An Introduction

The history of art and the arts is primarily that of crafts that enhance beauty in everyday life and in worship. Perhaps, more than any other worldview area, art and the arts must be placed in the context of history to begin to grasp summary principles. We will begin with some definitions from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and the 2007 online version of Merriam-Webster.

Culture, 1828

  1. The act of tilling and preparing the earth for crops; cultivation; the application of labor or other means of improvement.
  2. The application of labor or other means to improve good qualities in, or growth; as the culture of the mind; the culture of virtue.
  3. The application of labor or other means in producing; as the culture of corn, or grass.
  4. Any labor or means employed for improvement, correction or growth.

Culture, 2007

  1. The act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education.
  2. Expert care and training.
  3. Enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training. Acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills
  4. The integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations. The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group. The characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time (popularculture, southernculture. The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization (a corporate culture focused on the bottom line). The set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic (studying the effect of computers on print culture).

Art, 1828

  1. The disposition or modification of things by human skill, to answer the purpose intended. In this sense, art stands opposed to nature.
  2. A system of rules, serving to facilitate the performance of certain actions… as the art of building or engraving.

Arts are divided into useful or mechanic, and liberal or polite. The mechanic arts are those in which the hands and body are more concerned than the mind, as in making clothes, and utensils. These arts are called trades. The liberal or polite arts are those in which the mind or imagination is chiefly concerned, as poetry, music, and painting.

  1. Skill, dexterity, or the power of performing certain actions, acquired by experience, study, or observation, as a man has the art of managing his business to advantage.

Art, 2007

  1. A skill acquired by experience, study, or observation (theartof making friends).
  2. A branch of learning: (1) one of the humanities or (2)plural, liberal arts(archaic: learning, scholarship).
  3. An occupation requiring knowledge or skill (theartof organ building).
  4. The conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.Also, works so produced (fine arts). One of the fine arts or a graphic art.
  5. Archaic, a skillful plan. The quality or state of being artful.
  6. Decorative or illustrative elements in printed matter.

Edmund Clowney, former President of Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), has made these observations:

The political revolutions in America and France and the Industrial Revolution in England brought about not only a change in Western culture but also a new way of speaking of culture. Before that change, painting was thought of as a craft. The long corridors lined with portraits in the great house of Britain were not begun as museum galleries. The paintings were hung to remember ancestors, not to exhibit artists’ works. As Andre Malraux has observed, the modern attitude to “art” has created a “museum without walls.” Not only do we stack museums with historic “works of art” stripped of their original purpose, we have come to think of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or even the cathedral at Chartres as a “work of art.” Art critics serenely ignore the religious motivation of museum paintings and display professional outrage at anyone who might dare to offer a moral objection to “artistic” pornography. Painting, sculpture, photography, music, poetry— that which we call “art” has become an end itself; indeed, it is given an absolute value that not only resembles religion but also demands religious commitment. (Henry, God and Culture, pages 235-236 — Ed’s emphasis)

The reader should note that today’s common use of “culture,” as an identity with the customs of a particular group, does not even appear in the 1828 definition. “Culture” at that time, like “art,” denoted “added value” to a work that had another purpose than just being an object to admire, as “art” is today.

The changes that have occurred in the words, “culture” and “art,” illustrate, as Clowney discusses, the modern debates about “art” and “the arts.” (Henceforward, I am going to use “art” to include “the arts” for simplicity of expression.) Until relative recently in history, art was the energy and creativity that virtually all people used within whatever occupation that they found themselves.

The Sistine Chapel has been mentioned. Now, I am sure that Michelangelo could have found a better canvas than the high ceiling to which he was commissioned! Also, one that was easier for him to do his work and easier on the necks of viewers! But, the purpose of that great mural was to enhance the beauty of the Chapel, as a place of worship (or perhaps for the fancy of the reigning Pope).

As Clowney also mentioned, museums started as galleries of portraits of relatives and great personages. The Mona Lisa was a portrait that has become a famous painting. It was not commissioned to be a great piece of art in a museum, but either to commemorate a person or enhance the beauty of one’s mansion or castle. Its becoming “art,” as we understand the term today, was somewhat accidental, not intended in its production.

