The Holy Family

This painting entitled "The Holy Family" depicts St. Elizabeth, Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist and Jesus.  It is estimated that Peter Paul Rubens created the work between 1615 and 1620 with the assistance of a pupil.  Such collaborative efforts were common for the baroque master at that stage of his career.  At least three other versions of this painting are known to exist.  Mrs. Mary Emery bought this copy in 1912 and displayed it in Edgecliffe - her Cincinnati home.  It was bequeathed to Christ Church in her will in 1927.

The Holy Family has been an important focal point of 
the Boar's Head since the 1950's.
C.K. Wang, photo

In the festival's climax, God comes down to his people. They reach up to God.
C.K. Wang, photo

Rich in Good Works: Mary M. Emery of Cincinnati
We are giving thanks to Mary M. Emery(1844-1927) as parishioners of Christ Church Cathedral prepare for our annual gift to the people of Cincinnati.

In his book, Rich in Good Works: Mary M. Emery Of Cincinnati, art collector and philanthropist, author Millard F. Rogers, Jr. wrote how he was drawn into the life of Mary Emery:

"Mary Emery first attracted my attention during my tenure as director of the Cincinnati Art Museum from 1974 to 1994 when I was in daily contact with the museum building she provided, the endowment she established, and the collection of paintings by Titian, Mantegna, Hals, Murillo, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, and others she bequeathed to that institution. It was not difficult to grasp her methodology in acquiring these master pieces, but so many questions were unanswered about her life, her husband, Emery's acquisition of wealth, and her dedication to charitable acts and the dispersal of most of her estate.”

The Holy Family has been an important focal point of the Boar's Head since the 1950's.
The Boar's Head Festival at the 1835 Church, about 1952
Photo from Boar's Head archive

The Boar's Head Festival at the 1835 Church
Photo from Boar's Head archive

Christ Church was founded in 1817. In 1835, the church moved to its present location at 318 East Fourth Street. The red-brick structure of 1835 was modeled after the old Stepney church St. Dunstan's in London.[1]

The interior was completely redone in the late 1890s, as shown in the above photos. There were Tiffany glass tiles lining the chancel, Tiffany glass hanging lamps, and a sanctuary transformed with a Moorish arch. The Plum Street Temple introduced Moorish architectural design to the city of Cincinnati in 1866. Elements of the 1890s sanctuary were used to create the Ascension Chapel on the 2nd floor of the Parish House.

The Boar's Head Festival at the new Church, about 1957
Photo from Boar's Head archive

The 1835 building, deemed unsafe, was replaced in 1957 with the current building, designed in a bold modern style by David Briggs Maxwell. Although it incorporates features such as the stained glass windows from the original church erected in 1835, the building is in stark contrast to the older buildings in the cathedral complex.

The Boar's Head Festival in the 1980's, 
after church's 1983 renovation
Photo from Boar's Head archive

 In 1982 and 1983, this sanctuary was completing stripped of green tiles on the pyramidal pilasters and argyle diamond pattern (green & gold) on chancel wall and painted off-white everywhere. It was extensively remodeled again in the 1990s.[1]

1. Wikipedia contributors, "Christ Church Cathedral (Cincinnati)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed September 20, 2014).

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