"Useful to the Mind": Ade Bethune's Illustrations for The Catholic Worker, 1934-1945
Norton, Rachel E.
Promey, Sally M.
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Ade Bethune made illustrations for The Catholic Worker newspaper, the publication of the Catholic Worker movement, from 1933 through 1945. These illustrations served multiple functions. Obvious, expected functions included increasing the publication's appeal to potential readers, and reiterating the messages delivered in the text. However, the drawings' more interesting and unique function was to serve as dual models of the kind of lifestyle Bethune espoused. The illustrations both demonstrated this lifestyle through the depicted images, and acted as witnesses or artifacts of Bethune's own practice. Bethune caused her drawings to fulfill these functions by carefully and self-consciously selecting subjects and styles that most effectively communicated, either explicitly or through evocation. Her drawings, which blend modernist abstraction with a romanticized medievalism, are an historically significant example of the impact of the Liturgical Arts movement in America.