The great cathedrals with their flying buttresses were not created as independent “works of art,” but a greater way to demonstrate the grandeur and glory of God in a place of worship. (It is a great tragedy that these cathedrals with their physical beauty no longer reflect the beauty of a worshipping people.)

Thus, art had an identity within life itself to express beauty in whatever area of life in which it appeared. That area of life today we call “culture.” But, that word, as seen in the definitions above, was almost identical to the meaning of art, that is, an enhancement of the activities of everyday life for enjoyment or beauty.

I believe that this review explains the confusion in art today. Art only has an identity with the way of life of the artist and the “culture“ to which he belongs. Art is an enhancement of one’s beliefs and everyday life. Thus, art flows from the subjective values and ways of life of the peoples who produce it—the definition of “culture,” as we use it today. Its fullest application flows from the skill (craft) of the one who creates in whatever mode of expression in which he is involved.

But, the attempt has been made to separate art into a category that is divorced from its subjective nature. Thus, the “art wars” that we have today. The Renaissance and the Enlightenment have achieved more consistency with their subjective message, that of divorcing man’s existence from a necessary reference to the God of the Bible. In their earlier stages, they could not separate themselves entirely from their Christian worldview which dominated their era. However, now that “God is dead” —by their proclamation —neither harmony of design nor skill is required in their concept of “art.” As we will see, God is a Person of order and beauty. Modern humanists cannot acknowledge order and beauty in art any more than they can acknowledge (worship) a God of beauty and order.

Pornography is another example. As “art” developed in the West, the human form, was a primary focus of “art.” Michelangelo’s “David” glorified the magnificent body of a young man. Today, male (and female) pornography is defended as “art,” consistent with the humanist worldview of “freedom” of sexual expression. But, art in this sense, shows the degradation that occurs as thought and expression moves away from the grandeur of God.

But, many, if not most, have tried to make art something that is objective. Even Christians have made this mistake. Francis Schaeffer stated in his section on “The Art Work as a Art Work,” that “the first (principle) is the most important: A work of art has a value in itself” (page 50 – emphasis his). Gene Edward Vieth, Jr. talks about “objective merit” (page 40 – emphasis Ed‘s). Later, he states, “The fine art of the museums must also be judged by aesthetic standards (page 50, emphasis Ed’s). He writes as though these standards exist apart from some group-culture. They to not. Standards are derived by agreement for a group from each individual’s subjective [personal] values.)

Let me give an example. Take the Mona Lisa into one the many refugee camps in Africa. An individual or family there would likely use it as part of a wall or roof. Take it one of the primitive tribes that still exist in the world. If they don’t worship it as a god, they would likely use it as a decoration among their customary baubles. If a family owned the Mona Lisa, they would sell it far short of its current value, if it were the difference in their family being fed in a famine. Even one of the most famous paintings in the world is not universally valued! In one photo of a primitive people, viewers see light bulbs on their necklaces.

The lack of objective value can be seem in an historical example. During World War II, museums, churches, and other valuable buildings and landmarks were destroyed for the higher value of the war efforts. While these destructions may not have been often intended, they were expected “collateral damage” to the war effort.

The idea of any kind of value being objective is a common misconception of both Christians and non-Christians. Gold and silver come very close to being objective standards because they are almost universally valued. But, again, the primitive tribes think of gold and silver only as pretty baubles, not the value given to it by worldwide markets. See Summary Principles of Economics.

George Grant in his Gileskirk series on “Modernism” states that nationalism was a development of the late 19th Century in Europe. Perhaps, this attempt to coalesce many cultures under the broad umbrella of nationalism contributed to the modern concept of “art.” As we have seen, art was primarily an inherent element of the customs of a group of people and a way of life, but with nationalism there came the attempt to find value that was common to all peoples in one nation. Of course, the movement of nationalism and art to a more widespread value were part and parcel of the philosophical movements that were shaping the world in recent centuries. As there is now a movement to an artificial unity of all nations, there is an attempt to make art “universal.” It will not happen … until Jesus Christ personally rules the entire earth.

