ARIL - Themes
Century; Organized Church Life; mass communication; Pentecostal Publishing Company;
||Black and white
photograph of the Pentecostal Publishing Company's sales booth.
||Courtesy of Asbury
Theological Seminary, B.L. Fisher Library Archives.
Seminary, B.L. Fisher Library Archives, 204 North Lexington Avenue, Wilmore, KY, 40340
Century; Foreign missions; Pentecostals; Assemblies of God; Ambassador II
||Side view of
Ambassador II airplane. This B-17 was purchased by the Assemblies of God and used to
shuttle missionaries to and from the field in the years following World War II.
||Courtesy of the
Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.
Pentecostal Heritage Center, 1445 Boonville Avenue, Springfield, MO, 65802
||Sacred to the Memory
Century; Church and State; civil religion; American symbolism; People; George Washington;
||In this engraving
"the heavenly translation of Washington combine[s] the symbolism of Greek mythology,
Christian iconography, American history, and military bravery." Showing the influence
of Raphael's "Vision of Ezekiel," this Barralet engraving makes "an overtly
religious statement." Classical virtues here join with the Christian virtues of
faith, hope, and charity to raise a leader, an American Moses, to sainthood.
Specific characters also bear special significance to the new republic: the female is
Liberty. She bears the traditional cap of liberty on her sword. The presence of the
American eagle, an adaptation of the ancient personification of Zeus, represents unity and
power. The Indian may represent the New World or the perfect example of the natural man;
either way he bows his head in mourning over Washington's passing. In the background are
mourning women and children. The presence of a female figure in commemorative pieces from
this era typically and simultaneously represents a muse, a virtue, and a fashionable young
Ultimately, one responded with veneration to this icon. It demonstrated that America now
had a saint to intercede on its behalf, a guardian to watch over a dispirited and
bewildered people. This Moses would lead his people from despair to promise, from grief t
joy, from uncertainty to victory. No Red Sea or, for that matter, no Mississippi River or
Pacific Ocean would daunt America in its flight from tyranny to freedom, from weakness to
strength. No pursuing chariots or, for that matter, no English battleships or French
schemes would thwart this nation in its rise to glory. There has been no prophet in all
Israel like unto this one. (Gaustad and Taylor)
|Courtesy of the
Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
of Pennsylvania, Photoduplication Department, 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA,
||Allegory of the
Century; Church and State; civil religion; American symbolism; Hercules; mythology
Suggested as Symbol of America
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were determined that the United States Capitol be a
meaningful expression of America's new political and social order. The Constitution,
ratified in 1788, had given the country its governing structure; the Capitol, begun three
years later, was still incomplete when Congress first met there in November 1800.
Construction of the original building took thirty-four years and was directed by six
presidents and six architects. Opinions among statesmen and designers differed as to how
to achieve a symbolically potent yet functionally efficient building within a Neoclassical
framework. Conceiving of themselves as inheritors, guardians, and conveyors of Western
civilization, they slowly built a Capitol that drew upon both American and European
emblematic and architectural traditions.
Symbols for a New Nation Symbols are history encoded in visual shorthand. Eighteen-century
Euro-Americans invented or adopted emblems -- images accompanied by a motto -- and
personifications -- allegorical figures -- to express their political needs. They used
them as propaganda tools to draw together the country's diverse peoples (who spoke many
languages) in order to promote national political union, the best hope of securing liberty
and equal justice for all. Benjamin Franklin was responsible for suggesting the country's
first emblem -- a native rattlesnake -- and its first personification -- Hercules. Both
were readily understood by his contemporaries: the snake device conveyed the need for
political solidarity among the colonies, while the strength of the infant Hercules was
likened to that of the mighty young nation. Subsequent devices continued to symbolize
national union, while personifications were generally composite figures that fused ideas
of Liberty, America, Wisdom, or Civil Government. The Capitol's early planners drew upon
this small but expressive group of accepted American symbols to convey to the public its
actual and metaphorical roles. Symbols of Union Benjamin Franklin consulted Baroque emblem
books to find an appropriate symbol for the union of the colonies. A French source
provided the image of a cut snake with the motto that translated as "Join, or
Die." An Italian iconography book stated that snakes symbolized democracy, government
by the people. Probably owing to the snake's negative connotations, Franklin and others
sought alternative symbols of union. These included a circular chain of thirteen links and
a Liberty Column supported by hands and arms that represented the states. After the
Revolution, national political union was embodied in the Great Seal of the United States.
