Cisco; the Roman Catholic Church of
St. Philip the Apostle in Clifton, New
Jersey; St. Stephen's Episcopal
Church in Columbus, Ohio, and the
Faith Lutheran Church in Tucson,
Arizona. Modern painters and sculptors have been commissieine>el here anel
abroad for churches and synagogues.
For example, Jacques Lipchitz, a
sculptor ridiculed in Miss Pels' article,
has recently completed a statue' of the
Virgin Mary for the Church at Assy
in France, and Leger, another famous
modern artist, heis designed mosaics
for the same chinch as well as for the
windows of the Church at Audincourt.
The devout French Catholic painter.
Alfred Manessier, has decorated two
churches in France' anel erne' in Switzerland with his nearly abstract compositions. His Crou.ii of Thorns recently
won the coveted first prize at the great
Carnegie International Exhibition in
Pittsburgh. Henri Matisse- designed an
entire' chapel at Vencc, including the
stained glass windows, altar, crucifix
and the vestments worn by the priest
to celebrate Mass. Henry Moore, the
famous modern English sculptor has
carved a monumental Virgin and Child
for the Church at Northampton and
the' leading modern British painter,
Graham Sutherland, has done a life-
size crucifix. A team of modern artists
including the painters Robert Motherwell, anel Adeilph Gottlieb and the
This sculpture representing the burning thorn
bush by the American Herbert Ferber was commissioned by the Congregation B'nai Israel for
the facade of its synagogue in Millburn, New
Jersey. In soldered copper, brass, lead and tin,
the artist has conveyed his feeling of the Biblical passage, ". . . and the bush was not consumed."
artist, is shown here
standing beside his
painting of the
by Canon Hussey of
the church of
England for the
church in Northampton. Like many
artists of the past,
Mr. Sutherland has
agony by exaggerating parts of
sculptor Herbert Ferber have, in collaboration with the architect Percival
Goodman, created an entire' decoration
for the synagogue in Millburn, New
The' Crucifixion, reproduced in Miss
Pels' article and characterized as Mil-
gar anel distorted and, by implication,
sacrilegious, has in fact been highly
praised by leading churchmen. Father
James L. McLane, Rector of St. Matthias Church, Los Angeles, California,
saiel of it specifically:
Allow me to offer you my belated congratulations em the prize-winning Crucifixion which I was privileged to see- einly
today. Quite eisiele- from the artistic authenticity, simpleness, anel integrity of your
conception anel its most Interesting execution, I eeinnot understand the objections its
showing here has occasioned. That of
course is political — anel h;is nothing really
to do with art. Speaking not only as an art
connoisseur anel een art collector on a modest scale, hut as a priest of the' Episcopal
Church, your Crucifix is NOT sacrilegious.
In addition, Monsignor Robert E.
Brennan of the Church of Our Lad)
of the Holy Rexsary, Sun Valley, also
saiel of it specifically:
It is wrong for anyone te) force all artistic creations before the' judgment se-at of
realism. How would some of the- gnat
Byzantine representations of our Lord eenel
the- saints fare from such treatment? The
charge of "sacrilegious" hy realists is out
of eirele'r because realism has no place in
the1 matter. . . . from ;i personal point of
view, I do not finil anything in your work
that merits the stigma given it. On the
contrary, it possesses spiritual qualities ol
a high veilue' for those- who think in terms
ol the medium you have chosen,
Similar statements from high eligni-
taries of the Catholic Church are e4
dence that the interpretation of P°n
I'ins XI Is words is left te> individuj
church leaders and is not intended 1
a blanket condemnation of ineiel'r'
art, as implied in Miss Pels' arti'*;
but as a condemnation of lack J
obvious spiritual qualities in si'1"!
works of art. Prominent Ceitholics s"c
as the French Dominican, Father ' l"
turier, the American editor, Fatja
John La Farge, the leeiding Fn'-'r
Jesuit, Father d'Arcy, the' philosophy
Jacques Maritain anel the' business!"*!
Otto Spaeth, eill approve eir acti^l
advocate the' use eif modern art by 'J
church as do the great Protest
theologian, Paul Tillich, of the Bj
vard Divinity School, and in Engl""
the Bishop of Chichester and Ca"°
The record shows that couth'"1''
tion of modern art, effective <n
USSR since' 1920 and tbe official p».
line in Moscow since 1932 has n"1',.,
been forced em all of Russia's sate
but also on Party members
countries. The consistent linking
communism with modern art ;>"' ■
specific modern artists with the G .
munist party and Communist-front j
gani/.atieins in Miss Pels' article ct J
the' impression that modern art ■ I
only dominated but largely pro' nm
by Communists and fellow travj
This third point in Miss Pels ;U ,v.
i.s also not true. It is obviouS I
there are a few Communists an'1'
Facts Fobum News, June,
are in nu
to bear o
effort to i
^e is se
0f Art, aft
. The eet