The United States is an example where there have been a myriad of cultures and their religions (beliefs and lifestyle), for example, the industrial North, the Old South, the Indians (quite distinct among themselves), African blacks, and Mexican immigrants. The founding fathers understood this diversity, forming a “united states,” not the nationalistic entity that the United States has become today.

All these concepts and identities must be recognized in any discussion of art. Any attempt to objectify art is doomed to failure because “beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder.” Tom Wolfe has estimated that the “art world—that is, the network of patrons, curators, and museums—consists of 10,000 people” (not including artists themselves). In a world of billions of peoples and thousands of cultures, how is it this small body of people thinks that it can determine what is and is not art? Such intent is the pinnacle of hubris! There are times that we should just laugh at their paint spatters and piles of junk, rather than engage in serious debate which only cedes most of their argument to their way of thinking.

And, thus exists the current dilemmas in the arts. By any traditional standard of art, much that is called “art” today is not. Art grew out of skill and craft with the imagination of beauty from within the mind of its creator. That art requires skill, craft, and diligence is about as close to an objective standard that I can conclude. The simple composites of paint, common items of everyday use, and virtually no effort of many modern and “abstract” art just do not qualify as art in this way.

Within all these mixes of subjective values, the most important is one’s religious beliefs (first principles, life philosophy, worldview, cosmology, etc.). Value is always primarily determined by one’s religious views. Thus, art by its very nature is religious.

A concrete example is the work of Robert Mapplethorpe. His “art” is simply the more consistent application of humanism that began with the Enlightenment and the Renaissance. These “great” movements were the beginning expressions of man’s conscious divorce from the God who was worshipped in the Middle Ages and produced the Reformation. Robert Mapplethorpe is consciously anti-God. Most modern art is consciously anti-God and Biblical Christianity. Everything else can be tolerated except that philosophy.

Art vs. skill. Dr. Clowney touches on this issue in his quote above. The artist may have great technique—line of brushstrokes, mixing of colors, and mastery of dimension—

and not produce what art connoisseurs would call good or great art. Thus, there is a quality to the whole that supersedes the “craft” of the work.

But, the reverse is much more difficult. An artist would have great difficulty producing what many might call good or great art without some level of competence in his craft.

To confuse the issue even further, we commonly speak of “lines” of beauty in architecture. Thus, there is an esthetic appeal to symmetry, lines that please the eye, shapes that blend and enhance the whole, and other such geometry. These lines and shapes are craft, mostly, if not entirely. They are far less complex than the great classical paintings, yet many call these “art.” Are they?

In literature, there are various forms: prose, poetry, white papers, scientific papers, and many more “kinds.” Each has a certain “beauty,” according to its subject matter, style, syntax, and use of language. Again, there is a blurring of craft, appeal, and beauty. Then, with this wide array of craft and sense appeal, what is art?

Group-culture. For our purposes here, I am going to create a term, “group-culture.” While culture normally refers to tribes or groups within local geographic areas, as those studied by National Geographic, there exists groups of people today who define art as what they themselves like. (See reference above.)

But, there seem to be groups even apart from this avante garde group who have similar tastes, but who do not form a culture in the usual and traditional sense. That is why I choose “group-culture” and not just culture as my reference for those who determine what “art” is (to themselves).

Art is really about group-cultures, not individuals. While certainly any individual may define for himself what is and is not art, the usual discussions of art involves group-cultures. They speak of “art appreciation,” “art critics,” “value” (especially in monetary terms), and fitting artwork into come established classification. Also, I cannot imagine any person on planet earth being able to create a “work of art” that no one else would not also value, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Also, to speak of art as anything individual, is to make this whole discussion too complex even to begin to have some coherency.

The author’s dilemma. The worldview area of art and the arts is the most difficult that I have yet tackled for several reasons. I am not inclined towards the arts. Indeed, virtually everyone who knows me well thinks me quite analytical. If a simplistic view of personality can be used, then I would be on the extreme away from those who are inclined towards “art appreciation,” its value, and perhaps even more so, those who produce art. At the same time, however, I may be just the person for to analyze this area since I may be more objective, having no vested interest and little subjective bias.

Summary Principles of Art and The Arts

  1. In its essence, art is a work whose beauty is subjectively valued by a group-culture that identifies with it.As we discuss lines, shapes, and composites vs. a detailed painting and forms of literature, their appeal and value is as broad as the number of groups who identify with parts or the whole of a work.

