Peace Fountain at St. John the Divine, NYC

Peace Fountain at St. John the Divine, NYC

The plaque at the base of the Peace Fountain outside the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine in New York City reads:

Peace Fountain celebrates the triumph of Good over Evil, and sets before us the world’s opposing forces—violence and harmony, light and darkness, life and death—which God reconciles in his peace.When the fountain operates, four courses of water cascade down the freedom pedestal into a maelstrom evoking the primordial chaos of Earth. Foursquare around the base, flames of freedom rise in witness to the future. Ascending from the pool, the freedom pedestal is shaped like the double helix of DNA, the key molecule of life. Atop the pedestal a giant crab reminds us of life’s origins in sea and struggle. Facing West, a somnolent Moon reflects tranquility from a joyous Sun smiling to the East. The swirls encircling the heavenly bodies bespeak the larger movements of the cosmos with which earthly life is continuous.

Nine giraffes—among the most peaceable of animals—nestle and prance about the center. One rests its head on the bosom of the winged Archangel Michael, described in the bible as the leader of the heavenly host against the forces of Evil. St. Michael’s sword is vanquishing his chief opponent, Satan, whose decapitated figure plunges into the depths, his head dangling beneath the crab’s claw. Tucked away next to the Sun, a lion and lamb relax together in the peace of God’s kingdom, as foretold by the prophet Isaiah.

I’ve admitted it before: I’m an art bigot. I just don’t get modern art, and I didn’t get this statue, either. But it was interesting to look at, and impressive in size. But as for offering commentary and analysis, I’ll leave that to the description quoted above.

cathedral church of st john the divine peace fountain

I just kept walking around it because every time I made a circle I saw new things that I had completely missed before. There’s a lot to take in.

cathedral church of st john the divine peace fountain new york city nyc

cathedral church of st john the divine peace fountain new york nyc

cathedral church of st john the divine peace fountain new york nyc

The Peace Fountain is located outside the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, at 1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025.  

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