Several groups of thirteen elements -- leaves on the olive branch, arrows clutched by the
eagle, stars above its head, and a shield of stripes on its breast -- referred to war,
peace, and the American flag, itself the Revolution's principal symbol of union.
|Courtesy of the
Library of Congress.
||Library of Congress,
Photoduplication Services, 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC, 20540
|Not yet available
the Laws to America
Century; Church and State; civil religion; People; George Washington; presidents
||The stirrings toward
a sense of local unity that began to manifest themselves in the English colonies by the
middle of the eighteenth century marked the beginnings of a redefinition of what American
was and was about. From discontent with practical matters that impinged on daily life and
individual welfare, discussions moved to more fundamental considerations that were
translated into concise abstract terms, such as Liberty, Prosperity, and the Rights of
Man. As the abstractly formulated ideals took on power they also assumed visible shape;
words and images joined forces to direct individual minds to a series of collective ideas
that eventually would constitute a combative whole.
To people educated on the literature of Greece and Rome, it seemed natural to define the
abstract qualities in which they believed in terms of those ancient cultures. Not only a
complete pantheon but an established cast of heroic virtues thus existed to be summoned in
support of a contemporary idea, person, or event that needed to be detached from local
circumstances as a collective principle. Although the dimensions in which the image of the
United States was conceived were ideological rather than ethnic or geographical, its forms
belonged to the ancient world, which, as seen in the late eighteenth century, was a kind
of timeless utopia peopled by principles rather than by corporeal beings.
Thus, the figure of Washington holds "The American Constitution," and is clearly
meant to be identified with Moses. The Puritans envisioned themselves as the New Israel
and by extension perceived Washington as the Moses of his people and the constitution as
the new set of Commandments.
The Roman toga worn by Washington represents the virtues of ancient Roman culture.
According to Albanese, American association with Rome also "summed up the pluralism
of many different peoples dwelling in one state."
The woman in armor symbolizes Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, and the lion the conquered
Of the three women standing behind Washington, one holds the mirror of truth and another
fasces representing power and authority.
An angel sounds the horn of triumph while holding the seal of the United States. The eagle
represents Zeus, and by extension, supreme authority.
In the foreground, a semi-clad figure who is presumably America reclines amid symbols of
natural, undeveloped land. She wears the laurel wreath of victory.
(Taylor, Albanese, Gaustad)
Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public
Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
||New York Public
Library, Center for the Humanities, Office of Special Collections, Room 316, The Research
Libraries, Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10018-2788
||The Emigration of
Daniel Boone, or, Daniel Boone Escorting a Band of Pioneers into the Western Country
Century; Westward Expansion; manifest destiny; People; Daniel Boone; George Caleb Bingham
played a very important role in nineteenth-century art and literature. One of its grander
artistic manifestations was George Caleb Bingham's epic painting of Daniel Boone leading
the pioneers across the Cumberland Gap. In this painting we see in the foreground a rocky
cleft in the mountains littered with gnarled and broken dead trees. The foreground is dark
and ominous except for the patch of light that spotlights a group of pioneers moving
toward us through the cleft. In the background of the painting there is more light and the
suggestion of green and cultivated hills, which the pioneers are leaving behind in their
heroic determination to bring life to a dead and empty wilderness. The symbolism of the
pioneer group bears out this vision. These are family groups. One of the central figures
is a Madonna-like woman on a white horse led by a highly romanticized figure of Daniel
Boone. Their composition evokes the traditional artistic symbolism of the Holy Family on
the Flight into Egypt. This central group is followed by men and women, bearing axes and
driving stock. Boone, a pivotal figure in many versions of the western myth, here appears
as a highly civilized man, dressed in a costume that has buckskin fringes but otherwise is
in the height of gentlemanly fashion, a far cry from the rough and gnarled Boone figure of
the wilderness hunter garbed in rough animal skins that appears on many other canvases
reflecting different visions of the West. In Bingham's painting the symbols of
Christianity, civilized cultivation, technology, and even a strong flavor of gentility
come together to characterize the march of the pioneers into a landscape that is nothing
but broken rocks and sticks before their arrival. (Taylor, pp. 143-44)
Washington University Gallery of Art, St. Louis.
University, Gallery of Art, Steinberg Hall, Campus Box 1214, St. Louis, MO, 63130