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St. Bartholomew's Church

New York, NY

Narthex domes and pendentives

Six Days of Creation, 1930

Commissioned by: Mayers, Murray & PhillipIconographer: Rev. Robert NorwoodMedium: Byzantine-style glass mosaicFabricated by: Pühl & WagnerInstalled by: Ravenna Mosaics

No sooner had Meière's Transfiguration been installed in the apse during the summer of 1929, than the vestry commissioned Meière to design the Six Days of Creation for the five domes of the narthex, also in Byzantine-style glass mosaic. This time the vestry gave Meière the artistic freedom to design in her preferred Art Deco style. Both the apse and narthex were dedicated in 1930.1

Narthex looking north with with Day Two of Creation in foreground

Narthex looking north with with Day Two of Creation in foreground

Meière alternated her Six Days of Creation. She placed Day One farthest north, Day Two, farthest south, Day Three to the right of Day One, and Day Four to the left of Day Two. Days Five and Six are combined in the center dome.

Narthex domes with the Six Days of Creation; clerestory windows with Magnificat, Gloria in Excelsis Deo, Nunc Dimittis, and Benedicite; half-dome of apse with the Transfiguration, and stringcourse separating upper and lower apse with panels of birds and animals

Narthex domes with the Six Days of Creation; clerestory windows with Magnificat, Gloria in Excelsis Deo, Nunc Dimittis, and Benedicite; half-dome of apse with the Transfiguration, and stringcourse separating upper and lower apse with panels of birds and animals

The five domes of the narthex with their luminous gold grounds in varied shades of gold relate to the abstraction of early Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna, Italy. Meière’s reinterpretation of the early Byzantine-style creates a magnificent Art Deco space.

Day One of Creation

Day One of Creation

Day Three of Creation

Day Three of Creation

Days Five and Six of Creation

Days Five and Six of Creation

Day Four of Creation

Day Four of Creation

Day Two of Creation

Day Two of Creation

Meière’s versatility within her Art Deco style can be seen by comparing her Day Two of Creation in the narthex with her entirely different treatment of Day Two of Creation at nearby Temple Emanu-El, seen below on the right. She worked on both designs simultaneously.

Day Two of Creation

Day Two of Creation

Day Two of Creation

Day Two of Creation

1

For a full discussion see Catherine Coleman Brawer and Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière (New York: Andrea Monfried Editions, 2014):100-08.

Additional Resources

Commission Location

Emblem

St. Bartholomew's Church
325 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022

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