“The most fundamental issue for the arts today … is the spiritual foundation of the arts…. Steiner demonstrates that our individual creative activity is not solely a personal affair. Our creations do not originate out of nowhere, nor solely out of ourselves, but from an objective world of spirit with which we are intimately related in the depths of our being. He shows that our creations have significance beyond ourselves and beyond the recognition they receive: works of art are vehicles of spirit ual qualities. In bringing these spiritual qualities into the sphere of human life, the artist becomes responsible for the spiritual effects the work of art has on the artist, other people, and ultimately on human evolution.” —Michael Howard
This book introduces a new way for thinking about, creating, and viewing art. Rudolf Steiner saw his task as the renewal of the lost unity of science, the arts, and religion; thus, he created a new, cognitive scientific and religious art in anthroposophy. The implications of his act—recognized by such diverse artists as Wassily Kandinsky and Joseph Beuys—are only now coming fully to light.
In his thorough introduction of more than a hundred pages, Michael Howard takes readers through these thought-provoking chapters:
Is Art Dead?
To Muse or Amuse
Artistic Activity as Spiritual Activity
The Representative of Humanity
Beauty, Creativity, and Metamorphosis
New Directions in Art
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures:
The Aesthetics of Goethe’s Worldview
The Spiritual Being of Art
Buildings Will Speak
The Sense Organs and Aesthetic Experience
The Two Sources of Art
The Building at Dornach
The Supersensible Origin of the Arts
Truth, Beauty, and Goodness
Christ, Ahriman, and Lucifer
About the Author
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.
Michael Howard, born in Vancouver, BC, in 1946, began sculpting at the age of fifteen. He received his B.F.A. from Eastern Michigan University and his M.A. in Fine Arts from Columbia Pacific University. He has studied the work of Rudolf Steiner since 1969. For thirty years, Michael has made an independent study of Rudolf Steiner’s sculpture and taught primarily in Waldorf schools and anthroposophic centers, both in Europe and North America. Since 1985, he has taught sculpture at Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, New York. He is the leader of the Visual Art Section of the Anthroposophical Society in North America.