Gretchen Townsend Buggeln will be coming to speak at the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation Seminar in New York and American Material Culture on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at 6pm. Her talk is entitled “Architecture, Art, and Liturgical Space in Postwar America.”

Gretchen Townsend Buggeln holds the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christianity and the Arts at Valparaiso University, where she writes and teaches about the intersections of the sacred and the material world in both religious spaces and in museums. Previously she served as associate professor in the Winterthur Program for Early American Culture and as director of the Winterthur Museum’s research fellowship program. Her first book, Temples of Grace: The Material Transformation of Connecticut’s Churches, 1790-1840 (2003) won national book awards from the Vernacular Architecture Forum and the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic. She is also the author of numerous articles and book chapters on religious architecture and artifacts, museums, and American religious history. Most recently she has completed a book about the modern churches of the postwar Midwestern suburbs.

American religious architecture and liturgical arts frequently took strikingly different contemporary form in the postwar years. Designers and their clients adapted ecclesiastical spaces new theological, social, and economic imperatives. This lecture looks at the suburban, Midwestern churches designed by architects Edward Sovik, Edward Dart, and Charles Stade in order to think about the meaning of modernism for postwar American Christians. The first half of the lecture considers architecture and liturgical space as it moved towards the idea of the “gathered church.” The second half looks at the work of several liturgical artists who frequently collaborated with these architects. Their use of image, word, and symbol reflects postwar concerns for truth in faith and art, and a kerygmatic need for clarity of expression.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. Registrants who arrive late may be seated in an overflow viewing area.