Painting a Poem: Mary Baker Eddy and James F. Gilman Illustrate “Christ and Christmas.”
Christian Science Publishing Society, The. Painting a Poem: Mary Baker Eddy and James F. Gilman Illustrate “Christ and Christmas.” Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1997.
This book is primarily a collection of reminiscences of James F. Gilman who illustrated Mary Baker Eddy’s poem, Christ and Christmas, and whose collaboration resulted in the form of a published book. Gilman’s detailed letters and reminiscences of their work together reveal Gilman’s profound struggle to obey and please his teacher through his art. Eddy ultimately considered the book one of her most important books, as the time, prayer, and thought committed to it testifies. He respected and trusted her spiritual leadership and strove to combat whatever character deficiencies either he or she identified as obstruction to the necessary receptivity to God’s guidance. She frequently blamed his failure to understand or obey her explicitly on ‘animal magnetism’—a force working to undermine him and provoked by envy. These reminiscences of his learning spiritual discipline under the private tutelage of Eddy present both a valuable description of 19th-century Puritan severity and the mindset of an artist confident enough to withstand the rebukes. A century and a half later, his submissive obedience and excessive devotion appear obsequious. The book includes a brief narrative explaining the publication, withdrawal from publication, and reissuing of Christ and Christmas, along with seven plates of Gilman’s other landscapes.
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-0875103709
For more about Eddy’s poem Christ and Christmas, see also annotations:
“The Christian Scientist as Artist: From James Franklin Gilman to Joseph Cornell” by Massimo Introvigne
Angelic Overtures of Mary Baker Eddy’s “Christ and Christmas” by Alice Orgain