Let me use abstract “modern” art, as an example. Its appeal is to a limited audience. To many, abstract art is just a confusion of lines, shapes, and colors. Much of it is simple and easily assembled or painted, not requiring the intricate craft of classical art. Yet, there is an audience to whom abstract art has deep and serious appeal, even to payment of large sums to acquire it. To some of these people, classical art has no appeal or value, yet this art has a much longer history, and I suspect, much larger audience.

In this subjectivity, the slippery concept of value rules. In reality, this value can almost always be denominated in dollars (or some other form of currency). What a person or group is willing to pay reflects the extent to which they value an object. Value comes from worldview, that is, one’s most basic philosophy, religion, or worldview. Or, to use another word, value is what one worships (First Commandment).

Art, then, in the classical and modern sense cannot be separated from the worldview of the group who labels anything as “art” or beauty is in their eye minds. This link explains what is commonly accepted as “classical” art, the great paintings of such men as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci with their Christian motifs but sometimes with a blend of the Renaissance, as man begins to break free of a Biblical worldview.

  1. One could argue for art being at least the product of a learned skill that is diligently applied and a portrayal of a particular order, even if limited to that group-culture.What skill or effort is required to throw paint against a wall? Or, to collect a pile of junk? Or, to place a crucifix in a jar of urine? Or, to paint one’s body with chocolate? Yes, we must allow the group-culture to determine its art, but they have a great difficulty in getting much of the rest of the world to accept it as art without acquired skill and diligence.

Abstract art. Some abstract is diligently pursued that could be claimed as a skill. However, what does even the avante garde patron have to consider with a piece of abstract art? He has to imagine how it speaks to him or what it portrays to him. What has been done, then? The abstract form of art has been given definition, form, or context in the viewers mind! Even the group-culture that argues for abstract art must give it form and orderliness for it to be valuable to themselves. Now, I would not be so naïve to think that that some would not agree with this conclusion. However, I simply ask, “What does a person do when confronted with a piece of abstract are?” He begins to try to see meaning in it. Virtually everyone does this.—my argument is confirmed. His meaning, however, is not in the art. Dare one to say that such “meaning” is a sort of Rorschach test?

  1. Because of its link to a group, art should be funded by that group, not by a larger mass of people who do not “appreciate” that type of art.The current conflict about funding of the “arts” ultimately derives from several other errors in understanding worldview: (a) that government expenses are limited to those purposes that God has designed, primarily promoting justice and peace (see Worldview on Government, etc.) and (b) that “nations” can set policy for those group-cultures under its authority (see comments from George Grant above).
  2. Television, movies, and novels with some striking exceptions are not art except in a limited extent.There is a difference between entertainment and art. These media are primarily about entertainment, not art. Certainly, there have been some productions in these media that some (most?) could sanction as “art.” These might include “Gone With the Wind” (movie) and Crime and Punishment (novel). At the moment, any program produced exclusively for television that would qualify as “art” does not come to mind. Perhaps, some live coverage or “fair and balanced” documentary. However, the craft of special effects, virtually since the beginning of “moving” pictures, is to be applauded.

(I suppose in fairness and balanced, many novels would indeed be considered art, yet the modern mill of paper back trade novels makes up the large majority of sales. And, some movies, such as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is startling in its creativity. Yet, movies in general are just mass-produced.)

Certainly, group-cultures identify with certain programs, as Star Trekkies come to mind. But, even within these groups, it is obvious that what they are concerned with is entertainment, not what we would today call “art.” I know of no avant-garde group that has claimed any Star Trek series, as “art.” (They have claimed worse, however!)

Christians need seriously to evaluate the place of television (primarily), movies, and novels relative to their “redeeming the time” (Ephesians 5:16, Colossians 4:5). One wonders what reformation of American culture might occur, if the time that Christians spent watching television and reading novels were spent in serious study of their Bibles, theology, ethics, and worldview.

What does it say about our homes that the television is in the geographically central place in our homes. I daresay that the television has become an altar! And, many Christians would defend their watching television with a “religious” vigor that they do not display when they defend their faith in God. For some, novels (cheap or classical) might fit into that category of a serious use of time.

