Saint Peter's hosts a rich collection of sculpture, textiles, paintings and fine objects including Nevelson Chapel. Rotating art installations aim to bring contemporary artists into regular conversation with the general public.
Some fifty years ago Elaine de Kooning began curating a gallery in the parish hall of the "old" Saint Peter's Church. That tradition continues today in two modern spaces: the Narthex Gallery and the Living Room Gallery.
The Arts / Fine Arts
The ongoing commitment of Saint Peter’s Church to fine art is a vital part of living out its mission to “creatively shape life in the city.” Art enhances and uplifts; it captures the thoughts and dreams of an artist or a society. Saint Peter’s Church commissions and installs permanent art so that the work of master artists is available to the general public in an open environment, and to spark conversation and dialogue.
The works on display around the exterior and throughout the interior of the building vary in their material and scope. Some are large, while others are relatively small. Each is the product of careful review and expert care. An all-volunteer Art and Architecture Review Committee composed of professionals and art enthusiasts alike, working in collaboration with significant experts in the field, shepherd every one of the church’s many permanent art installations through to completion.
The Chapel of the Good Shepherd is a complete sculptural environment by Louise Nevelson. An exterior cross by Arnaldo Pomodoro captures the attention of passers by and is the subject of much writing in guidebooks to New York City. Glass by Dale Chihuly is on long-term long from the artist after a lauded temporary installation of great size ended some years ago. A crèche is used every Christmas to illumine the narrative of Christ’s nativity. Other works of art housed specifically in the Sanctuary include a large 16th century Dutch cross and a modern weaving by Ann Sherwin Bromberg. Processional crosses by William Cordaroy and Kiki Smith are beloved to many people. Nearly all of these pieces can be seen regularly on Sundays and throughout the week.