October 4, 2007

A Robe and a Crown

I just saw today the article on the death of Allan Rohan Crite on September 6. I first became acquainted with his work when I inherited the library of Fr. Chiron Forsyth, the long-time rector of Church of the Crucifixion in Harlem, and in his retirement a member of my parish.

Among the many wonderful books in his library was a volume called Three Spirituals from Earth to Heaven, consisting of three famous spirituals, realized line for line, and sometimes word for word, in spectacular full page black and white drawings, rich with Afro-American and Anglo-Catholic imagery. I still find paging through this book brings me to tears for its sheer beauty. If no one has done it, I would love (his estate permitting) to see a video version, in the "Ken Burns" style of rostrum editing of still pictures, accompanied by performances from one of our great African-American choirs.

In any case, I want to share the final three panels from "Nobody Knows the Trouble I see." Please click on them to see them closer to full size.

I firmly trust that Allan will receive his robe and his crown, and hope one day to rejoice with him in that glorious place. Hallelujah!

Tobias Haller BSG


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this link to Allan Rohan Crite's death notice. I also have some of his work: a copy of
"All Glory"; "Is it Nothing to You" a pamphlet published by the Department of Social Service of the Dio. of MA in 1948; and about 14 of his bulletin covers. I'm not very swift with internet stuff, but I could scan these and send to individuals as time permits using email attachment.
I am J A Frazer Crocker, Jr., jafcjr@charter.net

June Butler said...

Tobias, I'd love to see and hear that video, too. Perhaps one day....

The illustrations are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

what amazing drawings...thanks for sharing them!

trueanglican said...

Coincidentally, St. Stephen and the Incarnation in Washington, D.C., currently has on display an "in situ" art show which includes bulletin covers that Allan Rohan Crite drew for the congregation in the 1960s and a woodblock print of Jonah by Crite that belongs to a parishioner. Artists also featured in the show are sculptor Janet de Coux who executed the church's main altar, font and hanging crucifix in 1966, her partner Eliza Miller, who made the church's pulpit/lectern, and Johannes Oertel, the 19th century priest and painter, whose altar and paintings ornament the church's Incarnation Chapel. The congregation learned of Miller's death just as the show opened last month, but did not know of Crite's death. De Coux died several years ago.