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Vista Series Series

Art as Spiritual Activity

Rudolf Steiner's Contribution to the Visual Arts

October 1997
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    1st October 1997
  • ISBN 9780880103961
  • Language English
  • Pages 336 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

“Through the introduction by Michael Howard and Steiner’s ten lectures, this volume offers an account of the sources and purposes of art, as well as a particularly helpful approach to art as a spiritual practice. So, far from being dated, Steiner’s account of art and its relation to spiritual experience is at least contemporary and probably ahead of its time. As this book ably shows, Steiner’s insights concerning art, particularly when approached and practiced as a spiritual activity, might be exactly what art, artists, and contemporary culture urgently need.” —Robert McDermott (from the foreword)

Seeing his task as the renewal of the lost unity of science, art, and religion, Rudolf Steiner created in the worldview he called Anthroposophy a new, cognitive scientific and religious art, the implications of which—recognized by such divergent artists as Wassily Kandinsky and Joseph Beuys—are only now becoming fully apparent. Art as Spiritual Activity includes a comprehensive, thought-provoking introduction of more than a hundred pages by Michael Howard, who writes:

“The most fundamental issue for arts the spiritual foundation of arts.... Steiner demonstrates that our individual creative activity is not solely a personal affair. Our creations do not originate out of nowhere, nor solely out of ourselves, but from an objective world of spirit with which we are intimately related in the depths of our being. He shows that our creations have significance beyond ourselves and beyond the recognition they receive: works of art are vehicles of spiritual qualities. In bringing these spiritual qualities into the sphere of human life, the artist becomes responsible for the spiritual effects the work of art has on the artist, other people, and ultimately on human evolution.”

Art as Spiritual Activity introduces a new way of thinking about, looking at, and creating art.

C O N T E N T S:

The Vista Series Foreword by Robert McDermott

INTRODUCTION by Michael Howard:

1. Is Art Dead?
2. To Muse or Amuse
3. Artistic Activity As Spiritual Activity
4. The Representative of Humanity
5. Beauty, Creativity, and Metamorphosis
6. New Directions in Art

LECTURES by Rudolf Steine):

1. The Aesthetics of Goethe’s Worldview
2. The Spiritual Being of Art
3. Buildings Will Speak
4. The Sense Organs and Aesthetic Experience
5. The Two Sources of Art
6. The Building at Dornach
7. The Supersensible Origin of the Arts
8. Anthroposophy and the Visual Arts
9. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness
10. Christ, Ahriman, and Lucifer

Rudolf Steiner on Art and Related Matters in English
Works of Visual Art Created by Rudolf Steiner


Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (b. Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner, 1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

Michael Howard

Michael Howard, born in Vancouver, BC, in 1946, began sculpting at the age of fifteen. He received his B.F.A. from Eastern Michigan University and his M.A. in Fine Arts from Columbia Pacific University. He has studied the work of Rudolf Steiner since 1969. For thirty years, Michael has made an independent study of Rudolf Steiner’s sculpture and taught primarily in Waldorf schools and anthroposophic centers, both in Europe and North America. Since 1985, he has taught sculpture at Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, New York. He is the leader of the Visual Art Section of the Anthroposophical Society in North America.