Blaffer Sanctuary Features

EXPERIENCE JBO SANCTUARY

Located in New Harmony, Indiana’s Historic District, the JBO Sanctuary grounds showcase gardens, fountains and water features, sculptures, creative residences and other extraordinary purpose-built structures, many of which are open to the public for self-paced tours.

  • Roofless Church Garden
    Roofless Church Garden
    Gardens
  • Sarah Campbell Blaffer Pottery Studio
    Sarah Campbell Blaffer Pottery Studio
    Structures
  • Owen Community House
    Owen Community House
    Structures
  • Angel of the Annunciation
    Angel of the Annunciation
    Sculptures
  • Descent of the Holy Spirit
    Descent of the Holy Spirit
    Sculptures, Structures
  • Suzanne Glemét Memorial Gates
    Suzanne Glemét Memorial Gates
    Sculptures
  • Peace Arch
    Peace Arch
    Sculptures
  • Roofless Church
    Roofless Church
    Structures
  • Carol’s Garden
    Carol’s Garden
    Gardens
  • Fountain of Life
    Fountain of Life
    Fountains
  • Pietà
    Pietà
    Sculptures
  • Grandparents’ Baptismal Fountain
    Grandparents’ Baptismal Fountain
    Fountains
  • Polish Memorial
    Polish Memorial
    Sculptures
  • Shalev: Angel of Compassion
    Shalev: Angel of Compassion
    Sculptures
  • Saint Francis of Assisi & the Angel of the 6th Seal, Patron Saints of the Environment
    Saint Francis of Assisi & the Angel of the 6th Seal, Patron Saints of the Environment
    Sculptures
  • St. Francis and the Birds
    St. Francis and the Birds
    Sculptures
  • St. Francis Cross at Chapel
    St. Francis Cross at Chapel
    Sculptures
  • Chapel of the Little Portion
    Chapel of the Little Portion
    Structures
  • Our Lady Queen of Peace Shrine
    Our Lady Queen of Peace Shrine
    Sculptures, Structures
  • Paul Tillich Park
    Paul Tillich Park
    Gardens
  • Bust of Tillich
    Bust of Tillich
    Sculptures
  • Orpheus Fountain
    Orpheus Fountain
    Fountains
  • Cathedral Labyrinth and Sacred Garden
    Cathedral Labyrinth and Sacred Garden
    Gardens, Structures
  • Poet’s House and Garden
    Poet’s House and Garden
    Structures
  • Mother Superior House
    Mother Superior House
    Structures
  • Barrett-Gate House
    Barrett-Gate House
    Structures
  • MacLeod Barn Abbey
    MacLeod Barn Abbey
    Structures
  • Mark Hampton’s Court and Mark Hampton Court Gate
    Mark Hampton’s Court and Mark Hampton Court Gate
    Gardens
  • The Crucible
    The Crucible
    Fountains
Roofless Church Garden

 

Original garden design by Philip Johnson. Garden revision by Thomas J. Cane, landscape architect. For further details, see Structures: Roofless Church.

 

Donate: a donation in any amount will help the Foundation sustain, protect and enhance the unique features and spiritual landscapes Jane Blaffer Owen bestowed in the Sanctuary. Gifts are 100% tax deductible

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Gardens
Sarah Campbell Blaffer Pottery Studio

 

The original Sarah Campbell Blaffer Pottery Studio was designed by architect Richard Meier and dedicated in 1978. Jane Blaffer Owen commissioned it in honor of her mother. The dedication plaque at the studio reads, “As Sarah Campbell Blaffer believed that creative crafts deserve the instruction, support and honor accorded the fine arts, this studio for pottery is dedicated to this philosophy and to the quest for quality: the mainspring of her life.”

The original building suffered from structural problems and was demolished in 2002. Local builder Jeff Koester reconstructed the building, which serves as the home for New Harmony Clay Project, an RLB Foundation creative partnership project directed by ceramic artist and University of Southern Indiana Professor Emeritus, Lenny Dowhie.

