New York: Sheed & Ward, 1956. First edition. Quarto (11 1/4 inches tall), original cloth spine, marbled paper boards, original dust jacket. Book fine, small chip to upper rear upper panel of the excellent dust jacket. Item #915
"CHURCH ART TODAY—AS AT ANY OTHER PERIOD—WORKS WITH THE FORMS, COLOURS AND MATERIALS OF CONTEMPORARY STYLE" First edition in English of this mid-century photobook illustrating modern developments in the Liturgical Arts and Church architecture—in the original dust jacket designed by Arno. First published in Germany, this edition includes the brief Preface to the German edition, along with the longer Preface to the American edition, by the editor Maurice Lavanoux (of the Liturgical Arts Society). Lavanoux credits Pope Pius XII's Mediator Dei with inspiring an artistic renewal in the Church. The text consists of two essays: 1. Anton Henze. The Potentialities of Modern Church Art and Its Position in History, 2. Theodor Filthaut. Church Art and the Liturgy. Henze describes the conventions and practices of the nineteenth century which spurred the renewal of the Liturgical Movement and a consequent demand for a revitalized sense of Christian Art. Filthaut indentifies the Upper Room of the Last Supper as the source of worship. "The historical origin of the Christian church is the supper-room at Jerusalem. The Lord Himself celebrated, as the origin and pattern for all time, the Eucharist which is the centre and heart of the Church's worship. Its continuation is the primary object of every church that is built." The illustrations (over 120 black-and-white captioned photographs, diagrams and charts), including many full-page plates, are gathered in the back. The final leaf lists localities and photo credits. Translated by Cecily Hastings.