  1. Art, then, is as diverse as the number of cultures on the face of the earth and the common values within those groups.One of the errors of modernity is to think narrowly and superficially of other groups. For example, “Greek thought” is often referred to as though there were one way of thinking to all Greeks of that ancient civilization. The various tribes of American Indians were strikingly different in their hunting, houses, and habits, yet they are frequently referred to as though they were similar, if not identical.
  2. If a group wants to call something “art,” they may make that claim. But, they should not expect other group-cultures necessarily to agree with them.Perhaps, art is like happiness, one does not achieve happiness by trying to be happy. Happiness is a by-product of right behavior and trusting (resting) in the Providence of God. Art should simply be allowed to be whatever a particular group-culture wants it to be. We should not be concerned about the arts; we should just let artists create and their audiences appreciate.
  3. Christians, however, must consider what God calls “beautiful.”Biblical worldview is governed by what the Bible says. Interestingly, the Bible to a large extent reflects what most people would call beautiful: women, ships, trees, garments, and cities. See Beauty and Beautiful in the Bible.

But, God is Himself is not physical, He is a Spirit (John 4:24). As the great and ultimate being that He is, He and His attributes would have to be the most beautiful things to any believer’s mind.

If some churches choose to be plain, simple buildings, that is their choice and understanding of Scripture. If some churches want elaborate stained-glass windows, then they certainly have a model for them in the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the Temple that Solomon built. Some churches want contemporary music for their services, even including dance. Others want the formality of traditional and staid worship.

I would contend, however, that beauty of the architecture or church buildings should be a reflection of the beauties of God. While I understand the simplicity of buildings as an attempt to emphasize the spiritual nature of our salvation and to avoid the sin of the Second Commandment. Yet, God’s universe is not simplicity of design. It is a wonderful array of physical objects and an almost limitless myriad of plant and animal life. Beautiful objects, as skill and orderliness with imagination, are a reflection both of God’s creation and His holiness. Whether stained glass windows are allowed or not is beyond our discussion here, but I believe that the arguments of some Reformers that pictures are allowed, even encouraged by the Scriptures, as long as they are not central to worship and are not worshipped themselves.

Now, I will move from “preaching” to “meddling,” relative to the “worship wars.” I do not believe that the cacophony of some “contemporary worship” has form and orderliness. Some contemporary worship does, so I am not condemning all expressions. However. even where some speak in tongues, Paul calls for orderliness and form in worship (I Corinthians 14). John Frame has discussed these issues eloquently in his book, Contemporary Worship Music: A Biblical Defense (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1997).

See Beauty and Beautiful in the Bible.

  1. Art appreciation” classes should be renamed “A Review of Kinds of Art,” “An Education In Kinds of Art,” or some similar title.A student should not be expected to “appreciate” any “art” form that does not please him or her. As a broadening of an understanding of different culture-groups, such study can be worthwhile, but art is defined by the individual and his group-culture, not by any person or group for the entirety of humankind.
  2. Christians and the imagination.It seems to me that Christians have adopted the world’s concept of the imagination. In secular education, there is a “free-thinking” philosophy that is to allow children to be creative. But, what seems to have been lost in this approach is that a broad and studied background is needed to be creative. Creativity does not come from a blank mind, but one that is filled with forms and thoughts from others who have studied and labored. At one’s time of study, these studies may be considered fixed, even stagnant. Yet, creativity is built on what others have created.

God created from an infinite store of knowledge. He is our model of creativity. While there seem to be amazingly talented people who can create from childhood, these are the exception rather than the norm. Great mathematicians started with, and built upon, rote multiplication and division tables, not an empty mind. Creative artists must also build their complexity upon these simple foundations.

Value is a concept that needs much wider discussion within Biblical Christianity. At the most basic level, value is what determines everything that anyone does. Christians have the only truly unique source of determining value, God Himself as revealed in His word. Thus, nothing except God Himself and His Word has any intrinsic or objective value. True value can only be found as it identifies with the Person of God and His works.

