St. Peter’s Art

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Title:St. Peter’s Art

 St. Peter’s Art (full size gallery)

God, the master artist, is always creating anew throughout the year, and the beauty of God’s earth is apparent everywhere on the grounds of St Peter’s.  The church itself, which has been lovingly maintained since its opening in 1836, is a stately addition to the earlier colonial buildings in Port Royal. 

The altarpiece[1]  that graces the wall above the altar was done by an anonymous artist and installed at St Peter’s in 1853.  The people of St Peter’s had this piece restored in 2016 by Cleo Mullins and her team at the Richmond Conservation Studio.  Russell Bernabo, a gilt expert, restored the gold framing. The celestial blues and golds of the altarpiece once more glow and add beauty to our space.  

But did you know that   St Peter’s has many works of art hidden in plain sight?  Find some time to take a tour of the St Peter’s art gallery, featuring several local artists.   Follow this handy guide.

The Altar Door Cross [2].  Woodworker Helmut Linne on Berg designed and constructed the wooden cross on the door behind the altar. Helmut has also created two processional crosses for St Peter’s—the blue one for young acolytes to carry [3], and the red Lenten cross that we use throughout the Season of Lent [4]. In addition, Helmut created our Holy Week cross which makes an appearance at the Good Friday service [5].  A large Easter cross, festooned with ribbons and bells, can be found in Catherine’s study in the Parish House and is often on the St Peter’s porch on Easter Sunday [6].   Helmut also made a smaller free standing cross with a candle holder out of wood that he salvaged from the river.  This cross is also in Catherine’s study[7].    

In the Sacristy.  This area features the work of four artists:  Mary Peterman, Mike Newman, Helmut Linne von Berg, and Elizabeth S. Fall. 

The Trinity [8]—hanging over the printer is a watercolor of three lambs, by Mary Peterman.  The lamb is an important symbol in Christian art.  In the first chapter of the Gospel according to John, John the Baptist refers to Jesus as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.  This watercolor is from the collection of Catherine Hicks.

Mary Peterman has also created a set of watercolors for The Stations of the Cross, which will be on view during the season of Lent.   

The Four Gospels—Hanging vertically, one above another, are four paintings on cardboard shields done by Elizabeth  (Beth) Stamboughon Fall.  She and The Rev. Ralph Fall were married on June 30, 1942.  They spent most of their married life in Port Royal and raised their two children there.  Elizabeth’s art studio was in the small building that we currently use as the nursery.    She died Dec. 26, 1983, and is buried at Vauters Church.

These paintings depict a lion [9], an ox [10], a man [11] and an eagle [12], the four living creatures that appear in the Book of Revelation. By the first century, Irenaeus, an early church father, had already connected these living creatures to the four gospels. These creatures appear in the famous art of the Book of Kells in connection with the gospels.   The man represents Matthew, the lion represents Mark, the ox represents Luke, and the eagle represents John. 

Painting of  the Tablet Pinnacle [13]—On the counter is a framed oil painting on Belgium linen by Mike Newman of the design that appears on the top of each tablet pinnacle in the church.  The painting is done in the same rich blue and gold as the tablets.  Helmut Linne von Berg made the frame from wood that is over 100 years old.  Helmut salvaged the wood from a piano in Susan Linne von Berg’s family.   

In The Parish House.  The Parish House features work by Elizabeth Fall, Ben Hicks, Mike Newman, Sydney King, Pete Butzner, Kristen Malcolm Berry, and Sue Moore.  

In the hallway.  Sycamore Tree [14]–Enter the door closest to the kitchen.  Hanging on the wall facing the door is an oil painting done by Elizabeth Fall of the magnificent sycamore tree behind the church, with the setting sun behind it.  This painting is from the collection of Genevieve Davis and hung in her home for many years. 

Check out the bathroom!  On the wall opposite the bathroom door is a large photo — Summer on the Rappahannock [15] by Ben Hicks.  The frame, donated by Nancy and Alex Long, gives the appearance of a window looking out on the river, adding spaciousness to this area.  And on the back wall is The Duck [16], also by Elizabeth Fall and from the collection of Genevieve Davis. 

In the Dining Room over the keyboardChurch, by Mike Newman, is a watercolor of a small colonial style church [17]

St Peter’s Stained Glass [18]—This oil painting, also by Mike Newman, was purchased anonymously and given to St Peter’s.  The money raised went toward the outreach work of the church. 

Front Hallway—Features the many priests who have served at St Peter’s through the years .[19] [20].  In addition, on the wall with the photos of the bishops who are currently serving in the Diocese of Virginia, is a small reproduction of the portrait of William Channing Moore [21], the bishop who consecrated St Peter’s on May 15, 1836.  The original portrait belongs to Virginia Theological Seminary and hung in Scott Hall for many years. 

The Front Room.  Portrait of The Rev. Jonathan Boucher [22] (artist unknown)   Read more about him at https://www.churchsp.org/boucher/ 

St Peter’s Church[23].    This small oil painting by Elizabeth Fall, and also from the collection of Genevieve Davis, was restored by the Richmond Conservation Studio in 2016. 

Upstairs in Catherine’s study—

In addition to Helmut Linne von Berg’s Easter cross, several other works of art are in Catherine’s study, all from her collection.

The Crown of Thorns [24]–Hanging over the prayer desk on the wall opposite the door is a small reproduction of a painting done by Betsy Meehan, an accomplished artist and musician.  Betsy painted this portrait of Jesus crowned with thorns as she was dying from myeloma. 

Paris Skyline [25]—Hanging over the mantel is a woodcut by Pete Butzner, an artist from Fredericksburg.

Gathering Kindling [26]Sydney King, local Caroline artist, did this drawing in charcoal and pastel chalks and based it on a 16th century drawing. 

Greek Icon[27]—This icon, done in colored pencil and brought from Greece, is from the estate of Cotchy Pappendrou.  This icon was a gift from Ben to Catherine for the Parish House study.

For as often as you eat this bread [28]—Kristen Malcolm Perry’s art is drawn from the images of the New Testament.  Each image includes the verse on which it is based, written in Greek.  Various indigenous art forms influence Perry’s work. 

Gloria deum Christus Natus Est [29]—this woodcut, by Sue Moore, one of the Winston-Salem Printmakers, is an artistic interpretation of the incarnation of Jesus.  The Greek word for fish is “ichthys.” As early as the first century, Christians made an acrostic from this word: Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter, i.e. Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. This print is on the shelf next to the door. 

Sea of Galilee [30]—Catherine bought this photo in Jerusalem.