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Structures
Owen Community House

 

This circa 1840 structure is home to The New Harmony Artists’ Guild, where community artists and musicians of all types meet and practice their disciplines. The large front room serves as a gathering place for receptions, art shows, music jams and small concerts for Guild members and visiting artists. The building was updated in 2013 by Kenneth A. Schuette Jr.

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Structures
Angel of the Annunciation

 

In 1998, Jane Blaffer Owen commissioned sculptor Stephen de Staebler to create this commanding cast bronze sculpture of the Archangel Gabriel (or Gabriela) for the south entrance of the Roofless Church., Most Reverend Marcel Rooney, Primate of The Benedictine Confederation, Rome, dedicated Angel of the Annunciation June 10, 1999.

De Staebler seeks to represent a sense of transcendence in his fragmented forms. The incomplete bodies attempt to engage a feeling of empathy and awareness of others. A native of St. Louis, de Staebler received a bachelor’s degree in religion at Princeton University and continued his education at the University of California. He served as an educator at the San Francisco Art Institute for several years. His work has been featured in Sculpture magazine and exhibited in prominent American museums.

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Sculptures
Descent of the Holy Spirit

 

Sculptor Jacques Lipchitz’s Descent of the Holy Spirit (Notre Dame de Liesse), is one of two castings made from an original bronze sculpture located in the Roman Catholic Church d’Assy, Haute Savoie, France. In 1960, Jane Blaffer Owen bought this cast for the Roofless Church. About the sculpture, Church of Scotland minister, former Warden of Iona Abbey and friend of Jane Owen, John Philip Newell wrote: “In the form of a dove the Spirit descends onto an abstract divine feminine form that opens to give birth. At one level, Lipchitz is pointing to the Jesus story, conceived by the Spirit in the womb of Mary. At another level he is pointing to the universe story. Everything is conceived by the Spirit in the womb of the cosmos. Everything is sacred.”

Lipchitz himself said of his sculpture, “My statue really represents a dove who has in his beak three parts of the sky which form a mantle from which the Virgin emerges, her hands generously opened for all humanity.” The dove’s eyes are open because, Lipchitz explained, “We see only with the eyes of the Spirit.” The eyes of the sacrificial lamb are closed and the Virgin Mary has no eyes at all because, in Lipchitz’s words, “The dove, or the Holy Spirit, alone sees.”

After escaping the Nazi regime, Lipchitz relocated from Lithuania to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian. He later moved to New York. The second cast of this sculpture is in the Presbyterian Abbey of Iona, Scotland.

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Sculptures, Structures
Suzanne Glemét Memorial Gates

 

In 1957 Jane Owen met with project collaborators in her daughter Janie’s New York apartment. The project was the celebrated Roofless Church to be built in New Harmony, Indiana, and the collaborators were architect Philip Johnson and sculptor Jacques Lipchitz. Together the group brainstormed an east entrance to the walled grounds of a Roofless Church that would open onto a garden and sculpture courtyard. The path would lead to a wooden shrine protecting Lipchitz’s Notre Dame de Liesse: the sculpture that initially inspired the project.

Jane Owen’s idea was to commission a ceremonial processional gate for the open-air church, incorporating sculptures by Lipchitz. The cubist/brutalist sculptor created gates full of symbolism in bold gold against a backdrop of stark black-painted steel. At the peak of the gates, two gilded bronze angels hold a wreath with the Lamb of God at its center. Adorning the gates are four additional gold wreaths: two sets of Alpha and Omega symbols incorporated into the design. In Judaeo Christian symbology, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet signify the comprehensiveness of God. When closed, the gates’ dark steel beams form a Latin cross.

Named in honor of Jane Owen’s family friend and governess, the Suzanne Glemét Gates were dedicated in New Harmony on May 31, 1962. The Reverend Sir George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community in Scotland, presided. In 2016, artist Luke Randall painstakingly re-gilded the relief sculptures of the gates during a 200-hour project. The renovation was initiated and funded by Jane Owen’s son-in-law, Jimmy Coleman in her honor.

