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Distributed for McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College

John La Farge and the Recovery of the Sacred

This collection offers a new look at American artist John La Farge (1835–1910) and his lifelong efforts to visualize the sacred. Most clearly reflected in his ecclesiastical paintings and stained glass windows, the latter of which appear in churches throughout the United States, La Farge’s quest can be seen both in his representations of nature and still life and in his stunningly imaginative book illustrations. Multicultural and multilingual, La Farge was also influenced by travels to Japan and the South Seas, experiences that reinforced his spiritual inquiry.

Accompanying a retrospective exhibition of the same name at the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College, John La Farge and the Recovery of the Sacred is the most comprehensive look at the artist’s oeuvre in recent years. With contributions by experts in stained glass, Asian art, and more, the volume offers a variety of scholarly and technical perspectives that reveal new facets of La Farge’s artistic approaches. Using everything from traditional Christian imagery to Buddhist-inspired themes, he was always negotiating the boundaries between realism and symbolism and constantly innovating.

Illuminating not only La Farge’s work, but also the role of religion in late nineteenth-century American culture, John La Farge and the Recovery of the Sacred continues the McMullen’s long history of groundbreaking exhibitions and will appeal to all fans of this seminal American artist.

150 pages | 75 color plates, 100 halftones | 9 x 12 | © 2015

Art: Art--General Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction by Jeffery Howe

The Other John La Farge
In Search of Nirvana
The Light of Memory: John La Farge and Stained Glass
John La Farge: Innovation in an International Setting
The Deeds of Light: John La Farge and the Articulation of Nature’s Light and of the Sacred through Stained Glass
The Restoration and Conservation of the St. John the Evangelist, Christ Preaching, and St. Paul Windows

Appendix: La Farge’s Patents

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