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Painting Religion in Public:
John Singer Sargent's Triumph of Religion at the Boston Public Library
Sally M. Promey

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"With very impressive intellectual range, Promey deftly interprets the imagery in the context of diverse social, religious, and cultural currents in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America, and Boston in particular. Painting Religion in Public will instantly become and remain the definitive study of its subject."--David Morgan, Valparaiso University

"Painting Religion in Public is a brilliant book, meticulously crafted, engaging, and challenging. It is full of marvelous insight and a deeply matured sensitivity to Sargent, his experiences, and his art. Sally Promey does a splendid job protecting the genuine ambiguities and contradictions in Sargent's views and in the realization of his plans for Triumph of Religion. Her ability to weave together historical, cultural, visual, and biographical resources without imposing a false unity gives authoritative restraint to her arguments while allowing her enthusiasm and sympathy for the project and the man to come through clearly. This is a truly wonderful work."--Ellen Smith, American Jewish Historical Society

"Painting Religion in Public is a full retelling of the story behind one of the most ambitious and, in its own era's eyes, most important public art monuments in the United States. Sally Promey establishes this importance through a thorough exploration of documentary materials, her creative use of these documents, and a wide-ranging inquiry into both the art and the religious culture of that time and place. Readers in many fields will find the text rewarding."--Marc Simpson, Bibliography of the History of Art, Getty Research Institute

"Promey's thorough study of the contexts of and reactions to this most ambitious of Sargent's projects is not only timely but most welcome . . . .[Her] analysis of the multi-layered and religious attitudes and practices, patriotism, and sociological currents during the three decades of the installation of the murals is intricate and masterful . . . will undoubtedly become the definitive scholarly study of this complex series of murals."--Marianna M. Archambault, Religion and the Arts

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File created: 4/21/2017

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