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Reinventing Religious Art in the 1960s

Corita Kent, enriched bread, 1965. Screenprint. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund, 2012.207.
© Courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.

Lecture M. Victor Leventritt

Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

Corita Kent’s art and social practice are central to the art of the 1960s, and it is astonishing that this has only lately been widely recognized. Kent’s art was not just religious in its vocation; it represented a reinvention of theologically meaningful art in a period that could otherwise produce no more than simulations. One exception, however, can be found in the work of Colin McCahon, then unknown outside his native New Zealand. McCahon’s body of paintings from the late 1940s to the early 1980s, which rivals in quality any of his American or European contemporaries, stands apart from them in excavating the buried Christian legacy at the core of Western art.

Thomas Crow, the Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art in the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, will examine parallels between Kent and McCahon in this public lecture, presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Corita Kent and the Language of Pop (September 3, 2015–January 3, 2016).

The event will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level.

Free admission. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway.

Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

Support for the lecture is provided by the M. Victor Leventritt Fund, which was established through the generosity of the wife, children, and friends of the late M. Victor Leventritt, Harvard Class of 1935. The purpose of the fund is to present outstanding scholars of the history and theory of art to the Harvard and Greater Boston communities. Support for this program is also provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund. Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.

Corita Kent and the Language of Pop is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and major corporate support from National Grid.