Re-Imagining Patronage

Gustave Courbet, The Source of the Loue, 1864. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York The over-heated art market, driven by insecure and short-sighted collectors, who, churning through the season’s aesthetic fashions to use art to leverage their cultural power, have produced an impatient and distracted art world incapable of separating artistic quality from auction house [Read More...]

Get a Free Book! (The Holy Nomad)

Not too long ago I participated in a Patheos book club discussion of The Holy Nomad, by Matt Litton. In my reflection, I noted that Litton’s book, in which he jolts us to find a little more joy for the journey, reminded me of the quest approach to the Christian faith: To me, that’s a natural (or [Read More...]

Art and Audience

A recent article in Humanities has caused me to give some thought to the audience for a work of art. An abiding criticism of so-called “serious” or “fine” art, like poetry and painting, is its elitism—only a small coterie of followers, most of them professor-types and intellectuals, seem to care. The audience for a painting or [Read More...]

Got a Ph.D. in Theology? Go Work for a Church

What to do with all these worthless Ph.D.’s in the humanities? The Chronicle of Higher Ed relays a speech given by Michael F. Bérubé to the Council of Graduate School, called “The Future of Graduate Education in the Humanities.” He offers up, in the words of the article’s title, a “sobering critique” of the state of the [Read More...]

Odds and Ends

    I’ve been doing some work beyond my weekly posts here at CULTIVARE and so I thought I’d share them with you: Over at ThinkChristian I used the occasion of a new book on Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper, to reflect on the continued importance of this painting. At Good Letters, the blog [Read More...]

Damien Hirst is Free

The market for artist Damien Hirst’s work seems to have bottomed out. And those who find his stuffed sharks, bejeweled skulls, and dot paintings overhyped and unjustifiable are delighted. The invisible hand of the art market has finally pulled back the curtain, they will say, revealing Hirst to be the sham they all thought he [Read More...]

The Ladder & The Bridge

There is a habit of thinking among Christian artists, philosophers, and theologians that conceives of the work of art as a ladder. It uplifts, drawing one closer to God. It is believed to do this in two ways. First, it operates in the register of philosophy, participating in the timeless ideas and eternal forms of [Read More...]

Black Friday, Good Friday, and the Eucharist: Being Consumed, Part II

Black Friday is receding into Thanksgiving. A U.S. News articlereports that Wal-Mart, Sears and Toys-R-Us will have flung wide their gates at 8 pm on Thursday. Target is exercising remarkable restraint, waiting an hour later to begin the madness. I’ve been reflecting on this phenomenon in the context of reading William Cavanaugh’s Being Consumed, where he [Read More...]

Haystacks & Shadows

One of the most enjoyable aspects of teaching art history to college students is presenting to them an artist or work of art with which they have been long familiar, perhaps Michelangelo and his famous Pietà or Marcel Duchamp and his infamous Fountain, and opening it up to reveal something they hadn’t noticed, taking it out [Read More...]

‘Tis the Season… To help out — some… within finite boundaries… in non-polarizing projects

Today’s guest blogger is Tim Conder, the founding pastor of Emmaus Way in Durham, NC.  He is currently a PhD Candidate in “Culture, Curriculum, & Change” at the University of North Carolina. Tim is the author of Free for All:  Rediscovering the Bible in Community and The Church in Transition:  The Journey of Existing Churches [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X