The beautiful

The Beautiful-logo.jpg

On view: Olson Gallery | Bethel University

About the beautiful…

In his essay “The Weight of Glory,” C.S. Lewis suggests that beauty comes to us as “brightness, splendour, and luminosity.” We know that encounters with beauty are essential to human flourishing. Indeed, such experiences capture our imagination and animate our souls; they invite us to pause and consider the nature and meaning of our material world and the one who created it all. In the modern period, artists often had a conflicted relationship to beauty. On one hand, they were drawn to beauty’s sublime qualities. On the other, they realized that a superficial understanding of beauty could be either a means to avoid the world’s suffering or a charm that incites consumer desire. Nonetheless, our need for beauty remains. In the shadow of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace there exists what some describe as a “broken beauty” — beauty that still captures heart and mind but contends with the fallenness of our world. This exhibit gathers more than 35 contemporary works of art executed in a variety of media and genres that bear witness to beauty as it appears to us in the complex landscape of contemporary culture.