Textile Gallery

Deborah Melton Anderson, a longtime member of First Church and its Art Committee, studied drawing, painting and art history in college and went on to receive a Master of Arts in teaching from Harvard University. She took her first quilting class with well-known quilter Nancy Crow (b. 1943), known for her development of certain techniques to allow more spontaneity and expression.

Anderson began working traditionally but moved on to “controlled innovation” a process in which she uses traditional techniques and designs as starting points but steps off to something new, constantly expanding her range of materials and techniques. Ms. Anderson is a longtime member of the Liturgical Art Guild of Ohio and says this provides direction for her work. The Guild brings together architects, religious leaders, artists and congregants to fulfill the liturgical art needs religious congregations. Ms. Anderson has frequently met with our own Art Committee to define our needs and prepare specifications with an eye for “good” art. Reverend Dr. Chalmers Coe and other pastors since, have advised the Art Committee as to the theological soundness as suitability of our banners. Dialogue with all committee members has been very important in order to create exactly what fits our space and liturgy.

In general, Anderson’s goal has been to make a piece complex enough that new discoveries can be made when the item is viewed a second time or when viewed from a different angle or distance.

Ms. Anderson’s longtime work on the banners at First Church started by making a pretzel symbol for the Petriola Shop, which sold items from around the world. This inspired Dr. Coe to suggest the Pentecost Banner be made by the artist. 

Brussels Tapestries Woven in 1575 Given First Congregational

The Columbus Evening Dispatch November 10, 1933; page 8

To Brussels tapestries woven in 1575 by Franz Geubels have been presented to the First Congregational Church by Frederick W. Schumacher, 750 E. Broad Street, art collector, and will be formally accepted by Dr. M. H. Lichliter for the church Sunday morning.

The tapestries, representing themes from Genesis, are hung in the east and west transepts of the church. The theme of the tapestry in the west transept is taken from Genesis 23, the story of Abraham‘s purchase of the cave of Machpelah from Ephron the son of Zohar. Abraham is seen paying the purchase money into the hands of Ephron, and at the left, one sees the cave, the burial place of Sarah near the oak of Mamre .

The story of the tapestry in the east transept is derived from Genesis 24. Abraham is sending his trusted servant to find a wife for Isaac. The servant kneels, swearing his oath of fealty, in the oriental manor, his hand under Abraham’s thigh. Isaac stands behind his father – eager to be on his way. At the left we see the camels ready for the eventful journey.  

Geubels, the weaver, was one of the most prominent tapissiers of Brussels. His monogram is in the lower right-hand corner of the two works.

The tapestry form a number of years were in the palace of Baron von Tuchers, former German ambassador to Rome, Paris and Vienna.

Mr. Schumacher, widely known as an art collector, had been attempting to secure the tapestries for three years before he was finally successful. His transactions for them were completed during his recent visit to Munich.