister Corita Kent was a nun at the Immaculate Heart Convent in Los Angeles, as well as a teacher in the art department at the Immaculate Heart College. She was also an artist whose screen prints garnered world-wide attention. At one point she was on the cover of Newsweek. But she was also criticized by conservative Catholics, including the archbishop of the Los Angeles archdiocese. Sister Corita Kent left the convent at the height of her fame but continued to live a fascinating life. Weekend America host Bill Radke visits the Corita Art Center in Los Angeles to learn more about her life and see some of her work."

National Public Radio provides archives of its radio program series. An example is Black Religious Art from All Things Considered, April 13, 2001. On this Good Friday, Commentator Robert Franklin remarks on the growing role of art in African-American churches.

WNET/New York produced in its Religion & Ethics Newsweekly series The Legacy of Howard Finster on October 26, 2001. Tom Patterson, Howard Finster's biographer, provides insights into the life and career of the acclaimed artist in two audio clips: 1. "Howard Finster's ministry and his visual art career were parallel forces..."; 2. "His work came very much out of his Appalachian background..."


Online video

Art of the Missions - California Missions (110) is a 28-minute episode from Huell Howser's California's Gold television series from December, 2000. It is presented online without charge by the Chapman University Huell Howser Archive. Howser first visits a 4th grade classroom to present students' mission art projects. He then visits the Huntington Library to view early examples of mission drawings, etchings and paintings, including artwork of Henry Chapman Ford. He next speaks with Fr. Jerome Tupa at an exhibition of Fr. Tupa's paintings at the San Diego Historical Society's museum in San Diego, California's Balboa Park. Lastly, Howser visits artist Luis Tur, who creates models of missions in his home from found materials. Accessed January, 2015. Also see Pilgrimage as Metaphor: The Art of Jerome Tupa (1/24/08), published in Resource Library.

Arts and Uses: Chinese American artists Spiritual Journey, (01:09) "'Routes' is a documentary series about the spiritual odyssey of 12 well-established Chinese American visual artists: Cui Fei, Ho Sin-ying, Hu Bing, Lin Yan, Ma Xinle, Shen Ruijun, Song Xin, Tan Liqin, Wei Jia, Zhang Hongtu, Zhang O, and Zheng Lianjie." from Accessed 11/29/13.

The California Missions: History, Art, and Preservation, a Getty Conservation Institute panel discussion dated October 20, 2009 held at the Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center. (1h, 22m)

From, a video titled Ron DiCianni: Painting the Resurrection (04:24) featured the artist discussing The Resurrection Mural, 12' x 40', oil on canvas, commissioned by the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, TX. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]


DVD or VHS videos

Divining the Human: The Cathedral Tapestries of John Nava is a 2003 feature-length television documentary in DVD format, directed by David Tlapek, produced by Brookwood Enterprises and narrated by Edward James Olmos, that follows the creation of tapestries by artist John Nava for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, in Los Angeles, CA.

Fabric of Survival: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz (13-minute DVD or CD) is a documentary film that includes the interview with Esther Nisenthal Available through Art & Remembrance, which says: "In 1998, acclaimed filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan spent three days interviewing Esther Nisenthal Krinitz and family, with her art work as a focal point. In this beautiful 13-minute documentary film, Kasdan has distilled Esther's story and art into into a poignant memory of survival." (left: front box cover of Fabric of Survival: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz)

Minerva Teichert: A Mission In Paint is a 46 minute video documentary produced and directed by Nicholas J. Gasdik and written by Tim Slover on the art and life of Minerva Teichert. See this page from for more information.

Visiting...With Huell Howser #1005 - MOSAICS is a 28 minute 2002 video by Huell Howser Productions, which says on its website: "You've seen his work all across the Southland. Meet Denis O'Connor master mosaic artist, who has created some of the largest and most amazing mosaics in America." In this video, Denis O'Connor creates a large glass mosaic mural for St. John Vianney Chapel on Balboa Island, in Newport Brach, CA. Huell follows the creation of the mural in O'Conner's two studios through to its installation in the chapel.

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format.



Art, Belief, Meaning: The Visual Arts and the Restored Gospel : Papers Presented at the First Annual Art, Belief, Meaning Seminar for Faculty and Students, November 20, December 4, and December 11, 1998, by Christian F. Sorenson. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, College of Fine Arts and Communications, 1998 - 76 pages

Art and Popular Religion in Evangelical America, 1915-1940, by Robert L. Gambone. Published in 1989 by University of Tennessee Press.

Benjamin West: The Context of His Life's Work with Particular Attention to Paintings with Religious Subject Matter, by John Dillenberger. Published in 1977 by Trinity University Press.

Crossroads: Art and Religion in American Life, Published in 2001 by The New Press. reviewer Michael Joseph Gross says "...Crossroads is a valuable contribution to America's ongoing project of navigating the complex relationship between its aesthetic and spiritual ideals..." with "... insightful anthology of seven essays by prominent artists, art historians, and religious scholars."

Icons of American Protestantism: The Art of Warner Sallman, By David Morgan. Published 1996 by Yale University Press. 246 pages. ISBN:0300063423. Google Books says: "This fascinating book focuses on the production, marketing, and reception of one such set of religious illustrations, the art of Warner Sallman (1892-1968), whose '1940 Head Of Christ' has been reproduced an estimated five hundred million times." Note: Google Books offers a Limited Preview of this book. For more information on this and other digitizing initiatives from publishers please click here and here. (left: front cover, Icons of American Protestantism: The Art of Warner Sallman, image courtesy Google Books)

Images of Faith: Art of the Latter-Day Saints, by Richard G. Oman and Robert O. Davis, Publisher: Deseret Book Co. (September 1995), 202 pages. Includes images of artworks in the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City, UT.

