It was a very interesting show, and the work represented was primarily stained glass panels, but also sculpture and mixed media assemblages. the running thread throughout all this work was the rememberances of Frederick Alexander MacDonald, a U.S. Army Chaplain and minister for the last 18 months of WWII in Europe.
During his travels around front lines, and to captured territory, he was dismayed at the level of destruction that war visits on sacred sites. He would seek out these churches, damaged and blown out, in order to give the soldiers a spiritual service. As he rummaged through the devestated ruinous churches, he collected bits and fragments of shattered and burned church windows, stained glass shards.
He kept the fragments as memorials to the places he visited, and mailed them home with his thoughts and letters about his experience there.
Forty years later, as an old man,
his family rediscovered these shards in a shoebox under his bed, and his family and he decided to work with artists to create pieces that incorporate the glass and memorialize his experience. "Remembered Light" is the result, and includes 25 works by 13 artists, as well as a fine documentary film narrated by MacDonald (who passed in 2003), and photographs and texts. There is also a fine catalogue available.
The pieces incorporate many masterful stained glass techniques, including painting, staining, enameling, fusing, slumping, frit work, laminating, leaded work, sandblasting, and collage
Below are a few of the works in the exhibit that really spoke to me.
This exhibit will be on view for a few more months, with plans to travel, and eventually permanently reside in the proposed "MacDonald Wing" of the Presidio Interfaith Chapel.
For more info, dates, and links go to: Remembered Light The exhibit will be open Wednesdays through Sundays,
11 am to 5pm. For more, call the Presidio Events Line at (415)561-5500.
'Verdun, France' by Armelle Le roux and Robert Shank
'Coventry, England' by Armelle Le Roux
'Periers, France' by Armelle Le Roux
'Metz, France: Cathedral of St. Stephen' by Narcissus Quagliata
'St. Hubert, Belgium: A Shrine to the Joy of the Hunt' by Robert Shanks
'Cologne, Germany; Kolner Dom (Cologne Cathedral)' by Irmigard Steding
'Nuremberg, Germany: Saint Lorenz' by Joseph Distefano
'Berchtesgaden, Germany: Berghof' (Detail) by Armelle Le Roux
'Trier, Germany: Liebefrau Kirche (Church of Our Lady)' by Peter Eichhorn