Boston’s Angel Host: A Divine Collection

For the last couple of years, I have published posts about Boston’s angels. The city’s Puritan heritage means that we don’t have a lot of statues the way European cities do. Still, it’s possible to find angels high in the air, tucked in corners, lighting up sanctuaries, or decorating structures.

Here is a collection of 10 posts about the members of Boston’s angel host that I have been able to find. There are many, many more angels in stained glass windows but I have not done an exhaustive inventory. It might be a fun task, though. If you know of an angel outside of a cemetery that doesn’t appear here, please let me know. I’m always happy to find more.

Each entry is linked to the post that provides a lot more information and pictures. Here’s your chance to go angel hunting for the holidays without moving a step. Enjoy the trip.

Boston’s Angel Host

The angel was sculpted by Daniel Chester French, the man who created the monumental president who sits in Washington’s Lincoln Memorial. He collaborated with Architect Henry Bacon on that structure as well as on this—the last thing they worked on together.The Angel of the Waters
Location: Boston Public Garden
Medium: Sculpture
Sculptor: Daniel Chester French

Joseph Coletti’s Speedy Angels
Location: Sumner Tunnel, North End
Medium: Sculpture
Sculptor: Joseph Arthur Coletti

The Brattle Square Angels
Location: First Baptist Church, Back Bay Commonwealth Avenue
Medium: Sculpture
Artist: Frederic Auguste Bartholdi

The Solitary Church Court Angel
Location: Church Court, Back Bay
Medium: Sculpture
Sculptor: Gene Cauthen

Installed in 1903, Mr. Sargent created the mural in oil on canvas with plaster and papier-maché reliefs. The artist painted the heavily draped figures of the eight angels in vivid primary colors. Each holds a symbol of the Passion of Christ: spear, pincers, hammer, nails, scourge, reed, sponge and crown of thorns.

Detail: Angel with crown of thorns

The BPL’s Frieze of Angels
Location: Boston Public Library, Back Bay
Medium: Paint and plaster
Artist: John Singer Sargent

Cornelius and the Angel
Location: Church of the Covenant, Back Bay
Medium: Stained glass
Artist: Louis Comfort Tiffany

Thomas Gruchy’s Musical Angels
Location: Old North Church, North End
Medium: Carved and polychromed wood
Artist: Unknown

TFour gilded angels peer down from the main pillars at the intersection of the nave and transept in front of the chancel, or where the two parts of the cross-shaped floorplan meet. Wings outstretched and hands folded in prayer, they have identical designs and stand on frothy gilded clouds.he Angels of Holy Cross Cathedral
Location: Holy Cross Cathedral, South End
Medium: Sculpture and stained glass
Artist: Unknown

The Tiffany Sanctuary
Location: Church of the Covenant, Back Bay
Medium: Brass
Artist: Louis Comfort Tiffany

Veteran’s Memorial Park
Location: The Fens, Back Bay
Medium: Sculpture
Artist: John F. Paramino

A Few Mortuary Angels

I don’t typically include the angel monuments found in cemeteries because mortuary angels don’t strike me as appropriate for a Christmas celebration. There are some exceptional angel statues, however, Here are two:

Angel of Peace, Douglas Yeo, Daniel Chester French, George Robert White, Forest Hills Cemetery

The Magnificent Wings
Photo: Douglas Yeo

Martin Milmore and the Angel of Death
Location: Forest Hills Cemetery, Jamaica Plain
Medium: Sculpture
Artist: Daniel Chester French

Being Thankful for George Robert White
Location: Forest Hills Cemetery, Jamaica Plain
Medium: Sculpture
Artist: Daniel Chester French