MOCRA Programs and Events

John Handley, Ph.D.
"The Religious Art of Pablo Picasso"

Saturday, November 15, 2014    2:00 p.m.    free and open to the public
held at Xavier Hall Theatre, directly across from MOCRA
reception to follow at MOCRA

For a map and directions to special parking options for the talk, click here.

Art historian and theologian John Handley will shed light on a scarcely known aspect of the career of the renowned twentieth-century artist Pablo Picasso: his religious beliefs and his incorporation of religious imagery in his art throughout his career. The talk will be based on the newly published book, The Religious Art of Pablo Picasso, which Handley co-authored with eminent art historian Dr. Jane Daggett Dillenberger.   

The lecture will include an examination of several topics, including:

  • Picasso's lifelong preoccupation with the Crucifixion and how it relates to national Spanish identity and the bullfight
  • Picasso's little-known "War and Peace Chapel," done in the 1950s at Vallauris, France
  • Picasso's landmark painting Guernica, described by theologian Paul Tillich as the most important religious artwork of the 20th century

John Handley

Originally from the Northwest, John Handley earned his undergraduate degree in Art and Art History from Western Washington University. After moving to the Bay Area, he went to earn a graduate degree in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University, and a second master's degree in Theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary, before completing his doctorate in Art and Religion from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. His dissertation is on the American sculptor Stephen de Staebler.

Handley has worked for many years in museums and galleries, including the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, the Museum of Vision, San Francisco, and the Meridian Gallery, also in San Francisco. He is currently the director of the art galleries at Stephen F. Austin State University, in east Texas, where he also teaches part-time. His most recent work includes co-authoring the book, The Religious Art of Pablo Picasso (University of California Press), along with eminent art historian Jane Daggett Dillenberger.

About MOCRA Voices

MOCRA Voices is a series of conversations with thinkers and practitioners at the intersection of contemporary art, religion, and spirituality. Go in-depth with artists, scholars, theologians, religious leaders, and others who are engaged in the ongoing dialogue between visual art and the religious and spiritual dimensions. MOCRA Voices includes both podcasts available for streaming and download, and public lectures delivered at MOCRA. Learn more here.

MOCRA Voices logoMOCRA Voices is made possible through the financial support of the Regional Arts Commission.  Regional Arts Commission logo

More information

Learn more about The Religious Art of Pablo Picasso here.

For additional information, please contact MOCRA.

For a map and directions to special parking options for the talk, click here.

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