Religious & Spiritual Art

This page lets you go deeper into the exhibitions by presenting the artworks with thoughtful questions, additional historical and art historical information, and interesting comparisons.

All supplementary material for the “Religious & Spiritual Art” is on this page. Scroll to find the image and content you’re looking for.

Minerva Teichert, "Queen Esther"

Minerva Teichert (1888-1976), Queen Esther, 1939, oil on canvas, 65 x 48 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art.

Minerva Teichert painted this depiction of Esther in 1939 after reflecting on a letter from her son who was serving a mission in Germany and had personally witnessed the abusive treatment of Jews. Her son’s letter inspired three large paintings all completed between 1939-1939: Queen Esther, Immigrants to New York City, and They Who Had Taken Us Captive Required a Song of Us.

Can you summarize the story Esther?
Who was she?
What moment from the narrative account recorded in scripture are we witnessing here?

Take a moment to reflect on the story of Esther. Put yourself in her position and record what your thoughts and feelings must be on a day such as this. Put yourself in the position of the artist and record what you felt after reading a letter from your son that describes the condition of the German Jews.

Minerva Teichert, "Queen Esther"

Minerva Teichert (1888-1976), Queen Esther, 1939, oil on canvas, 65 x 48 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art.

Minerva Teichert, Immigrants to New York City

Minerva Teichert (1888-1957), Immigrants to New York City (Jewish Refugees), 1938, oil on canvas, 97 1/2 x 69 5/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art.

Teichert, They Who Had Taken Us Captive Required of Us a Song

Minerva Teichert (1888-1976), They Who Had Taken Us Captive Required of Us a Song, 1939, oil on canvas, 83 1/4 x 60 5/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art.

Consider these three works together? What do they depict? How are they related?
How does this depiction Esther relate to the other two works painted by Teichert this same year?

 

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Lee Bennion, Daily Bread

Lee Udall Bennion (b.1956), Daily Bread, c.1990, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Gary Ernest and Judy A. Smith, 1994.

Often we are asked to look and identify what we see in a work of art, but some works of art require us to look beyond the obvious or mundane. This requires more than simply identifying what is represented visually. It asks us to spend quality time with the work of art, thinking of thoughtful questions, and listening for meaningful answers.

Consider the main elements of this work of art: bread, apron, flower, window, woman, arm
List any word associations or concepts that come to mind when thinking of that element.
What meanings do you associate with the obvious elements in this work of art?
Did any object become personally significant through your meditation?
Did any relevant connection emerge?

 

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