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Carnival of the Animals

September 28, 2016 - Washington National Cathedral

An exhibit of 8 bronze works displayed outside the Cathedral, adjacent to the west front. Inspired by Camille Saint-Saens “Carnival of the Animals”, artist Bjørn Skaarup crafted these pieces to exude a cheerful wit and whimsy that underscore the lighter side of human association with the animal kingdom. The animals represent human allegories based on their physical and spiritual traits, drawing on art history and poetry. The use of animals and especially the sense of whimsy both resonate strongly with existing imagery found both in the Cathedral’s fabric and in the longstanding traditions of cathedral imagery.

Bjørn Skaarup served as artist in residence at the Danish National Museum from 1994 – 2004, prior to earning his Ph.D. in 2009, studying the work of Renaissance sculptors and also the art of large-scale bronze casting. His indoor and outdoor sculptures have been featured in exhibitions across the world, including at the Koldinghus Museum (Kolding, Denmark), the Museo Cenacolo di Ognissanti (Florence, Italy), the Hotel Cipriani (Venice, Italty), and a solo exhibition at the Bruce Museum (Greenwich, Connecticut). In 2015, the the Collectivité of St. Barth displayed a suite of his sculptures throughout the island.

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