The Bible and Art

January 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Our latest display highlights some of our art books on the topic of Christianity and art.

Inspiration: We had a book come in from a donation called The Life of Christ In Art.  It was a good size with a colorful cover.  Art is such a good display topic because it is made to be displayed and to catch people’s attention.  I automatically told our acquisitions librarian that I wanted it for a display.  Also, it works great to support the Fine Arts class the college offers.

Book Selection:  I entered keywords and phrases like “art and the Bible,” “stained glass,” and “art and theology” into our catalog.  When similar call numbers came up, I searched in that section to find other books that would work.  I picked the ones with interesting and colorful covers, or full page color prints inside.  Here is a list of the titles I used:

  • The Life of Christ In Art by Nancy Grubb
  • Immanuel: The Coming of Jesus in Art and the Bible by Hans Ruedi Weber
  • Cathedrals by Robin S. Oggins
  • Windows of Hopewell Mennonite Church of Reading Pennsylvania by Harry E. Yocum, Jr.
  • Great Cathedrals by Plantagenet Somerset Fry
  • Stained Glass by Lawrence Lee
  • The Bible and Its Painters by Bruce Bernard
  • Painting the Word: Christian Pictures and Their Meanings by John Drury
  • It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God by Ned Bustard
  • The Visual Arts and Christianity in America by John Dillenberger
  • The Old Testament Through 100 Masterpieces of Art by Regis Debray
  • The Beauty of God: Theology and the Arts by the Wheaton Theology Conference
  • The Gift of Art: The Place of the Arts in Scripture by Gene Edward Veith
  • Theology and the Arts: Encountering God Through Music, Art, and Rhetoric by Richard Viladesau

Creating the Actual Display: I didn’t bother with a colorful tablecloth, since the books were all very colorful.  I also didn’t bother with a title sign, since I thought it was kind of self-explanatory.  I arranged the books on three tiers, with the books with the best covers standing up.  Those which didn’t have great covers, but good pictures inside were displayed open.  I used clear polyethylene book straps to hold the pages open.  You can get that through library suppliers like Gaylord.  It can be a little pricey (I think we paid around $25 or $30/roll, but that has lasted us quite a while.  I already had some from a previous display, so I didn’t have to buy any more.  The other thing I did was to create the “stained glass windows” using black poster board and colored tissue paper.  Our display table is in front of a big window, and gets the afternoon sun, so I thought this could create a visual point that might make people notice the display more.

Cost for the Entire Display: I got the black poster board and colored tissue paper from AC Moore for under $5.00.  Stores like AC Moore, Michael’s, and JoAnn’s Fabric always have 40 or 50% off coupons in the weekend papers, you can print coupons off their website, or they often have circulars at the front door.  I rarely pay full price for items at those stores.


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