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

Union City, NJ

Main sanctuary, side chapel walls

Annunciation (left); Christ at Work with St. Joseph (right), 1936

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

Left side chapel with the Annunciation partially visible and right side chapel with Christ at Work with St. Joseph partially visible

Left side chapel with the Annunciation partially visible and right side chapel with Christ at Work with St. Joseph partially visible

Following the fire in 1934, Hildreth Meière won a competition to decorate the interior of the main sanctuary. Her commission included the tympana above the two side chapels on either side of the chancel. On the tympanum above the left side chapel, Meière depicted the Annunciation; above the right side chapel, Christ at Work with St. Joseph. The style of both murals in oil on canvas is consistent with Meière’s Venetian Renaissance style throughout.

Annunciation in place in 2015

Annunciation in place in 2015

Today the Annunciation is in fair condition, with slight damage to the image of the well behind Mary. There is also extensive damage to the plaster surrounding the tympanum. Although the Annunciation remains in place, it is hidden behind a recently constructed wall and is not visible to the public.

Meière’s imagery can be seen clearly in a black-and-white photograph of her final study in oil on masonite:

Study for the Annunciation on the tympanum above the left side chapel

Study for the Annunciation on the tympanum above the left side chapel

Meière’s Christ at Work with St. Joseph was removed from the tympanum above the right side chapel and is not on public view. The colors have faded, and the canvas is in need of restoration:

Christ at Work with St. Joseph in oil on canvas removed from tympanum above right side chapel

Christ at Work with St. Joseph in oil on canvas removed from tympanum above right side chapel

Meière’s original color scheme for Christ at Work with St. Joseph can be seen in her study to-scale in oil on masonite:

To-scale study for Christ at Work with St. Joseph in oil on masonite

To-scale study for Christ at Work with St. Joseph in oil on masonite

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.”

Commission Location

Emblem

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

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