Art Exhibitions

Art has always had a place in churches. The eye and imagination presenting and interpreting beauty is an act of devotion. Art exhibitions span centuries, celebrating the creativity of 17th century weavers to modern painters and everything in between.

Current Exhibitions

The Value of Sanctuary: Building a House Without Walls

February 14 - June 30, 2019

Beginning with the historic framework of the Cathedral as a site of welcome and refuge, this multidisciplinary exhibition explores the question of sanctuary through the work of modern and contemporary artists. Using the Cathedral’s sacred space as a canvas, these works illuminate the intersections between spiritual and social identity, and the ways in which personhood and community cohesion speak to and are formed by notions of dignity, inclusion and exclusion.

Learn more about the art and artists in the exhibition.

NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt


Coinciding with The Congregation of St. Saviour’s support of the 2018 New York City AIDS walk, we’re pleased to display three panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Each panel includes the name of a person who had a connection to the Cathedral community’s historic and ongoing connection to the AIDS epidemic: Keith Haring, Robert Joffrey and Gerald Chapman.

Because of the Cathedral’s inclusivity as well as its proximity to St. Luke’s Hospital, we were at the forefront of response to the AIDS crisis in New York. The Cathedral now displays permanently a Book of Remembrance listing the names of people who have died of the disease as well as “The Life of Christ,” a triptych altarpiece that was Keith Haring’s last work before he died.

Learn more about the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Treasures from the Crypt


The Treasury of the Cathedral is comprised of an array of ecclesiastical items given to the Cathedral over the past 125 years. It includes many precious items, ranging from a Mexican chalice from the mid-17thcentury, to a Restoration two-handled cup from 1660, to an alms basin given to the Cathedral by King George V. These rarely-seen objects are part of the physical and spiritual heritage of the Cathedral. They are included in worship services, baptisms, and investitures: sacred events that mark the passage of the liturgical year and moments of great personal and spiritual importance.

The donors of some of the objects on view include members of the royal family of England, as well as the descendants of Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch director-general of New Netherland from 1647 until 1664 when it was renamed New York. The pieces here tell a story of community: from the origins of the Anglican Church, through the founding of the City of New York, and the chartering of this Cathedral, intended as a house of prayer for all people.

The Life of Christ: Annunciation


The Life of Christ tapestries, from the Barberini looms of Italy, were woven under the direction of the nephew of Pope Urban VIII at a time when most tapestries were woven in northern Europe. They are unique, the only set woven from preparatory cartoons, or designs, by baroque court painters Pietro da Cortona and Francesco Romanelli.

One year before Cathedral construction began in 1892, Mrs. Elizabeth U. Coles donated the set of tapestries in a show of faith the buoyed the fledgeling Cathedral. One of the twelve tapestries, Annunciation, is currently on display in the Chapel of St. James.

You can learn more about the history of the Barberini Tapestries on our website and about the details of the tapestries themselves from the University of Oregon's website.

Channels of Grace: Selected Icons from the Cathedral


This exhibition from the Cathedral’s permanent collection highlights icons, which reflect the connectedness of the earth, human beings, and God through their materials and style. Since the sixth century A.D., from when the oldest known icons date, a continuum of style has enabled and empowered the icon to serve as a channel of divine grace and conduit for devotion. Like close translations of original texts, icons are based on a primary prototype. Unlike other forms of devotional art, icons are made to adhere as closely as possible to the prototype, from which they derive their power. Centuries of good copying have led to the highly specific, recognizable style associated with icons. Distinct blocks of color, saturated pigments, and gold leaf detailing are among the stylistic elements that make icons pop and shimmer, but their significance transcends beauty.

Previous Exhibitions

The Cathedral has a long history of presenting exhibitions, from meditative to challenging, historical to contemporary. Browse a recent sampling

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