Jewish-American Artists and the Holocaust, by Mathew Baigell. Published by Rutgers University Press in 1997.

Jewish Art in America: An Introduction, By Matthew Baigell. Published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2007, 253 pages

Jewish Artists and the Bible in Twentieth-Century America, By Samantha Baskind, Publish Date Expected 2/7/2014, Pennsylvania State University Press, 264 pages, Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-05983-9

The Landscape of Belief: Encountering the Holy Land in Nineteenth-Century American Art and Culture, by John Davis. Published by Princeton University Press in 1998. Google Books says: "This book tells of the nineteenth-century American painters who, along with photographers, archaeologists, writers, evangelists, and tourists, flocked to the biblical Holy Land, a world of striking landscape vistas that reflected, in their eyes, a powerful image of the United States..."

Painting Religion in Public: John Singer Sargent's Triumph of Religion at the Boston Public Library, by Sally M. Promey. Published by Princeton University Press in 2001.

The Religious Art of Andy Warhol, By Jane Dillenberger, Andy Warhol. Published 1998 by Continuum International Publishing Group.128 pages. ISBN:082641334X. Google Books says: "An examination of the spiritual side of Warhol looks at his art during his final years, which includes paintings based on Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper," and Warhol's "Skull" and "Cross" paintings." Note: Google Books offers a Limited Preview of this book. For more information on this and other digitizing initiatives from publishers please click here and here. (right: front cover, The Religious Art of Andy Warhol, image courtesy Google Books)

Religious Folk Art in America: Reflections of Faith, by C. Kurt Dewhurst, Betty MacDowell, Marsha MacDowell. Published by E.P. Dutton in association with the Museum of American Folk Art, in 1983.

Seeing the Unseen, by Marianne Lettieri, Founding Director of Arts of the Covenant in Menlo Park, CA, to be published by Christians in the Visual Arts. According to Fr. Jim Blaettler, SJ., Director of Manresa Gallery, Seeing the Unseen will provide a guide for those interested in launching and managing a church-based art gallery.

Seven Visions: The Spirit of Religion in Contemporary Regional Art, by Arnot Art Museum -1991

Signs of Grace: Religion and American Art in the Gilded Age, by Kristin Schwain. Published in 2007 by Cornell University Press. On the back cover, Leigh Eric Schmidt of Princeton University says: "Signs of Grace offers a revealing window on the way in which the visual arts were given a distinct religious bearing in late Victorian America-one that accentuated momentary experiences of spiritual and aesthetic illumination. In this rich and sumptuous book, Kristin Schwain has done an excellent job of analyzing these forms of spiritualized visuality through the works of Thomas Eakins, Henry Ossawa Tanner, F. Holland Day, and Abbott Handerson Thayer." (left: front cover, Signs of Grace: Religion and American Art in the Gilded Age, image courtesy Google Books)

Saved by Beauty: Sister Mary Charles McGough, OSB, published by St. Scholastica Monastery, 2014. 108 pages.

The Spirit and the Vision: The Influence of Christian Romanticism on the Development of 19th-century American Art, by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona. Published by Scholars Press, in 1995.

Transforming Images: New Mexican Santos In-between Worlds, by Claire J. Farago, Donna Pierce. Published by Pennsylvania State University Press in 2006.

The Visual Arts and Christianity in America: From the Colonial Period to the Present, by John Dillenberger. Published in 1984 by Scholars Press (Chico, Calif). Book Review: "Stalking the Spiritual in the Visual Arts" by David Morgan.

The Visual Culture of American Religions, by David Morgan, Sally M. Promey. Published by University of California Press in 2001.

A Google Book Search conducted February 12, 2011 located 307 books featuring the search phrase "American Religious Art. Forty five books featured Limited Preview.


Journals and Magazines

ARTS Magazine is published by United and the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies, New Brighton, MN

Image Journal focuses on the contribution of religious art in America

Imaginatio et Ratio: A Journal of Theology and the Arts is "a peer reviewed journal primarily focusing on the intersection between the arts and theology, hoping to allow imagination and reason to be seen as intimately intertwined-as different expressions of the same divine truth."

Ruminate Magazine " a quarterly magazine of short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction, and visual art that resonate with the complexity and truth of the Christian faith."


Articles in paper-printed journals and magazines

Julianne Burton-Carvajal and Scott Shields, "The Carmel Mission in Art" American Art Review, January-February 2008 (Volume XX, Number 1

Gail E. Husch, "The Landscape of Belief: Encountering the Holy Land in Nineteenth-Century American Art and Culture," (book review)  Sept, 1997 from The Art Bulletin (Link found expired as of 7/24/09 audit. Source site may contain this content via a revised URL)



In 2014 TFAO published an article titled "Options for Art Exhibit Programs by Religious Institutions," by an anonymous volunteer. The article is intended to provide information to organizations considering establishing an art exhibit program within their campus.

To date, TFAO has not been able to locate significant information on American art derived from faith communities other than that for Judeo-Christian topics and information from Middle East Influences in American Art. Readers and institutions with links and materials derived from other faith communities to share with TFAO will be appreciated.

TFAO extends thanks to Fr. Jim Blaettler, SJ and Chet Murray for suggesting information for this topic and to Gayle Larkin, an artist in San Juan Capistrano, CA, for providing a reference in the above list.

We welcome suggestions for additional content by sending an email to

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