William Keith: Scripture Through the Hudson River Painters, Part 2
Last week, we looked at the Swedenborgian-inspired art of George Inness, a Hudson River school artist.
Like the Eastern painter George Inness, William Keith became an adherent to Swedenborgianism and believed that his late, dark, indistinct works better suggested the spiritual reality that lay beyond the surface forms of nature.
Keith was introduced to naturalist John Muir by mutual friend Jeanne Carr. Keith and Muir became part of a supportive group of naturalists and painters.
Keith's produced early landscapes of breathtaking views of the Sierras that Muir wrote about.
Muir and Keith made activist environmental trips in 1907 and 1909, for Muir's final environmental crusade to save the Hetch Hetchy Valley of California, now part of the Yosemite National Park, from being flooded to be a reservoir for San Francisco.
It is fascinating to explore the interactions among artists and Swedenborgians. Rev. Joseph Worcester and the San Francisco Swedenborgian church were deeply involved in the art movement of their times. We'll continue to explore this fascinating story, and consider how the messages of Scripture - and of Swedenborg - have been and are expressed in the arts.
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