Though the art world is widely renowned for certain kinds of tolerance, it is simultaneously accused of refusing to accept outsiders. One case in point is Mormonism—that increasingly prominent religion that’s stepped into the spotlight due to the rise of Mitt Romney—which has received very little attention from scholars and curators with regard to its artistic accomplishments. Menachem Wecker explores the convergence of the Mormon faith and artistic and academic practice in his essay, Are scholars and museums ignoring Mormon artists?, which is published in the quarterly journal Mormon Artist. Searching for a concrete reason behind Mormon art’s low profile, Wecker, a former art columnist for the Jewish Press, examines how the practice slips between the cracks due to its conflicts with contemporary conceptions of religion, realist art, and scholarly practice:
The conspicuous absence of Mormon art in U.S. museums begs the question: Are art institutions maliciously turning a blind eye on LDS artists, or have LDS artists and cultural institutions done a poor job of marketing themselves to the wider public? And whichever is the case, are there good reasons why non-Momons should take Mormon art seriously?
Is its lack of exposure due to inaccessibility, ignorance, indifference, or something else? Read his essay in its entirety here.