The Astor Reredos has stood at the west end of the nave of Trinity Church Wall Street since 1877, for all but 31 years of the life of Trinity’s third church building, which was consecrated in 1846. The reredos serves as a complement to the stained-glass window behind and above it; both include many ornate details that tell the story of the Church, in the universal sense, and not just the history of Trinity parish.
Colin Winterbottom has now spent almost three years documenting, through his photography, the rejuvenation of the Trinity nave. The Astor Reredos was included in that project. Working with staff members of Trinity, especially archivists Joseph Lapinsky and Marissa Maggs, Winterbottom has detailed 34 specific elements of the reredos.
“There is so much going on in the reredos it demands a really close look,” Winterbottom said. “There is storytelling from the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, Ascension, and Resurrection, and the stories of some of the saints.
“I’ll challenge the viewer to find bear heads, a lion, lots of leafy detail and so many birds, including a partly-hidden owl. My favorite detail is the row of birds among the grape vines in the horizontal band above the Crucifixion.”
Using this “easy zoom” app, you can zoom in to the image to see a remarkable level of detail. You can also click on the blue pins to learn more about elements within this striking piece of architecture. Using "full screen mode" will allow access to full zoom capabilities.