“The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is ‘the word in stone’ – It is a sacred book written in massive pier and ponderous arch, in sculptured marble and carved oak, in stained glass window and inlaid mosaic, in embroidered fabric and woven tapestry, whose pages are full of delight, inspiration and help for those who will take the trouble to read them” – Rev. Edward N. West, D.D., Canon Sacrist of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine as quoted in the WI 1956-57 issue of Sculpture Review.
The National Sculpture Society (NSS) will present the Herbert Adams Memorial Medal to the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, a major cultural center on Manhattan’s upper west side. The Memorial Medal is presented for service to American sculpture. The Cathedral, from its exterior to interior and to its grounds, provides a home for many works of sculpture and was the venue for the National Sculpture Society’s landmark exhibition, ‘A Blessing of Animals’ in 2017.
The Cathedral’s façade includes John Angel’s trumeau carving of St. John the Divine and Theodore Barbarossa’s 30’ long limestone carving The Revelation of St. John. The Cathedral’s interior includes, amongst other works, Anna Hyatt Huntington’s Joan of Arc and Constantin Antonovici’s marble reclining portrait for Bishop W.T. Manning’s final resting place. The Cathedral’s vast nave offers a spectacular backdrop for rotating exhibitions. National Sculpture Society hosted a group show of eclectic works of sculpture inspired by several religions titled ‘Sculpture in the Religious Spirit’ at the Cathedral in 1990. Last year, ‘A Blessing of Animals’ tied into the Cathedral’s ‘A Summer of Sculpture’, which featured NSS’ twenty-eight monumental animal sculptures throughout the nave, narthex, chapels and bays, along with sculpture and accompanying educational materials in the crossing for The Art Students League of New York’s Model to Monument exhibit and with a celebration of Greg Wyatt’s The Peace Fountain and Animals of Freedom exhibit. Greg Wyatt, a Fellow of the NSS and an Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral, created the 40’ high Peace Fountain, which is permanently installed on the Cathedral grounds.
The Cathedral’s ongoing arts programs are enjoyed by an estimated one million visitors annually. Like the National Sculpture Society, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year.
The National Sculpture Society has presented the Herbert Adams Memorial Medal since 1947. It has been awarded to institutions including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Brookgreen Gardens and The Green-Wood Cemetery. The National Sculpture Society will present the 2018 award on Saturday, June 23rd at the Honors and Awards Dinner, part of the Sculpture Celebration Conference which will be held June 22-24, 2018 in South Carolina.
Image on Sculpture News: Joshua Tobey’s Wild Instinct on view during the ‘A Blessing of Animals’ exhibition.