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Holland Cotter: Believe in Belief: Looking at Religious Art

Date of Lecture: November 14, 2019

Holland CotterAbout the Speaker: Holland Cotter is co-chief art critic at the New York Times, where he has been on staff since 1998. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2009. Holland is recognized for bringing contemporary Asian art, specifically from China and India, to the attention of Western audiences. He holds degrees from Harvard, the City University of New York, and Columbia University, where he studied Sanskrit and taught Indian and Islamic art.

About the Talk: In the lecture, Cotter shares how his encounters with art since childhood, including extended trips to Japan and Africa, shaped how he understands art and faith. "The artist Louise Bourgeois once said that she didn't believe in God but she had a religious temperament. I'm not religious in the sense of having a specific practice, but for some reason I have a pilgrim's temperament," Cotter recounted. "I just like holy places. My definition of holy, like my definition of art, being very elastic."

His talk at the College of the Holy Cross was held in conjunction with the Cantor Art Gallery exhibition, "Dharma and Punya: Buddhist Ritual Art of Nepal." It is one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.