The Permanent Collection consists of a number of original works of art and artifacts owned by the church. Many are displayed in various rooms and hallways of the church.
The Permanent Collection began with several gifts from well-known artists who were members of First church, Homer Davisson and Louis Bonsib. A large oil painting depicting Judas and the thirty pieces of silver by an unknown 19th century artist hung in the fourth of First Presbyterian’s buildings, but its origin is not known. Since the move to the present building the collection has gradually grown through gifts, commissions and purchases. Several acquisitions were from Gallery exhibitions, either gifts from the artists or church purchases. There are currently nearly 100 works in the collection.
Significant works included in the collection in addition to the few mentioned above are a number of works that relate to our Christian faith, such as the commissioned work by Russian artist Vadim Bora. For this triptych displayed in the main lobby Vadim chose the motif of the Last Supper. Other works reflect the beauty of the earth, such as a recent gift, Celebration of the Earth, by Brother Cletus Behlmann, while others remind us of the hope for peace and justice in a world troubled by oppression. The mixed media piece, Dreams, by Jerusalem artist Taleb Dweik, depicts two Palestinian children looking toward Jerusalem and dreaming of being free to fly over the wall to leave the shambles of their homes. It was purchased from the Room for Hope exhibition.
The Visual Arts committee maintains the inventory, keeps appraisals current for insurance purposes, maintains the physical condition and installations, and documents the location of the works throughout the building.