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SEE ALL SIGNED BOOKS by J. Dennis Robinson click here
Master Carver Johannes Kirchmayer


 To see Kirchmayer carvings we must travel just outside Seacoast New Hampshire. Seacoasters may find a wealth of his work in Concord at Saint Paul’s School. All of the saints on the reredos there are from his hand. It is interesting to note that the figure of William of Wykeham is holding a model of this chapel, (this feature is found in many of Kirchmayer carvings, often a replica of the building is shown within the other carvings). More works adorn the altar.

A further trip to Peterborough and you can view the precious golden reredos in All Saints Church. This piece above the altar is formed in five segments. Centered is the Nativity scene with Mary, Joseph and the Baby and of course the always-present angels. To the left we find a segment with the three Wise Men, and the end segment contains more angels. Kirchmayer put angels everywhere. Be sure to look for them. To the right we find the shepherds and again in the last segment are the angels. Other carvings at this church are numerous and fine; the pulpit (angels), the lectern, the choir stalls (angels), the newel post, the communion rail. All are accounted for in the catalog.

Just a little more mileage will take you to Franconia, NH to find the Church of Our Lady of the Snow. Here you will find the Stations of the Cross, all carved and signed by Kirchmayer. An interesting point: when this book was compiled, those Stations of the Cross were at Christ the King Church in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. When the church closed, the carvings were moved. How wonderful that they were saved and placed where they could still be a part of the worship service. You will note that they are listed in the book as being at Christ the King Church.

These are the only places in New Hampshire that I discovered with Kirchmayer carvings. However, there is another close by—in Portland, Maine. At St. Luke’s Cathedral a small aumbry door features the Nativity, surrounded by what? ANGELS. Further trips to Boston and surrounding towns, New York, and others, can be discovered by reading the catalog. HAPPY TRAVELING.


Shirley Prouty, in preparing this biography and its accompanying detailed catalogue and checklist of Kirchmayer’s work adds enormously to our knowledge of this important artist’s life and work. Her efforts will be the inevitable starting point for future generations of scholars as they continue to refine our interpretation of Johannes Kirchmayer and his significant role in the history of American art.

-- Gerald W.R. Ward , The Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


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