Igor de Kansky was hired by Associates Architects and Planners, AIA, to execute three works as part of refurbishing St. Vibiana's Cathedral: a 40' x 60' mural behind the main altar depicting the spiritual versus the materialistic, a screen for the tabernacle, and the tile mural, "Our Lady Queen of the Angels," on the facade of the rectory. The center of the tile mural depicts Our Lady Queen of the Angels, bracketed by the archangels Michael and Gabriel, hovering over Los Angeles. The city is represented by several notable architectural landmarks-high rise office buildings, City Hall, St. Vibiana's Cathedral, the Plaza Church, the cross and adobes on Olvera Street, the Los Angeles River, the coast line, a tuna boat, and fish leaping out of the water.(1)
De Kansky designed the mural to resemble a medieval woodblock print. The one foot square tiles were fabricated in the Glendale plant of Gladding McBean. The only colors in the mural are black, brown and white, though de Kansky originally planned to include bright colors in the composition. The original design, which Cardinal Timothy Manning advised de Kansky to revise, also portrayed orange groves, Mt. Wilson, an airplane, and the Queen holding a child with musicians around them.(2)
Footnotes:1 "A Garden Grows at St. Vibiana's," The Tidings, April 30, 1976, p. 10.
2 Interview with Igor de Kansky by Michael Several, September 22, 1994.
The text has been provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, December 1999.
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