Spiritual Spectacles

Spiritual Spectacles

Vision and Image in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Shakerism
Sally M. Promey
Distribution: World
Publication date: 03/22/1993
Format: Hardback 4 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-34614-8
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A Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 1994Winner: 1994 Charles C. Eldredge Prize of The National Museum of American Art

Promey’s book is a penetrating analysis of Shaker art.... The book is a gem, a true advance in Shaker studies, art history, religious history, and cultural history. Highly recommended." —Choice

... a very intelligent and articulate... treatment of a stunning set of message-images." —Art Bulletin

This book is a pleasure to look at and to read." —Religious Studies Review

[A] fascinating investigation into another world. The Shaker spirit drawings... offer clues into a remarkable moment of American life, as well as an opportunity to rethink just how the visual arts, religious revitalizations, and social memory relate to one another.... [A] model study: clear, absorbing, and significant."—Neil Harris, author of The Artist in American Society

Sally Promey’s inquiry... critically engages current issues in the study of visual culture: what do images do; how do they work; what needs do they fulfill; just what is their ‘power’? Her compelling case study joins fundamental concerns of art historians with those of students of religion and history... By means of an exacting examination of Shaker drawings as the site of both expectation and encounter, Promey successfully situates these Spiritual Spectacles at the meeting point of the ‘inner’ and the ‘outer’ eye." —Linda Seidel, author of Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait: Stories of an Icon

Promey has brought to her work an excellent sensitivity to the religious issues involved, keen sight and powers of observation, and a very creative interpretive framework."—Stephen J. Stein, author of The Shaker Experience in America

Author Bio

SALLY M. PROMEY is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland at College Park.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Catherine L. Albanese and Stephen J. Stein

Introduction: A Sense of Crisis

Part I: Vision and Image

1. From Vision to Image: Continuity in Shaker Experience
2. Image and Inconoclasm: Discontinuity in Shaker Experience
3. Production and Regulation of Images: The Instruments and the Ministry

Part II: Vision, Image, and Space

4. Ethics and Aesthetics: In Heaven’s Likeness
5. Image as Threshold of Heaven: Passing through Pictures

Part III: Vision, Image, and Time

6. (Re)collecting History: A Visible Genealogy of "Gospel Relations"
7. Restoring Relationship: Image as "Visible Presence"

Epilogue: The Power of Ambiguity

List of Abbreviations