The Interchurch Center Permanent Art Collection are found around the main floor.
Artist Featured in Exhibition
NATIVITY in NATURE by Lenore Tawney (1907 -2007)
This 11 by 12 foot textured tapestry by artist –weaver Lenore Tawney (born Leonora Agnes Gallagher) illustrates how Christ came into the world as a holy-spirit. The poetic abstract design showing Mary with the Christ child in her arms is represented by brilliant golden threads as a blaze of pure light. Nature in its heavy dark mystery is penetrated from above by the heavenly blessing accompanying the spirit of love.
The tapestry was purchased directly from the artist by the architects of The Interchurch Center for the Center’s opening in 1960.
CANOPY OF STARS by Israel Levitan of New York (1912-1982)
The 35 by 45 foot plaster ceiling by modern sculptor Israel Levitan, is thought to be the only one of its kind created by the artist. Levitan worked in a range of materials such as plaster, stone and metal, however he executed most of his work in wood. The carved plaster ceiling in the Narthex, features 1,000 lucite disks embedded in the ceiling through which light is projected thus creating the impression of a night canopy of stars.
AXIOM ONE by Ruth Nickerson (1905-1997)
Ruth Nickerson (born Jennie Ruth Nickerson Graecen) was a WPA artist, sculptor, art educator and teacher. She preferred to work in stone and carved directly into her materials. Her signature works were larger-than-life religious figures, but also created the occasional political figure as well.
AXIOM ONE states in the simplest sculptural terms the fact that all men evolve from the same elemental forces. This is symbolized by the abstracted female forms of the central figure from which highly simplified heads of four of the races of man are emerging. Each race has its own characteristics and its own direction differing from the others but solidly bound together by their common origin. The quotation from the writings of Confucious, "Within The Four Seas, All Men Are Brothers" was the stimulus for creating the sculpture, AXIOM ONE.
MOON SERIES (partial) by Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011)
Toshiko Takaezu was born in Pepekeo, Hawaii of Japanese parents. She studied art at the Honolulu School of Art and at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan with Maija Grotell. Of her years working with Grotell she said, "Hawaii was where I learned technique; Cranbrook was where I found myself." craft and nature are melded under Ms. Takaezu's deft touch.
As a teacher, Ms. Takaezu influenced and taught hundreds of students over the years. From 1954 to 1964, she was the head of the ceramics department of the Cleveland Institute of Art, where she developed her educational philosophy. "It is important for students to find out who they are and what they want to do, rather than just to make something well, " she said.
This piece is of her "Moon Series" of the 70's and 80's. This series focused on the round or ovoid female symbol, which occurs in many cultures. Some are textured with lines traced by her fingers as the clay revolved on the wheel. Others were glazed with broad, loose brushstrokes. The artist presented the sculpture to The Interchurch Center in 2007.
Above the altar table of teak wood hangs a gilded stylized Chi Rho, the ancient Greek symbol for the Christ, combining the first two letters of the Greek word Christos.
The Chi Rho is seven feet high and made of gold mosaic.
The massive teak doors at the entrance to the Narthex and Treasure Room are 16 feet high and paneled in Burmese teakwood. The doors are inlaid with 10 different crosses in Ceylonese satinwood and East Indian Rosewood. On the right, from the top: the Latin cross; the Celtic Cross; the Crusader Cross; the Tau Cross (or St. Anthony’s Cross); the Anchor Cross. On the left form the top: the Greek Cross; the Russian Cross; the Maltese Cross; the St. Andrew Cross; the Cross Crosslet.