Ittai Weinryb, editor
Votive objects or ex-votos are a broad category of material artifacts produced with the intention of being offered as acts of faith. Common across historical periods, religions, and cultures, they are presented as tokens of gratitude for prayers answered, as well as the physical manifestation of hopes and anxieties. Agents of Faith explores votive offerings in the context of material culture, art history, and religious studies to better understand their history and present-day importance. By looking at what humans have chosen to offer in their votive transactions, this volume uncovers their most intimate moments in life and questions the nature, role, and function of one of the most fundamental aspects of the relationship between people and things—the imbuing of objects with sentiment. Encompassing exquisite works of art as well as votives of humble origin and material, with objects dating from 2000 B.C. to the twenty-first century, the beautiful illustrations and wide-ranging text expose the global reach of votive practices and the profoundly personal nature behind their creation.
Ittai Weinryb is associate professor at the Bard Graduate Center, New York.
The exhibition Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place is on view at Bard Graduate Center Gallery from September 14, 2018 through January 6, 2019.
The catalogue is also available as a Deluxe Edition with a cloth cover and silver tipped edges.
Table of Contents
Of Votive Things
Note to the Reader
Part I. Agents of Faith
1. Place, Shrine, Miracle
Terrestrial Gateways to the Divine
Alexandra Beuscher and Darienne Turner
2. Votive Materials: Bodies and Beyond
Edible Offerings: Food in Votive Culture
Michael H. Dewberry and Alexander Ekserdjian
3. Public and Private Dimensions of the Votive Offering
Christopher S. Wood
4. Memory and Narrative: Materializing Past and Future in the Present
5. Votive Giving Today
Votive Giving and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Anne Hilker and alyssa Velazquez
Part II. Votive Objects in Time and Place
6. Clever Devices and Cognitive Artifacts: Votive Giving in the Ancient World
7. Lob und Danck: On the Social Meaning of Votives in the German Pilgrimmage Culutre
Mitchell B. Merback
Votive Wax: The Hipp Workshop in Pfaffenhofen
8. In Serach of Blessings: Ex-Votos in Medieval Greater South Asia
9. Votive Giving in Islamic Societies
10. Action in Form: African Art as Voiced Engagements
Suzanne Preston Blier
11. Votive Giving in the New World
Diana Fane and Fatima Bercht
12. The Contemporary Ex-Voto: Reenchanting the Art World?
About the Authors
Lenders to the Exhibition
352 | color illustrations throughout
Hardcover: paper over board