Louise Nevelson Trinity Columns from Chapel of the Good Shepherd in Manhattan on loan to the Farnsworth Art Museum

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Louise Nevelson Trinity Columns from Chapel of the Good Shepherd in Manhattan on loan to the Farnsworth Art Museum
Louise Nevelson: Chapel of the Good Shepherd (1977). Photo Credit: Thomas Magno.

ROCKLAND, ME.- A trio of dramatic sculptures by Louise Nevelson, called the Trinity Columns, have been installed at the Farnsworth Art Museum while on temporary loan from Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan, which houses the renowned Chapel of the Good Shepherd, at Lexington Avenue and 54th St. The loan of the columns, which were removed while Nevelson Chapel undergoes extensive restoration work and installed at the Farnsworth last winter, is now being extended through spring of 2020.

Nevelson, born Leah Berliawsky, spent her formative years in Rockland. She completed the Chapel in 1977, and is the only remaining fully-intact such “environment” by the artist in its original installation. Each of the columns forms a triangle that measure approximately 64” long by 14” wide, and are integral to the complete sculptural environment of the Chapel. All material is wood and paint, and await full restoration upon their return to New York City. Initial restoration on the columns was begun prior to their delivery to the Farnsworth.

Pastor Jared R. Stahler, who has served Saint Peter’s since 2005, knows well the importance of the Nevelson Chapel and is leading the renovation of its HVAC system, comprehensive art conservation, and programming. In 2017 Stahler formed the Nevelson Legacy Council, comprised of such luminaries as Pace Gallery founder Arne Glitchier, and collector/historian Jean Lipman’s son, Peter Lipman. These and many others directly or indirectly involved in Nevelson’s life and career are working to raise the profile of the project and to carry out the ambitious campaign for Nevelson Chapel’s full renewal. The campaign goal is $5.75 million, already garnering support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, and more than 100 individuals.

“I am so very thankful the Farnsworth is sheltering these treasures during construction,” said Pastor Stahler. “I am thrilled that the columns are not sitting in storage someplace, but are being viewed by so many people at the museum, especially folks from the Midcoast region in Maine.”

“The Farnsworth is delighted that this group of Nevelson sculptures will remain here through spring 2020, enhancing the Farnsworth’s nationally important collection of the artist’s works,” said chief curator and Nevelson historian Michael Komanecky. “We are especially pleased that they will be on view during the museum’s year-long celebration of Maine’s bicentennial, in which its renowned collection of American art will feature works tied to the state’s history.”

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