Agents of Faith


You are viewing an older version of the Yalebooks website. Please visit out new website with more updated information and a better user experience:

Votive Objects in Time and Place

Edited by Ittai Weinryb


Read this book online via the A&AePortal, our art and architectural history eBook platform. To learn more about how to access this book, please contact us.

View Inside Format: HC - Paper over Board
Price: $75.00
Our shopping cart only supports Mozilla Firefox. Please ensure you're using that browser before attempting to purchase.

Also Available in:
Art ePortal

Votive objects or ex-votos are a broad category of material artifacts produced with the intention of being offered as acts of faith. Common across historical periods, religions, and cultures, they are presented as tokens of gratitude for prayers answered, as well as the physical manifestation of hopes and anxieties. Agents of Faith explores votive offerings in the context of material culture, art history, and religious studies to better understand their history and present-day importance. By looking at what humans have chosen to offer in their votive transactions, this volume uncovers their most intimate moments in life and questions the nature, role, and function of one of the most fundamental aspects of the relationship between people and things—the imbuing of objects with sentiment. Encompassing exquisite works of art as well as votives of humble origin and material, with objects dating from 2000 B.C. to the twenty-first century, the beautiful illustrations and wide-ranging text expose the global reach of votive practices and the profoundly personal nature behind their creation.

Distributed for the Bard Graduate Center

Exhibition Schedule:

Bard Graduate Center

Ittai Weinryb is associate professor at the Bard Graduate Center, New York.


Bard Graduate Center

“The 372-page accompanying catalog contains 17 essays and abundant illustrations. In it, scholars address such diverse themes as the interconnectedness of African art forms and community belief systems, the roles votives play within German pilgrimage culture and votive giving in Islamic societies.”—Kate Eagen Johnson, Antiques and the Arts Weekly

“One of the great gifts of global consciousness has been to remind Western secular culture that some art has power beyond the aesthetic. And that power is what this book, the catalog for a show at Bard Graduate Center Gallery in Manhattan (through Jan. 6), is about. It brings together objects of spiritual significance from Africa, Asia, Latin America, medieval Europe and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Each item was designed to seal a vow, ask for help or give thanks for an answered prayer. Together they demonstrate that art is alive and interactive.”—Holland Cotter, New York Times 
ISBN: 9780300222968
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Bard Graduate Center
372 pages, 8 1/2 x 12
250 color + 60 b/w illus.