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St. Michael's Monastery Church (Hudson Korean Presbyterian Church)

Union City, NJ

Main sanctuary, pendentives of central dome

Four Evangelists, 1936

Commissioned by: Maginnis & WalshMedium: oil on canvasExecuted by: Hildreth Meière; Lynn Fausett; Dean FausettPartially visible

Completed main sanctuary in 1936 with two of Meière’s four roundels partially visible

Completed main sanctuary in 1936 with two of Meière’s four roundels partially visible

Among Hildreth Meière’s designs for the rebuilt St. Michael’s Monastery Church after the 1934 fire were four enormous roundels on the pendentives of the new central dome, each depicting one of the Four Evangelists in oil on canvas. Meière described the roundels as “paintings of the four Evangelists at impressive scale.”1 The original colors of the roundels can be seen in Meière’s four final studies in oil on masonite:

Matthew

Matthew

Mark

Mark

Luke

Luke

John

John

As can be seen in period photographs, Meière’s murals for the chancel were installed and her roundels were affixed to the pendentives before the baldacchino, or canopy over the altar, was constructed.

Rebuilt main sanctuary showing two pendentives supporting central dome, with Mark in roundel on left and Matthew in roundel on right, 1936. Passionist Historical Archives Collection, McHugh Special Collections, The University of Scranton, Scranton, PA

Rebuilt main sanctuary showing two pendentives supporting central dome, with Mark in roundel on left and Matthew in roundel on right, 1936. Passionist Historical Archives Collection, McHugh Special Collections, The University of Scranton, Scranton, PA

As of 2014, only two of the four roundels remained in place. Luke and John had detached from the plaster and been lost. Matthew and Mark, both in desperate need of restoration, had peeled away from the plaster and were hanging precariously:

Main sanctuary in 2014 with tympanum visible above baldacchino. The canvas roundels depicting Mark (left) and Matthew (right) have peeled away from the plaster. The two other Evangelists are missing.

Main sanctuary in 2014 with tympanum visible above baldacchino. The canvas roundels depicting Mark (left) and Matthew (right) have peeled away from the plaster. The two other Evangelists are missing.

Because of its architectural importance and its having served the community for over 100 years, in 2014 St. Michael’s (Hudson Korean Presbyterian) Church was added to the list of Preservation New Jersey’s “10 Most Endangered Historic Places in New Jersey.”

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): 197-203.

Commission Location

Emblem

Hudson Korean Presbyterian Church
2019 West Street
Union City, NJ 07087

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