Religious American Art

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(above: William Henry von Herwig, Old Mission, 1924, oil on burlap, 34 x 30 inches. Private Collection.)

Baptismal font is shown temporarily relocated from present location while conservation underway in Serra Chapel. 


"The 613" -  Archie Rand is a 2021 exhibit at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester which says: "For over five decades Archie Rand has been regarded as a maverick and rule-breaker, and The 613 is his most ambitious work. An enormous multi-panel painting, it depicts surprising responses to the 613 commandments of the Torah, which is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament). Yes, there are more than 10 commandments -- the rules that govern ethical and religious behavior in Judaism. Rand's monumental installation fills MAG's Docent Gallery and explores traditions of both biblical interpretation and artistic expression. It exemplifies Rand's groundbreaking achievements in the construction of contemporary Jewish iconography, affirming his position as a relentlessly innovative artist. Accessed 6/21

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

Andy Warhol: Revelation is a 2019 exhibit at the Andy Warhol Museum which says: "Andy Warhol: Revelation is the first exhibition to comprehensively examine the Pop artist's complex Catholic faith in relation to his artistic production. Christian motifs frequently appear in both explicit and metaphorical forms throughout the body of Andy Warhol's oeuvre."  Also see 10/18/19 article in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Accessed 6/20

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)

Ecco Sublimia: The Art of Christianity  is a 2022 exhibit at the Castellani Art Museum which says: "Divided into five thematic sections, Ecce Sublima delves into depictions of sainthood: modern icons, the sacred feminine, such as the Madonna and Child, religious vestments, and the immersive art environment of Prophet Isaiah Robertson. From holy apparel to sculptures, stained glass to modern works on paper, this exhibition takes you on a tour of the sacred works of Niagara University and sites of worship around Western New York." Accessed 1/23

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

The Fifteen Stations of the Cross is a mosaic installation by Lance Jost at the Rancho Capistrano Retreat Center  Accessed 2/21

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

George Segal: Abraham's Farewell to Ishmael is a 2019 exhibit at the Pérez Art Museum Miami which says: "Segal first began making plaster casts from live models in 1961 and was known for his figurative sculptures throughout his career. The hyperrealism of these works renders the figures familiar and emotionally resonant. He did a series of works based on biblical stories, all from the Book of Genesis, including Abraham's Farewell to Ishmael."  Accessed 9/22

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

Journey with Jesus is an outdoor installation at the San Juan Capistrano campus of Saddleback Church which says: "This trail of 15 mosaics will allow you to consider the path Jesus took to the Cross. Starting with the anointing of Jesus and moving all the way through to his resurrection, each art piece will display the visual story of Christ's journey to the cross." The 15 mosaic panels were created by Lance Jost. Accessed 4/21

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.


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