Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Spiritual Moderns

Twentieth-Century American Artists and Religion

Examines how and why religion matters in the history of modern American art.
Andy Warhol is one of the best-known American artists of the twentieth century. He was also an observant Catholic who carried a rosary, went to mass regularly, kept a Bible by his bedside, and depicted religious subjects throughout his career. Warhol was a spiritual modern: a modern artist who appropriated religious images, beliefs, and practices to create a distinctive style of American art.
Spiritual Moderns centers on four American artists who were both modern and religious. Joseph Cornell, who showed with the Surrealists, was a member of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Mark Tobey created pioneering works of Abstract Expressionism and was a follower of the Bahá’í Faith. Agnes Pelton was a Symbolist painter who embraced metaphysical movements including New Thought, Theosophy, and Agni Yoga. And Warhol, a leading figure in Pop art, was a lifelong Catholic. Working with biographical materials, social history, affect theory, and the tools of art history, Doss traces the linked subjects of art and religion and proposes a revised interpretation of American modernism.

352 pages | 122 halftones | 7 x 10 | © 2022

Art: American Art

Religion: Comparative Studies and History of Religion

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Chapter 1. Spiritual Moderns: Twentieth-Century American Artists and Religion
Chapter 2. Joseph Cornell and Christian Science: “White Magic” Modernism and the Metaphysics of Ephemera
Chapter 3. Mark Tobey and Bahá’í: “White Writing” and Spiritual Calligraphy
Chapter 4. Agnes Pelton and Occulture: Spiritual Seeking and Visionary Modernism
Chapter 5. Andy Warhol and Catholicism: Pop Art’s “Spiritual Side”
Chapter 6. Spiritual Moderns: Culture War Controversies and Enduring Themes

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press