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Wikimedia Commons / Washington National Cathedral / MathKnight
Wikimedia Commons / Washington National Cathedral / MathKnight
Church News

Washington National Cathedral to replace Confederate imagery with images reflecting "racial justice"

by Premier Journalist

The Washington National Cathedral, based in the District of Columbia, has announced who will replace the stained glass images of Confederate soldiers.

In 2017, the Cathedral removed stained-glass windows depicting Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Until recently, it was unclear what would replace it. Now the Cathedral has confirmed that Kerry James Marshall has been hired to create the imagery. 

"Kerry James Marshall, one of our nation's greatest artists, has agreed to design the new windows for this cathedral that will be a richer and more fuller expression of the nation we want to be and the ideals that we strive for as a country," said the cathedral dean Randy Hollerith during a news conference. The former images of Confederate leadership "were a barrier to our mission and impediment to worship in this place, and they had no place being in sacred space" and now this chance to revamp the imagery in question will provide a "once-in-a-generation opportunity for the cathedral to not only create beautiful art but to stake a claim about what and who we value."

“It was really important for me to come here and really get a sense of what the place is," said Marshall at the conference. "what’s already here, what the mission they’ve tried to accomplish is, and then how I might be able to fit whatever it is the cathedral needs in order to fulfill its ambition for these windows ... into that space."

The new display will also include a written poem inscribed beneath the display and written by Elizabeth Alexander that will be designed to tell a "new and more complete" story of the United States' history concerning race.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will provide a $1 million contribution to fund the project's development. The project is currently planned to finish in 2023.

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