Why Have There Been No Great Modern Religious Artists? A Symposium
Organized by The Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art
Hosted by The Museum of Biblical Art, New York, NY
February 8, 2011
Mirroring the complex presence of religion throughout the 20th century, there has been a proliferation of religious expression in the visual arts. Many of the most prominent and celebrated artists of this century have employed Christian themes, iconography, and forms in their work. However, many of these artists and their works have been ignored, dismissed as aberrant, or condemned as an improper union of incompatible traditional and avant-garde values. The diverse and contradictory manifestations of religious expression in the art of this period, from private devotion, to liturgical practice, to critical commentary, to creative expression pose methodological problems for narratives of modernist and postmodernist art history that have tended to omit serious consideration of Christian strains in 20th century and current artistic practice.
We seek 20-minute papers, consisting of new and publishable scholarship, that examine specific examples of art from the 20th century which employ Christian subjects, symbols, and contexts in order to consider the methodological challenges that these works of art pose. The symposium Why Have There Been No Great Modern Religious Artists? will be held at the Museum of Biblical Art. This one-day symposium convenes on February 8, 2011, the day before the annual meeting of the College Art Association. It is hoped that symposium participants will also contribute to the development of the Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art. For more information about ASCHA, visit our website at http://christianityhistoryart.org.
Paper proposals of no more than two pages double-spaced should be submitted along with a cover letter and c.v. to James Romaine (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Rachel Smith (email@example.com) and should include reference to methodological assumptions. The deadline for submission is October 1, 2010. Previously presented or published papers, as well as papers already committed to publication, will be considered but should be specifically indicated as such. Acceptance in the symposium implies commitment to attend. Presenters will be able register for the symposium at the reduced fee of $25.
James Romaine and Rachel Smith, Symposium co-chairs