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Sculptures
Peace Arch

 

The coil-built stoneware Peace Arch was executed in 1971 by East Coast artist Bruno LaVerdiere and installed in New Harmony in 1988. It was moved to its current location on JBO Sanctuary grounds just west of the Roofless Church, in 1993. The inscription at the base of the sculpture reads: “This gateway is for all the innocent victims of war and oppression throughout the ages and particularly for all the young who died too soon in this century.”

Bruno LaVerdiere is a former Benedictine monk who then worked as an artist and teacher in the Adirondack Mountain area of upstate New York. He was a resident artist at St. Martin’s Abbey near Olympia, Washington during the 1950s and ‘60s and an instructor at many universities in the U.S. and Italy.

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Sculptures
Roofless Church

 

In 1957 Jane Owen engaged architect Philip Johnson to design a non-denominational place of worship in New Harmony, Indiana. Since all religions hold heaven in common, this special place is called the Roofless Church. It is situated on the north edge of New Harmony overlooking the flood plain of the Wabash River. It respects the grid of the Town Plan.

The walls are 12’ high with a ceremonial entry to the east with imposing gilded gates by Jacques Lipchitz. There is a more modest but elegant entry off North Street and a small hidden exit to the west. There are six sacred spaces within the walls of the church. First is the processional walk to the primary rectangular courtyard, which contains three additional spaces: one is the small contemplative grove of linden trees; next is the north-facing 6-bay loggia, Solomon’s Women’s Porch, overlooking the Wabash River flood plain and Swan Lake; then there is the hexagonal canopy which holds as its focal point the Descent of the Holy Spirit, one of three identical sculptures by Jacques Lipchitz. Behind the Shrine of the centerline of the west wall is a small limestone memorial to Marie-Alain Couturier. O.P. (1897-1954). Ironically, Jane has paid tribute to a Dominican Friar who gained fame as an internationally acclaimed stained glass artist who used no human figures in his commissions. He worked with Matisse, Lipchitz and Le Corbusier, as well as completing windows in the Philip Johnson-designed Rothko Chapel in Houston.

The last two spaces are the flanking gardens at the processional entrance, each holding special treasures Jane Owen installed over her lifetime. To the north is the Pieta by Stephen De Staebler. To the south are William Schickel’s Grandparents’ Baptismal Fountain and Ewa Żygulska’s Polish Memorial. The north garden contains a Canterbury Cross, the gift of Rev. Canon Herbert Waddams, on the north wall, and the south garden contains  the Breath of God by Connecticut sculptor Mark Mennin on the south wall.

The original Roofless Church was very simple. Jane added sculptures, memorials and a fountain over time. Each sacred space within this irreplaceable church pays tribute to meditation in uniquely different ways. The design of the Roofless Church is a timeless creation through the use of Divine Proportion. It feels so inviting and comfortable because the designers, architects and artists created in harmony with the proportions and systems with which nature designs.

It is a highly sophisticated and spiritually moving place.

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Structures
Carol’s Garden

 

Jane Blaffer Owen designed Carol’s Garden in the shape of a Celtic cross to serve as a memorial to her daughter, Carol Owen Coleman, who passed away in 1979. In the original design, paths were lined with hostas and English Ivy, and Bradford pear trees beautifully crowned the garden and provided shade. Garden restoration began in 2013 with the replacement of the aging Bradford pear trees with a similar, but longer-lasting, species, the Cleveland pear. Hostas will also be replanted as the pear trees fill in and provide shade for the sun-sensitive plants. The young pear trees already provide a brilliant show of familiar white blossoms in spring.

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Gardens
Fountain of Life

 

Central to Carol’s Garden is the Fountain of Life, a limestone work by sculptor David Rogers of Bloomington, Indiana. The two accompanying limestone benches were also made by Rogers. Visitors are encouraged to take time to absorb the serenity the garden offers.

