By K Weitzmann
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Extra info for Age of Spirituality: A Symposium
3 Like their colleagues shaping the new discipline at Harvard, professors in the first generation at Princeton were usually trained in literature or classical studies or science and largely self-taught in art history. The confluence of theology and art history, as well as science and art history, in the shaping of the art history graduate departments had an impact on Barr’s ultimate career. Many ministers—and in the next generation, sons of ministers—could be found lecturing on the history of the fine arts in neophyte departments of art history.
His consummate involvement with art, rarely disclosed even to his closest associates, did not replicate his spiritual life; in a nonspecific sense it replaced that life, as it did for many of his generation. 13 On December 23, 1921, he wrote to his friend Katherine Gauss: “How can you be pessimistic if you open the shutter of your soul to beauty. . My Christianity is intellectual and therefore feeble. Belief is emotional and I have never had an experience strong enough to require an emotional religion.
Examples abound in his correspondence of what could be construed as either exactitude or petty insistence on observing precepts to the letter. He seldom speculated on questions if he couldn’t be absolutely sure of the answer; faced with a request for a recommendation for a student he couldn’t remember after ten years, he said so. 18 When Frank Crowninshield inquired about his publications, Barr’s reply might be seen as too literal and petulant: “I believe . . (I am) author of some 19 or 20 catalogues, editor and part author of about eight more, and unofficial editor of some ten more.
Age of Spirituality: A Symposium by K Weitzmann