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Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, the Arts and the American West

VARIOUS CONTRIBUTORS
Edited by Sarah V. Turner, Christopher M. Scheer and James G. Mansell

£44.00

Hardback

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It is in America that the transformation will take place, and has already silently commenced – MADAME BLAVATSKY

With these words, written in The Secret Doctrine in 1888, Helena Blavatsky drew a direct connection to the dynamic energy of nineteenth-century Americanism and the Theosophical Society. She and her successors would specify the American West as the site for a rebirth and re-enchantment of humanity, drawing those seeking spiritual fulfilment outside of organized religion to the dramatic landscapes of California, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. The syncretic nature of Theosophy encouraged individualism in belief, fitting well the popular notions of freedom and personal agency used to characterize the American West.

In 2014, the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum at Utah State University staged the first exhibition to explore artistic responses to the confluence of enchanted thought in the American West in the early twentieth century. Building on this research, Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, the Arts and the American West is the first publication devoted to these relationships in art and music. Through a series of interlocked contextual essays, interviews, and interpretations of individual works by the exhibition’s curators and invited scholars, this publication explores the role of Theosophical thought in fostering dynamic cultural networks in the region that redefine the relationship between enchantment and modernism.

DETAILS

Hardback
Premium sky-blue cloth, printed inset
Custom-printed ‘desert’ endpapers
32cm x 23.5cm
160 pages
61 colour | 13 black and white
1.2kg
English text

STATUS

In stock
ISBN 9781527228818

MEDIA

frieze
Artnet

CONTENTS

Preface – Katie Lee Koven
Introduction – Sarah V. Turner, Christopher M. Scheer and James G. Mansell

CONTEXTS

The World of Helena P. Blavatsky – Gauri Viswanathan
Point Loma: American Exceptionalism and the Arts – Christopher M. Scheer
Halcyon and the Arts – Paul Ivey

THE TRANSCENDENTAL PAINTING GROUP AND SPIRITUAL ABSTRACTION

Painting Portals on Other Worlds: The Transcendental Painting Group – Sarah V. Turner
Equilibrium through Dynamic Intensity: The Music and Art of Dane Rudhyar – Deniz Ertan
Outlying Modernism: Agnes Pelton, Theosophy and Gender – Anna Gawboy
Beatrice Wood: Theosophy, Krishnamurti and Enchanted Vessels – Katie J. T. Herrington

DYNATON AND BEYOND

The Dynaton – Helena Capkova
Optical Enchantment: Oskar Fischinger and Visual Music –  James G. Mansell
Politics, Theosophy and the Dissident Voice in Jess’s Translations – David Wall

CONTEMPORARY RESONANCES

An Interview with Matt Mullican on Lee Mullican – Marco Pasi
Encountering the Enchanted Modernities Exhibition – Christine Odlund

Appendices

Weight 1.4 kg
Dimensions 20 × 235 × 320 cm
CONTRIBUTORS