The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., announced Thursday that it had chosen a Black artist to design stained-glass windows to replace windows with Confederate imagery that were removed from the church in 2017.
The Cathedral announced Thursday that Kerry James Marshall, an artist from Black America, will be designing the windows. They will portray the “African American struggle to justice and equality.”
Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, said the dean of Washington National Cathedral in a press release.
Marshall was a former University of Illinois-Chicago professor and is well-known for his paintings of Black American life.
“This project is not just a job – I don’t need the work – or only a piece of art. Marshall stated in a press release issued by the Cathedral that it was a kind of a calling and an honor to be asked. The Cathedral committee presented me with a lot of challenges as an artist and as a Black American. It is our goal to add meaningful value to an institution that is already rich and magnificent, and to make the changes they have made truly worthwhile.
Marshall’s new design will replace windows featuring images of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Stonewall Jackson. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the windows were installed in the church in 1953 — 88 years after the fall of the Confederacy.
The Cathedral first began considering the removal of the windows in 2016, when the church established a task force to look into the issue. Following the unrest in Charlottesville (Virginia) over the possible removal a Lee statue, the windows were removed one year later.
Following their removal, the windows were loaned by the Smithsonian.