Beauty should enhance everything that Christians do. As God defines beauty, His people should be beautiful. Our homes, schools, and churches (above) should be made beautiful within the constraints of economic stewardship. The reader will note from previous comments that this enhancement of all things is the historical meaning of art. As God’s people, we need to incorporate His beauty into our lives.

  1. Any “communication” of art is restricted to its group-culture. Leland Ryken reports an account of a person who first knew that Jesus rose from the grave at the blast of trumpets at an Easter Service. Now, the blast of a the same trumpet sounds in rural Africa is going to convince no one that Jesus rose from the dead! While the emotional appeal may cause one to focus more concretely on the startling and majestic act of Jesus’ Resurrection, the knowledge of the Resurrection and the context in which it occurred had to be present in that person’s mind to relate a trumpet blast to that event. Again, if you take a painting of the Last Supper into the jungles of Africa, all they will see is some men eating together in a strange custom. The significance of that event will only come through knowledge of the truth that it represents.Communication that occurs from art only does so in the context of its group-culture which must be understood in the form of propositions to be understood.

In this sense, propositional truth is prior to beauty. This phrase is simply another way to say that art flows out of a worldview.

Also, any truth that an art form can communicate is dependent upon the worldview in the minds of those who believe in that worldview.

  1. One could make the case that certain scenes in nature are the most universally accepted forms of beauty. Virtually every group-culture on earth has some appreciation of various scenes in nature as “beautiful.” While these scenes are not creations by man, their value as beauty does reside in the depths of man’s heart. According to God’s Revelation, this beauty is sufficient to prove to every person the beauties of the Person of God (Romans 1:18ff). These scenes find their way into virtually every historical culture on planet earth.
  2. The wonderful variety of art forms throughout history and modern times is only a small reflection of the creativity of God. Whatever man’s thoughts and whatever his portrayals of art, God has already thought of them in eternity. And, his creativity is itself eternal as the only wise God. We may marvel at all the great works of art that man has created, and we should, but all should be “for the glory of God.”

The antithesis of art, relative to God, is that art always glorifies some thing or some body. Again, see comments on worldview above.

  1. The gifts of individuals span the entire spectrum of God-given talents. On one end of the spectrum are those who highly talented in some art form along with those who may not have the talent, but deeply and pervasively appreciate the arts. On the other end of the spectrum are those who are highly analytical and have little to do with art appreciation. It is difficult for persons from one group to communicate with the other. They have different points of reference and value. But, as stated above, communication by words and sentences is what always gives specific interpretation of art. Communication by art is always limited by its group-culture.

As a general rule, women in everyday life are more concerned about art than men are. But, to make that general application without great attention to exceptions to this rule is a major error in thinking about human groups. Women decorate their homes while many men could care less. Women are more often involved in crafts and art classes. But, men have these interests and talents, as well.

Far too much has been made of the right vs. left brain theory. Supposedly, science has determined that the right side of the brain is more concerned with feelings and art appreciation, while the lift side is more concerned with “facts.” But, as one can easily see throughout our worldview applications, every idea and object has both a subjective and objective component. To try to separate these entirely is wrong-headed and ignorant. And, when one considers all the evidence on right-left brain, such distinctions are not so concrete as some would like to conclude.

References to Art, Arts, and Artists

Introductory definitions from , , and

Clowney, Edmund P. “Living Art: Christian Experience in the Arts,” in God and Culture: Essays in Honor of Carl F. H. Henry, edited by D. A. Carson and John D. Woodridge (Eerdmans, 1993), pages 235-253.

Ryken, Leland. The Christian Imagination: Essays on Literature and the Arts. (Baker Book House, 1981).

Ryken, Philip Graham Ryken. Art for God’s Sake. (Presbyterian and Reformed, 2006).

Sayers, Dorothy. “Toward a Christian Esthetic,” in The Whimsical Christian: Reflections on God and Man, (Collier Books, 1987), pages 73-91). Thoughts on “Christian esthetics,” the Church and the arts, and art vs. entertainment.

Schaeffer, Francis A. Art and the Bible. (InterVarsity Press, 1973).

Vieth, Gene Edward, Jr. State of the Arts: From Bezalel to Mapplethorpe (Crossway Books, 1991. A worthwhile, comprehensive review.)