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Fountains
Pietà

 

Located in the east end of the Roofless Church is a bronze figurative work known as Pietà. Finished in 1989 by internationally known California artist Stephen de Staebler, the bronze is also called Death and Resurrection. Through his characteristic style, fragmenting the body, Stephen de Staebler represents the Pietà. And taking inspiration from Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pietà, de Staebler does not separate mother from son. In fact, de Staebler’s Pietà is one of strength and continuation rather than grievance and despair. Here the Virgin, bearing the marks of the crucified Christ, is shown as the prominent figure in the sculpture, with eyes lifted and looking forward. Christ, instead of a twisted pained figure on a crucifix, melds into his mother as part of her that will continue on. Pietà depicts the strength and courage to continue after the loss of a child.

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Sculptures
Grandparents’ Baptismal Fountain

 

Jane Owen commissioned the Grandparents’ Baptismal Fountain in 1995 from architect, artist and designer William Schickel of Loveland, Ohio. The inscription reads: “In celebration of all grandparents for the great goodness that flows through and from them.”
Schickel’s renovation of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, where he worked personally with Thomas Merton, won the American Institute Architects Gold Medal Award in 1968. His downtown Cincinnati wall mural Eighty Foot Love Letter to the Queen, completed in 1978, is perhaps Cincinnati’s most frankly modern work of public art of its era. On other commissions, he collaborated with Marcel Breuer, Pietro Belluschi, Emil Frei, and Philip Johnson. His works can be found in numerous private collections and museums, including the Brooklyn Museum and the Vatican Museum. The Grandparents’ Baptismal Fountain, located against the southeast interior wall of the Roofless Church, is available for baptisms Sunday morning between 9 & noon.

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Fountains
Polish Memorial

 

Situated in the southeast garden of the Roofless Church, this sculpture of the Holy Trinity, by Ewa Żygulska, is an interpretation of a 15th-century wood carving in the National Museum of Kraków. In the Middle Ages, when few could read, artists used a scale to represent importance. For example, in this sculpture, the figure of the elaborately crowned Holy Father dwarfs the size of his son, Jesus Christ. This provided a visual reassurance that no one suffered alone and that each of us are bearers of our own individual crosses. The sculpture was dedicated by the Robert Lee Blaffer Trust in 1968 to honor the invincible spirit of the Polish people and human fortitude.

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Sculptures
Shalev: Angel of Compassion

 

This gleaming bronze figure kneeling under a twelve-foot granite arch is located near the MacLeod Barn Abbey, in sight of the Wabash River. Several smaller stones are placed nearby for meditation and reflection. The sculpture was created by New York artist Tobi Kahn in 1993.

Known primarily as an abstract expressionist painter, Tobi Kahn created this New Harmony piece as his first major commissioned sculpture. The bronze figure within the South Dakota pink granite shelter was first carved in wood, then cast in bronze in Chicago. The title of the piece, Shalev, comes from “sha,” meaning peace, and “lev,” meaning heart. Jane Blaffer Owen and Kahn identified the location of the sculpture, responding to the proximity of the Wabash River. Some visitors find a romantic aspect to the work and have even been married in front of it. Kahn’s philosophy is that art is healing and transformative. His stated intent is to involve the viewer with the art so they bring their own interpretations to the experience.

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Sculptures
Saint Francis of Assisi & the Angel of the 6th Seal, Patron Saints of the Environment

 

The 1989 cast bronze sculpture of Saint Francis reaching toward the ground with the Angel of the 6th Seal behind him, sits on a mini-promontory at the edge of Swan Lake. It was created by Father David Kocka, currently the Diocesan Bishop and Pastor at the Sacred Cross Oratory in Floyds Knobs, Indiana. Kocka’s creative pilgrimage began in 1969 working under the tutelage of Paul T. Granlund. After studies at St. Louis University, The Pontifical Institute in Rome, and St. Bonaventure College in New York State, Kocka came to Indiana and created a studio and foundry in 1983. He draws no distinctions between art and spirituality, between the secular and the sacred, viewing the rituals of art, faith, and everyday life as inseparable.

