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Congregational House Bas-Reliefs

Artist:

Domingo Mora

Location:

14 Beacon St.  

Location

14 Beacon St.
United States
42° 21' 28.908" N, 71° 3' 45.9828" W

Neighborhood:

Downtown

Type:

Relief sculpture

Year:

1898

Medium:

Marble

Collection:

Private property (Congregational Christian Historical Society)

Funders:

Unknown

Description:

The Congregational House was built in 1898 to house various religious and secular organizations associated with the Congregational faith, a Protestant denomination that flourished in the New England colonies. Among its original tenants were a bookstore, a printing press, and educational and missionary associations. Today, the building houses the Congregational Library and Archive. A wealth of historical and religious documents can be found in its collections, including a ledger recording Benjamin Franklin’s baptism in 1706. On the House’s exterior, four marble carvings illustrate the core values of the building’s first occupants. At the far right, a scene representing Law shows the Church members signing the Covenant. The next scene, Faith, depicts Church members holding services outdoors. This portrayal emphasizes the autonomous nature of Congregational Churches, which function independently of higher governing organizations. The third relief represents Education and portrays the founding of Harvard College by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Finally, the last relief illustrates Philanthropy. Here, missionary John Eliot is shown preaching to a group of Native Americans. The reliefs were carved by Spanish artist Domingo Mora, who also worked on the exterior of the Boston Public Library.

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