Joseph Sibbel of NY (1850-1907)

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One of three angels supporting the basin of the marble baptismal font at St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh, PA
She holds an anchor representing "Hope."
(Click on image for larger view.)
The year 2007 marked the 100th anniversary of the death of one of the greatest ecclesiastical sculptors this country has known. His life and particularly the height of his career paralleled the great expansion of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Along with this growth came the demand for more churches; along with the increase of churches came the demand for furnishings.

To meet that demand, both expediently and economically, church administrators often succumbed to the temptation of purchasing mass-produced statues and devotional pieces. Joseph Sibbel's insistence that these pieces should be carefully, individually, and accurately executed resulted in his popularity with the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, with his colleagues in the profession of ecclesiastical art and with the art critics of his time.

In 1916, nine years after the sculptor's death, the Joseph Sibbel Studio published a list of 192 locations in which his artwork could be found. As remarkable as that number may seem, it is an incomplete account of all his projects. This website attempts to draw attention to the talent, energy, and devotion of this man. As his story unfolds, we hope to share information concerning the types, explanations, and locations of his sculpture, much of which still exists in Roman Catholic churches today.

St. Paul of the Cross Monastery
Pittsburgh, PA
St. Paul Cathedral
Pittsburgh, PA
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Click shape to link
St. Patrick's Cathedral New York City
If you have any information about this artist,
please contact us at the e-mail address below.
In his lifetime, Joseph Sibbel created representations of over 75 different saints.
Click here to view a sampling of these statues.
St. John the Baptist Church Manayunk, PA
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St. Mary's Chapel
Mercyhurst College
North East, PA
Click here to return to opening page and order books.
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