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Sculptures
St. Francis and the Birds

 

St. Francis and the Birds is one of two works of this kind. The twin piece is located in Assisi, Italy. The theme of the work is a story about St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the environment. As St. Francis journeyed with a companion, he caught sight of an array of wild birds. He ran toward them expecting them to take flight, but they remained calm. St. Francis began to preach and, as he spoke, the birds gazed attentively at him spreading their wings and pulling closer to his words. Upon completion of his sermon, St. Francis gave the birds a blessing and they flew off. From that day, St. Francis would bring the Word of God to his creatures. Frederick Franck was a painter, sculptor, and author of many books on life, art, and human spirituality. A lifelong student of Zen Buddhism, Franck created Pacem in Terris or Peace on Earth, a ruined watermill converted into a trans-religious sanctuary in Warwick, New York.

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Sculptures
St. Francis Cross at Chapel

 

The patinated steel cross at the Chapel of the Little Portion (behind Swan Lake) was created by sculptor, artist and midcentury modern furniture designer Allen Ditson of Arizona. From the 1950s through the 1980s he and his wife, artist Lee Porzio, ran the Ditson-Porzio Studio in Paradise Valley, Arizona, just down the street from Cosanti, Paolo Soleri’s home and studio. The cross’s shadow is projected onto the exterior south wall of the Chapel by sunlight, moonlight or lamplight, adding a sense of mystery to this special contemplative location.

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Sculptures
Chapel of the Little Portion

 

The chapel designed by Stephen de Staebler in 1989, is located on the north side of Swan Lake, behind the New Harmony Inn. The brothers of Mount Saint Francis constructed the chapel with stucco and wood. Franciscan friar from Louisville, Kentucky, Reverend David Lenz explains why the chapel was symbolic for the Franciscans to build. “One day St. Francis of Assisi was praying in the crumbling ruins of the little church of San Damiano and he heard the words ‘Francis, go and repair my church which is falling down.’ Thinking that he was being directed to rebuild the physical structure of that church, he did so and went on to rebuild and repair others. One little church he rebuilt was called Portiuncula or little portion. It remained a favorite of his.’” The chapel is open for personal contemplation from dawn to dusk. Key available at New Harmony Inn Entry House front desk.

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Structures
Our Lady Queen of Peace Shrine

 

Located northeast of the Roofless Church at the end of Main Street, this stone carving of Our Lady and the Christ Child is from Isle St. Louis, France, and is the work of an unknown 15th-century sculptor. This is New Harmony’s oldest work of art. It was dedicated to the memory of the Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton (1915-1968), in 1986 by a Trustee of the Merton Legacy Trust. The shrine is open 24/7 for personal contemplation.

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Sculptures, Structures
Paul Tillich Park

 

Paul Tillich Park commemorates the renowned Paul Johannes Tillich, a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. Tillich was one of the more influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century. The park was dedicated on June 2, 1963, and Tillich’s ashes were interred there in 1965. Located just across North Main Street from the Roofless Church, the park consists of a stand of evergreens on elevated ground surrounding a walkway. Along the walkway, there are several large stones on which are inscribed quotations from Tillich’s writings.

This shaded garden, designed by Zion and Breen, offers a self-guided walk with features including the Bust of Tillich, a carved limestone sign, and five massive granite boulders with Tillich quotations incised by English letterer Ralph Beyer.
Paul Tillich Park is open 24/7 for personal meditation. Not available for private events.

