A 20th-century pioneer in the fashion industry, Adele Simpson attributed her significant achievements as an artist and a businesswoman to her practice of Christian Science. It benefitted her by 1) bringing the balance to her life that had been lacking and 2) the idea that all her creative work was governed by God, the one creative Mind, not herself.View Annotation
Resources Related to the Arts
The resources relating to the arts are listed below. Click “View Annotation” to learn more about the resource.
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Introvigne determines that Kwon’s book on American painter and Christian Scientist Joseph Cornell is both “a superb achievement and a missed opportunity” (188). Since Kwon acknowledged that Christian Science was “an epistemological structure that shaped [Cornell’s] worldview rather than a set of principles he sought to illustrate” (quoting Kwon, 221), religion scholars would have hoped for more details.View Annotation
Mina Loy’s Christian Science faith with its views of the body, along with 19th-century spiritualism informed her poetry. She conceptualized in her poetry a non-binary kind of embodiment—away from body/soul or life/death—to life as beyond the body. Loy saw death and the physical as illusory and thereby able to break with biological determinism and personality.View Annotation
This article stems from Lessiter’s talk “Architecture and Design of Six, Purpose-Built, Early, Christian Science Churches in London.” Lessiter asks what images were being presented to the public and what these images say about the people worshipping inside. She examines the churches’ churchly character as well as practical aspects such as the foyer, acoustics, foundation stones, Bible quotes on walls, and the lack of depictions of Eddy’s life.View Annotation
Introvigne reviews 19th- and 20th-century artists to understand how their Christian Science beliefs and convictions influenced and inspired their art. James Franklin Gilman, Violet Oakley, Evelyn Dunbar, Winifred Nicholson, the ‘Group of Seven,’ and James Cornell are featured artists in this review. Cornell, considered by Introvigne as the most important, was famous for his collages and ‘boxes.’View Annotation
Robert Indiana, a preeminent American artist of the 20th century, is most widely known for his 1966 painting “LOVE,” which embodies the four capital letters stacked foursquare. Thomas explores the “connections to mysticism, religion and spirituality” in Indiana’s life. In particular, Thomas adduces several points of congruence between the doctrines of Christian Science and Indiana’s art.View Annotation
This Commission is the city of Boston’s report recommending the Christian Science Publishing Society Center complex as a designated landmark. The Report includes a comprehensive description of the physical site and its uses, history of The Mother Church, history and development of the Fenway neighborhood, the Center’s architectural history and significance, property and zoning issues, the assessed value of the property, etc.View Annotation
Armstrong claims that Cornell infused elements of a Christian Science worldview, including the denial of the substantiality of matter, into his art. Also poet/novelist Loy, a close friend of Cornell’s, read Eddy, and infused ideas traceable to Christian Science into her poetry, fiction and correspondence with Cornell. They both grappled with the notion that by embracing Mind, material error would dissolve.View Annotation
Kilde, specializing on the intersection of religion and architecture, describes the original 1895 Christian Science Mother Church edifice, built under Mary Baker Eddy’s close supervision, as very feminine with its stained-glass windows depicting many female biblical figures. Kilde contrasts this with the masculine cavernous Renaissance-style classicism of the Mother Church Extension built in 1906 with its ambience of public majesty.View Annotation
This book grew out of Craig’s 1970s dissertation on the Bernard Maybeck architecture at Principia—a college for Christian Scientists in Illinois. Craig contextualizes Maybeck within late-19th- to mid-20th-century architecture, and highlights the values Maybeck shared with the Principia community, especially seeing the project as the unfoldment of Principle–embodied in the College’s very name.View Annotation
Wood highlights the role of Horton Foote’s faith tradition in his professional work as a highly acclaimed playwright who won a Pulitzer Prize (The Young Man from Atlanta) and Academy Awards for screenwriter (To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies). Wood explains both the theology and practice of Christian Science (especially that of Foote’s loving and nurturing mother) that show through in his writing.View Annotation
The monumental bank-style church buildings associated with Christian Science are the subject of Ivey’s architectural study. Ivey notes a self-conscious attitude about this church building movement seeking to be perceived as prominent, legitimate and profitable to the worshiper. His treatment of Eddy and Christian Science teachings is balanced, but he questions whether the church buildings appropriately represented Eddy’s church and teachings.View Annotation
LaMothe highlights the famous dancer Ruth St. Denis and how she found theological meaning in her dance informed mainly by Christian Science and some other religious influences, including Isis. Understanding dance as an expression of divine Mind, St. Denis struggled to justify her love of the physical expression of dance in light of Mary Baker Eddy’s teaching that matter was illusion.View Annotation
Alan Young, a successful 20th century actor in television and movies, was invited to bring his skill to help the Mother Church. But he became disillusioned with his direct experience working with the Boards of Directors in the late 1960s and early 1970s and tells his personal story, because he thinks his story exemplifies what happened to other skilled professionals.View Annotation
This book is primarily a collection of Gilman’s reminiscences as he illustrated Mary Baker Eddy’s poem, Christ and Christmas. Gilman’s detailed letters and reminiscences of their work reveal Gilman’s profound struggle to obey and please his teacher through his art. Eddy ultimately considered the book one of her most important, as the time, prayer, and thought committed to it testifies.View Annotation
Wills examines a range of past leaders—each paired with an “antitype” or “one who exemplified the same characteristics by contrast.” Wills sees Mary Baker Eddy’s story as mirroring 19th-century America—turning from the past’s “punitive Calvinism” to opportunism, “healthy-mindedness” and spirituality “untainted by the materialism of the times.” Wills also examines Eddy’s tutorship under Phineas P. Quimby (her antitype).View Annotation
Armstrong combines two stories, the building of the Original Mother Church (1894), and the much larger Extension of The Mother Church adjacent to the original (1906). Also included are numerous photos and color plates of the windows in the Original and a brief update on the addition of the portico, administration building, and large reflecting pool constructed in 1975.View Annotation
This little-known history of the growth and reception of Christian Science in a pivotal year, 1885, is told through a fictional literary framework. The value of this account is that most history recorded of that period is derived from Mary Baker Eddy or her closest supporters, but this is a rare account of public perceptions of controversies and efforts to find the truth.View Annotation