Arts

Art captures our sense of wonder and the spark of imagination, awakening us to truths about the world and ourselves. Come explore spirituality through the arts at The Riverside Church.

Scriptural Dramatization

 

Selected Art at Riverside:

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated three widely known paintings by Heinrich Hofmann to The Riverside Church, including “Christ and the Rich Young Ruler.” This painting depicts a story from Mark 10:17-22, where a wealthy young man approaches Jesus and asks him what he must do to inherit eternal life. Christ gestures toward an impoverished woman and man and invites the man to sell all he has, give it to the poor, and follow him.

In the Narthex are the only original Renaissance windows in the church. The 16th century Flemish windows are from a church probably threatened or destroyed during the French Revolution. Later the English inscriptions were added. The windows illustrate events, miracles, and parables in the life of Christ.

A Flemish Transitional tapestry of the late 15th or 16th century pictures a religious ceremony in the life of King Clovis the First.

A French Renaissance tapestry of the late 16th or 17th century depicts a feast, probably at the return of the Prodigal Son.

The Trompeta Majestatis was dedicated Palm Sunday, 1978. “Christ in Majesty,” by Sir Jacob Epstein, is the gilded mold for the unique cast at Llandruff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales.

Our Garth lawn, adjacent to our 91 Claremont Avenue Entrance, features the statue “Madonna with Child” by Sir Jacob Epstein. The sculpture was created, cast in bronze, the result of two year’s work, and first exhibited in America in 1927. In the 1930s, Sally Fortune Ryan, an artist and daughter of one of the richest men in the United States, purchased the sculpture for $7,500 and, years later, donated it to Riverside in 1960.

Recent Exhibitions

Shades of
Ordinary Time

“Shades of Ordinary Time” highlights the liturgical season after Pentecost until the beginning of Advent. The color green symbolizes growth and new life. Imagine the top of the Nave opening to allow the leaves to stream down into the church as God’s creation comes inside. It is a time of flourishing and delighting in every shade of green found in nature as we celebrate the diversity of God’s people gathered to worship at The Riverside Church.

The KEY

The Riverside Church was the North American location for THE KEY, the 2016 CARAVAN Exhibition of Art. THE KEY uses the world’s most ancient symbol of harmony and pluralism, the Egyptian Ankh (known as the “Key of Life”) as the canvas for a contemporary message of hope for a harmonious, peaceful and tolerant world. THE KEY showcases the work of 40 premier and emerging Egyptian, Middle Eastern and Western contemporary artists using a modern 3D fiberglass portrayal of the Ankh (an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph that read “life”) as a means of engendering harmony and peace among people of different cultural heritages and faith backgrounds.

Launched in Cairo, Egypt in March 2016, THE KEY was then exhibited in London, England at the beautiful Sir Christopher Wren designed St. James’s Piccadilly from June 15 through August 15. Opening on the UN International Day of Peace, THE KEY was showcased at The Riverside Church in New York from September to November 2016.

St. John's Bible

In late 2015, The Riverside Church was selected to host the St. John’s Bible. The first hand-illuminated Bible done in over 500 years, it reflects the work of dozens of artists, calligraphers, and theologians from across the globe who sought to bring the words of Scripture to life. Learn more at www.saintjohnsbible.org.