ArtWay Newsletter 2019
Dear ArtWay friend,
This window in the Johanneskirche in Bern by the Swiss 20th-century artist Max Hunziker (1901-1976) tells in its own original way about the time of Advent with its festive lights that drive away the dark and its joy about the coming of the Christ Child.
For ArtWay 2019 was an especially rich, hence busy year – busier than ever before. I am glad that even though my eyes quickly grow tired, I was able to manage it all. The first months of the year (and a good part of 2018) were devoted to Art Stations of the Cross, the meditative journey along 15 stations, locations and contemporary artworks that we launched in Amsterdam during Lent.
Judging by the feedback we received, it was a great success. Many people walked the route through Amsterdam’s city center – some places were really busy – and felt challenged, silenced or moved. As ArtWay we were glad about the art we could present, by Dutch and international artists of Christian faith (the majority) and partly by likeminded artists of other backgrounds.
We had a strong team and cooperated with a diverse range of art organizations, museums, aid projects and churches, which justifies the term ‘unique’, especially as everybody was positive in the end.
After the Art Stations of the Cross exhibition I needed to recover, And, how can this be done better than by moving to a new house? Well, at least it was a different type of work! In May my husband and I moved to Langbroek, which is close to Utrecht where our three children and grandchild live.
Soon a new project needed my attention: the completion of a book about Calvinism, neo-Calvinism and art. It will first be published in Dutch, but later next year Dordt College Press will also publish it in English. As yet there is no fixed title for the English edition of this volume of essays on the Calvinist and neo-Calvinist tradition in art history, aesthetics and theology, with Roger Henderson and I acting as editors.
To me this book is a real milestone. The book provides insight into what Calvinist and neo-Calvinist ideas have meant for art in practice and theory, in the past and the present, in the Netherlands but also in different parts of the world. Neo-Calvinism, which originated in the Netherlands with Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), was developed further in the Netherlands but also in Canada, the USA, South Africa, South Korea and Brazil. We want to make this thinking available to the present generations of art lovers. The book will also go into the actual art that was and is made in this tradition and will be richly illustrated in colour.
ArtWay is 100% a work of love. Hence we ask you for your support! Next year we hope to renew our website. It is the very basis of our mission to open eyes, ears and minds to art and faith. On the website we welcome an average of 1000 visitors daily, with peaks of 1500. Statistics also show that discussions of old artworks – with Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Van Gogh at the top – are especially loved. But also the Word and Image Bible Studies and materials for churches are visited remarkably often.
You can give to ArtWay via the Paypal button on the website, click here and go to the bottom of the page.
For those in North America who wish to make a tax-deductible contribution:
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Christian Missions in Many Lands, PO Box 13, Spring Lake, NJ 07762
Please include a separate note, clearly marked ‘for Laurel Gasque, via MSC Canada’. If you are donating online, go to https://www.cmml.us/donate and direct the funds to MSC Canada and then indicate Laurel Gasque’s name when you come to a place where you can send a message to CMML/or maybe it says ‘vendor’.
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Clearly marked: ‘for the work Laurel Gasque for ArtWay’. To donate online go to https://msccanada.org/give-now/ and follow instructions, again marking the gift ‘for Laurel Gasque’.
We are thankful that we at ArtWay may inspire, encourage and enthuse people about art with additional perspectives that render fresh understanding to a wide range of art, old and contemporary, from all regions of the world.
Thank you so much for your support. The ArtWay team wishes you a rich and abundant 2020.
On behalf of the ArtWay team and board,
ArtWay List of Books 2019
Compiled by Victoria Emily Jones
Charlton, Susannah, Elain Harwood, and Clare Price, eds. 100 Churches, 100 Years. Batsford, Gloucestershire, England: Batsford/Pavilion Books, 2019. “This book illustrates and describes 100 churches and chapels built in the UK since 1914, charting the development of buildings for worship. In this period concrete and steel gave a new freedom to construction, while new ideas about how congregations could participate in services changed assumptions about traditional layouts . . .”
Dyrness, William A. The Origins of Protestant Aesthetics in Early Modern Europe: Calvin's Reformation Poetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. “Examines intellectual developments in late Medieval Europe, which turned attention away from a narrow range liturgical art and practices and towards a celebration of God’s presence in creation and in history, . . . demonstrate[ing] how the reformers’ conceptual and theological frameworks pertaining to the role of the arts influenced the rise of realistic theater, lyric poetry, landscape painting, and architecture in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.”
Exum, J. Cheryl. Art as Biblical Commentary: Visual Criticism from Hagar the Wife of Abraham to Mary the Mother of Jesus (The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies). Edinburgh: T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2019. About the contributions “visual criticism” as an exegetical tool can make to biblical exegesis and commentary.
King, Roberta R., and William A. Dyrness, eds. The Arts as Witness in Multifaith Contexts (Missiological Engagements). Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Academic, 2019. “Building on sessions at the 2018 Missiology Lectures at Fuller Seminary, this book explores the crucial role of the arts in helping people from different cultures and faiths get caught up in the gospel story. Scholars and practitioners from throughout the world present historical and contemporary case studies and analyses.”
Lowther, Roger. The Broken Leaf: Meditations on Art, Life, and Faith in Japan. Eugene, Oregon: Resource Publications/Wipf and Stock, 2019. These ten meditations, by an American missionary artist to Japan, invite readers to explore the beauty and gospel images found in Japanese art and culture.
Miller, Stephen. The Book of Angels: Seen and Unseen. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019. “Explores depictions of angels in the visual arts and in scripture and associated apocryphal and mystical writings, specifically in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and Islamic, Zoroastrian and other ancient and latter-day accounts.”
Reddaway, Chloë. Strangeness and Recognition: Mystery and Familiarity in Renaissance Paintings of Christ (Arts and the Sacred). Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2019. Explores the possibilities of painting Christ, a figure both fully human and fully divine. “These personal exchanges lead through estrangement to the rediscovery of the familiar within the strange and the renewed within the familiar, and to the ultimately unspeakable, unpaintable, mystery of the Incarnation.”
Rosen, Aaron. Brushes with Faith: Reflections and Conversations on Contemporary Art. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books/Wipf and Stock, 2019. Rosen’s essays and interviews examine how contemporary artists are engaging more deeply than ever with religious imagery, themes, practices, and audiences. Contains 70+ color images.
Taylor, W. David O. Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2019. “Argues that the arts form us in worship by bringing us into intentional and intensive participation in the aesthetic aspect of our humanity—that is, our physical, emotional, imaginative, and metaphorical capacities. In so doing they invite the people of God to be conformed to Christ and to participate in the praise of Christ and in the praise of creation, which by the Spirit’s power raises its peculiar voice to the Father in heaven, for the sake of the world that God so loves.”
Williams, Peter W. Religion, Art, and Money: Episcopalians and American Culture from the Civil War to the Great Depression. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019, 2016. “Williams traces how the church helped transmit a European-inflected artistic patronage that was adapted to the American scene by clergy and laity intent upon providing moral and aesthetic leadership for a society in flux.”
Worley, Taylor. Memento Mori in Contemporary Art: Theologies of Lament and Hope (Studies in Theology, Imagination and the Arts). New York: Routledge, 2019. “Explores how four contemporary artists—Francis Bacon, Joseph Beuys, Robert Gober, and Damien Hirst—pursue the question of death through their fraught appropriations of Christian imagery. Each artist is shown to not only pose provocative theological questions, but also to question the abilities of theological speech to adequately address current attitudes to death.”