WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL
A House of Prayer for all People
WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHERAL
Washington National Cathedral, Washington D.C. was conceived by George Washington as a national church— a house of prayer for all people to come together to celebrate the events that shape a nation. This Cathedral completed over eighty-three years (1907-1990), is the sixth largest Gothic cathedral in the world and quite possibly the last of its kind ever to be built.
In 1971, when Hart as a young man had established himself as a stone carver and sculptor at the Cathedral, an international sculpture competition was announced to complete the Cathedral’s west façade. Hart, a relatively unknown sculptor, worked passionately on his design for three years, and at the age of thirty-one, he won this prestigious commission. Tom Wolfe, the seminal author of our times, commented that Hart won what would turn out to be “the most important American religious commission of the twentieth century.”
“I was convinced I was destined to do this,” Hart said. It was an assignment that occupied virtually the next thirteen years of his life.
The commission for the west façade of Washington National Cathedral, Creation Sculptures, consists of: Creation of Day, Creation of Night and Ex Nihilo tympana and the trumeau figures of Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Adam.