The Crucifixion painting, by Polish artist Jan Styka, was originally brought by Styka to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis in 1904. Because of its massive 195 foot long/45 foot high size, he was unable to display it and was forced to return to Poland without it because he could not pay the duty to take it home. Styka, whose self portrait is seen in the painting as the figure of Saul (Paul), died in 1925 without ever seeing his painting again.
The Crucifixion was stored in several warehouses over the years until Forest Lawn Founder Dr. Hubert Eaton and his colleagues located it at the Chicago Civic Opera company in 1943. Forest Lawn purchased it after World War II and built The Hall of the Crucifixion for the express purpose of displaying Styka’s work. It opened on Good Friday in 1951.
The Resurrection was commissioned after a 25-year long and futile search for an epic painting to complete the Trilogy. A contest was held and American artist Robert Clark was selected to create the piece. Featuring Christ outside his tomb looking towards the heavens where the faithful throughout the years were gathered, Clark’s work was completed in 1965.
Viewing The Crucifixion and Resurrection
A 26-minute presentation is offered Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to noon and 2 pm to 4 pm, on the hour.
10 AM: English
11 AM: Spanish
2 PM: English
3 PM: English
4 PM: English
The Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection will be closed every third Tuesday and Wednesday of the month.
Light & Passion
This exhibition of stained glass is located in the lobby of the Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection. Dating to the early twentieth century, the windows were made by Franz Mayer & Co., a stained glass studio based in Germany and New York. The windows were originally part of St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Buffalo, New York, which was demolished in the 1970s. Light & Passion is available for viewing Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am – 4:30 pm.