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Gardens
Bust of Tillich

 

Located in Paul Tillich Park is a bronze bust of Paul Tillich commissioned by Jane Blaffer Owen and created by James Rosati to honor the great German theologian. Tillich did numerous sittings for Rosati, the last sitting only one month before he died. Rosati worked from photographs to complete the project in 1967. Rosati accepted the commission out of great respect for Paul Tillich and Jane Blaffer Owen. Rosati worked to capture the likeness as well as the spirit of Tillich. Rosati was born in 1911 in Washington, Pennsylvania. Throughout the late 1930s and into the ‘40s he was associated with the Works Progress Administration Project. He relocated to New York in 1944. He taught for over a decade at Yale University. Rosati was a part of the New York School of abstract expressionists, and the Bust of Tillich is quite unlike the abstraction evident in other work. Towering Norwegian spruce surround the Bust of Tillich and mark the area dedicated to him. Tillich attended the dedication of the park in 1963. Upon his death in 1966, Tillich’s ashes were buried in the park, among granite stones which feature quotes by the well-known theologian. Tillich’s work explores the existential questions of human existence in correlation with Christian revelation.

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Sculptures
Orpheus Fountain

 

British sculptor Simon Verity’s Orpheus Fountain, fashioned from Indiana Salem limestone, is situated along the south wall of the Cathedral Labyrinth and Sacred Garden on North Street. The fountain is in the shape of a lyre, an instrument the sound of which might tame the wild beast within those who walked the labyrinth. Jane Owen loved to walk the labyrinth barefoot and dip her feet in the fountain pool.

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Fountains
Cathedral Labyrinth and Sacred Garden

 

The Cathedral Labyrinth and Sacred Garden was conceived by Jane Owen in 1995 and designed and completed by architect and Purdue University Professor Emeritus Kent Schuette in 1996. It is a very close replica of the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral in France.

The plan of the garden is a piece of the geometry of Chartres Cathedral. The main columns of the cathedral, which embrace the 12th century labyrinth, are 56’ apart – identical spacing as the piers of the Harmonist brick wall. The entry gate is a 10’ cube with a Celtic cross as its top. The columns are 3’ square (Father, Son & Holy Ghost) and the opening are 4’ (fall, winter, spring & summer; north, south, east & west). The labyrinth is “carnelian” granite from Mill Bank, South Dakota and was fabricated by the Cold Springs Granite Company.

The Orpheus Fountain was installed in 1998 and was designed and executed by British sculptor Simon Verity.

The benches are identical to those found on the plaza in front of Chartres Cathedral.

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Gardens, Structures
Poet’s House and Garden

 

The Poet’s House, formerly known as the Franck House (1822), sits on its original Harmonist foundation. It was purchased by Jane Blaffer Owen in 1947 and restored as a guest house for her many creative visitors. In 1958, the house was donated to the RLB Trust, and, in 1988, underwent a second restoration. In 2010, the bath and kitchen were updated, and additional repairs are scheduled, including restoration of the site’s Celtic garden, designed by Jane Blaffer Owen herself.

The Poet’s House is used primarily for writers and poets in residence and is currently home, for part of the year, to writers from the New Harmony Project’s Legacy Program, and the annual New Harmony Project Conference each May. The house is occasionally available for short-term rental by qualified guests.

Note: Artist and JBO guest John Hubbard stayed at the Poet’s House with his wife Caryl in 1988, producing From the Poet’s House: A Portrait of New Harmony, 1990, containing twelve facsimile etchings. The book is available for purchase under Good Reads.

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Structures
Mother Superior House

 

The Mother Superior House, formerly known as the Kilbinger House (1820), combines a Harmonist log structure with a Harmonist brick building. It was used as a community kitchen (an annex to Community House No. 2) during the Harmonist era and a tavern during the Owen/Maclure period. Jane Blaffer Owen restored the building and added a guesthouse in the 1960s. The three structures were united into one and renamed “Mother Superior House.”

Upstairs are two rooms, the first a library and the second, an archive dedicated to two of JBO’s mentors, Helen Duprey Bullock, who was her first advisor on historic preservation, and Paul Tillich who was her spiritual teacher at Union Theological Seminary. He spent a brief period at the Mother Superior in the early 1960s as Jane’s guest. Paul Tillich Park is dedicated to his memory, and his ashes are buried there.

The guest house, named after Mother Ruth, an Anglican nun and one of JBO’s spiritual mentors, is used for artists, writers, and scholars in residence and is occasionally available for short-term rental by qualified guests.

