The purpose of this course is to examine some of the issues and themes in the visual arts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from its restoration in 1830 to the current day, as well as to explore the position of Latter-Day Saint artwork within the wider historical and cultural context of western art history.
Each of the thirteen units will interrogate the assumptions in this purpose statement. There are many unanswered questions: What is Latter-Day Saint art? Who makes it? Who has the right to label an artist or an artwork as Latter-Day Saint? Is it appropriate to categorize artists and artworks according to religion? The attempt to categorize or interpret artists by a single trait, such as race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, risks flattening and simplifying their artwork. Worse still, artists who are sorted into such subgroups are rarely considered within the wider historical and cultural context of their time and among the full range of their artistic peers. Students should remember this throughout the course, which attempts to consider the problem of “Latter-Day Saint art” from many different angles and perspectives.Read More