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World War II Triptychs:

Triptych 63

Two Angels, 1943

Commissioned by: Citizens Committee for the Army and NavyMedium: oil on wood with gilded gessoExecuted by: Hildreth Meière and Louis RossRelocated to: Christ Church Episcopal

Triptych 63, Two Angels. Photograph in Citizens Committee for the Army, Navy, and Air Force records, 1940-1945. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Triptych 63, Two Angels. Photograph in Citizens Committee for the Army, Navy, and Air Force records, 1940-1945. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Triptych 63, which depicts Two Angels, was painted by Hildreth Meière and gilded by Louis Ross. The center pane is inscribed: O PRAISE THE LORD ALL YE NATIONS; PRAISE HIM ALL YE PEOPLE in reference to Psalm 117.1

The Two Angels in Triptych 63 are similar to those that Meière created for the remembrance shrine at St. Thomas Church in 1935. The Two Angels at St. Thomas were based on the pose of late medieval tomb figures and the liturgical vestments of the late Middle Ages. Meière then reinterpreted the medieval prototypes in her Art Deco style, fleshing out the angels’ faces and lending texture to their hair, feathered wings, and flaming chalices. She gave the Two Angels on Triptych 425 a similar treatment.

Left angel from St. Thomas remembrance shrine

Left angel from St. Thomas remembrance shrine

Left angel from Triptych 63

Left angel from Triptych 63

Left angel from Triptych 425

Left angel from Triptych 425

Completed in 1943, Triptych 63 was first sent to Dow Field, Maine; then to a receiving ship in San Francisco; from there to the US Navy Training and Distribution Center, Treasure Island, California. It was displayed at the Protestant Episcopal Church Convention in Hawaii, then sent to Protestant Episcopal Church Headquarters in New York City, where it remained until May 8, 1958. On June 1, 1973, it was given to Christ Church, Shrewsbury, New Jersey, where it can be seen today.

Triptych 63 retains the original labels on the verso of the center panel:

"The Citizens Committee of the Army and Navy" inscribed on verso of right panel

"The Citizens Committee of the Army and Navy" inscribed on verso of right panel

Labels on verso of center panel

Labels on verso of center panel

"Dow Field, Maine" inscribed on verso of left panel

"Dow Field, Maine" inscribed on verso of left panel

Detail of top label on verso of center panel

Detail of top label on verso of center panel

Detail of bottom label on verso of center panel

Detail of bottom label on verso of center panel

1

See Catherine Coleman Brawer, Walls Speak: The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meière (St Bonaventure, New York: St. Bonaventure University, 2009): 78.

Commission Location

Emblem

Christ Church Episcopal
380 Sycamore Avenue
Shrewsbury, NJ 07702

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