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Structures
Barrett-Gate House

 

Barrett-Gate House consists of two relocated and conjoined structures, one an original Harmonist log cabin, the other a mid-nineteenth-century addition attached to the former’s east wall. The relocation was overseen by the New Harmony Bridge engineer, Don Blair in 1959. The 1960 renovation was by Robert Hatch. Since that time, additional interior and exterior repairs have been made, with more planned.

Its first guests were Dr. Pitney Van Dusen and his wife Elizabeth in 1960. Dr. Van Dusen, then president of the Union Theological Seminary in New York, presided over the dedication of Philip Johnson’s Roofless Church, directly across the street to its west. Since that time, the Barrett-Gate House has housed many of the artists who are part of the RLB Foundation’s Creative Partnerships. From September through April, its four bedrooms are occupied by ceramic artists from the New Harmony Clay Project, followed by participants in the New Harmony Project and the New Harmony Music Festival and School. It may be briefly available in August for rental to approved guests.

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Structures
MacLeod Barn Abbey

 

The MacLeod Barn Abbey, built in 1976, was named after one of Jane Owen’s spiritual mentors, George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community in Scotland.  Jane Owen wrote: “My favorite place in New Harmony is the Barn Abbey because of its simplicity and intimacy, especially during Benedictine retreats. It didn’t need an architect; our barn builders were natural architects. They knew the proportion and soundness of the structure.” The building is situated with a view of the Wabash River and Tobi Kahn’s Shalev:Angel of Compassion, a sculpture commissioned by Jane Owen in 1993.  The project was overseen by Robert Hatch, a restoration architect from Connecticut.

The building has a dormitory, dining room and commercial kitchen, and a living room with giant picture windows facing north to the river. It is available for retreats of private groups, corporate gatherings, for meeting facilities (capacity: 50) and/or overnight accommodations (capacity: 29) when not in use by RLBF Creative Partnerships. The building is ADA accessible and air-conditioned. Restrooms on the 1st floor are ADA accessible.

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Structures
Mark Hampton’s Court and Mark Hampton Court Gate

 

Mark Hampton’s Court is a garden under development, conceived by Jane Blaffer Owen in 1998 to honor the internationally acclaimed classical interior designer. Mark Hampton (1940-1998) completed the interior design of the adjacent Orchard House in the 1970s.

The Court Gate was designed by architect, Kent Schuette. Its proportions and form were inspired by the vault drum windows of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome by Michelangelo. The moldings that bracket the gate opening are the signature moldings of “Scarlet,” the first master mason of Chartres Cathedral, in France. Three engraved benches were created by sculptor, Simon Verity, British sculptor and master stone carver who, from 1988-1997, carved the Portal of Paradise at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

A conceptual garden plan is under development by landscape architectural firm Nievera Williams Design of New York & Palm Beach, Florida with Mario Nievera as partner in charge.

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Gardens
The Crucible

 

Jane Blaffer Owen commissioned Pennsylvania-based arts educator and sculptor Ted Prescott to create a fountain for the outdoor RLB Foundation-owned courtyard at the Red Geranium Restaurant, in 2002. The fountain was designed to commemorate New Harmony’s role in developing the discipline of geology.

Geologist David Dale Owen revolutionized the practice of geological surveys and collected samples that became the basis of the Smithsonian Museum’s geological collection. He was the great uncle of Jane’s husband, Kenneth Owen.

The Crucible consists of a large steel basin filled with stones of various sizes, and a central water feature. The granite surrounding the basin incorporates four geological samples collected by David Dale Owen inlaid at the quadrants of the compass. The small gray-green stones came from New Hampshire streams, and the two central glacial boulders were sourced in northern Wisconsin. A large primary boulder with a triangular depression serves as a bubbler, moving water continuously over the rocks.

Ted Prescott wrote, “The modernist in me wants to emphasize the fountain’s proximity to the Paul Tillich Park, as though his stature as a theologian might lend my work more import.”

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Fountains