About The Art of Faith
Texas, like the rest of the country, has been made richer by the contributions given to it by the diverse array of immigrants who chose to settle within its borders. Today, many of those contributions are so much a part of daily life that nary a thought is given to them.
Among the many things which immigrants brought to this land was their religion. In some communities, particularly (but not exclusively) in Central Texas, the importance of new Texans’ faith in God was manifested in elaborately decorated churches, which were also community hubs where all kinds of gatherings were held. They are collectively known today as the Painted Churches of Texas. The exquisite artistry on display within these houses of worship is quite striking, and captured my attention from the moment I first became aware of it.
The churches’ construction coincided with the sharp increase in European immigration to Texas that began in the 1850s and continued into the early twentieth century. They were built by a variety of communities, but are primarily associated with the Czechs, Germans, and Polish.
In 1983 the Texas Historical Commission nominated fifteen of the churches to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination, titled Churches in Texas with Decorative Interior Painting, gave brief historical synopses of the churches while describing in detail the architectural characteristics and types of decorative painting techniques associated with each. Its shortcoming was that it failed to recognize a number of churches that easily fit within the group, as there are at least twenty five churches in Texas which can be classified as Painted Churches.
The Art of Faith is an homage to the Texans who created these beautiful structures. It is inspired by my deep admiration for their work as well as my own faith in God, and will hopefully help to tell a very small part of their stories. The portfolio is divided into two parts, The Churches and The Details, which I felt could not be cohesively combined, and more effectively complemented each other as they are presented here.
Prints and Licensing
For information about purchasing prints or licensing any of the images within this portfolio, please click here.