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National Cathedral Chooses Kerry James Marshall to Design New Stained Glass

National Cathedral Chooses Kerry James Marshall to Design New Stained Glass

From the NY Times:

Four years after removing stained-glass windows honoring two Confederate generals, Washington National Cathedral officials said Wednesday they had chosen an acclaimed Black artist, Kerry James Marshall, to design their replacements.

The artist visited the cathedral for the first time on Wednesday after being given the task of healing a small wound in the country’s second-largest cathedral. Together with the poet and author Elizabeth Alexander, Mr. Marshall will design two stained-glass windows addressing themes of racial justice to replace those that paid tribute to Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

“Right now I don’t have a clear concept of what I think I will do,” he said. “It will have to be work that is able to synthesize a multiplicity of ideas and sentiments about what the country represents for all of us. There will be some kind of imagery that presents itself as an invitation to reflection on the meaning of America now.”

… For the cathedral, he will be working with stained glass for the first time. The installation will cover four window sections, or lancets, that are six feet tall and one-and-a-half-feet wide. He plans to include figures for his cathedral piece as well.

“There are likely to be figures in the windows, some of them are likely to be Black figures, but I can’t say this is all you are going to see there because I think the scope of the windows needs to be more expansive than just that,” he said.

The Cathedral announced on September 22 that one of the old windows, which were removed in 2017,  will be loaned to the National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of an exhibit titled “Make Good the Promises: Reconstruction and Its Legacies.”  According to the exhibit’s website, it will feature more than 175 objects, 300 images and 14 media programs which highlight the complicated history and legacy of the Reconstruction era (1865-1877). The exhibit will be on display at the museum though August 21, 2022.


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Bruce Cornely

Perhaps pieces of glass from the removed windows could be fashioned into small souvenir panels and sold in the bookstore to raise money for appropriate projects

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