Sacred and Profane: Voice and Vision in Southern Self-Taught Art

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Sacred and Profane: Voice and Vision in Southern Self-Taught Art presents historical and cultural analyses of southern self-taught art that focus on the cultural contexts of the art's creation, as well as on the lives and works of representative artists, while also addressing their reception by the mainstream art world.

Reflecting the South's complex cultural, religious, racial, and political admixture, the artists draw from, and frequently combine, diverse visual sources and creative traditions. Sacred and Profane focuses, in particular, on southern artists' efforts to find personally fulfilling forms of aesthetic expression that give vision and voice to the simultaneous demands of the sacred and the profane dimensions of existence.

Because in the South religion is woven through the very fabric of society, interlacing social beliefs, customs, practices, and behaviors, vernacular artists often testify to intensely held religious beliefs through their art. Essays by Charles Reagan Wilson and Frédéric Allemel discuss the range of religious artistic creations, while studies of Howard Finster, Myrtice West, Anderson Johnson, and Eddie Martin (St. EOM) illuminate the intensely personal religious experience of particular artists. The works of some artists, such as Nellie Mae Rowe and Clementine Hunter, address both the sacred and the profane dimensions of their lives, while the art of Bill Traylor, George Andrews, and Thornton Dial focuses more on the individual artist's social observations and personal responses to their times and the history of the South.

Carol Crown is a professor of art at the University of Memphis. Charles Russell is an associate professor of English and director of the American Studies Graduate Program at Rutgers University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578069163
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 3/1/2007
  • Pages: 286
  • Sales rank: 1,385,356
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction   Carol Crown   Charles Russell     ix
Self-Taught Art, the Bible, and Southern Creativity   Charles Reagan Wilson     3
Sacred Spaces and Mythmaking: A Sociological Perspective on Southern Environmental Art   Frederic Allamel     21
More Than Meets the Eye: Visions of the Sacred in Southern Self-Taught Art   Carol Crown     40
The Music of Self-Taught Artist and Evangelist Anderson Johnson   Ann Oppenhimer     66
Lacrimae Rerum: Eddie Owens Martin's Pasaquan   Dorothy M. Joiner     80
George Andrews   Benny Andrews     98
Nellie Mae Rowe: Multiple Contexts, Multiple Meanings   Lee Kogan     111
A Curious Collaboration: Clementine Hunter's African House Murals   Jessica Dallow     128
Clementine Hunter: Chronicler of African American Catholicism   Cheryl Rivers     146
"It's about Ideas": The Art of Thornton Dial   Charles Russell     172
Reinventing Gee's Bend Quilts in the Name of Art   Sally Anne Duncan     191
Words and Music: Seeing Traylor in Context   Susan M. Crawley     214
Bill Traylor and the Construction of Outsider Subjectivity   Jenifer P. Borum     238
Select Bibliography     261
Contributors     275
Index     279
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