Westminster Abbey has announced that painter David Hockney will create a new stained glass window to honor Queen Elizabeth II. The window will be unveiled in 2018 in time for the opening of the Abbey’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, and will coincide with the 65th anniversary of Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne.
Elizabeth II is England’s longest-reigning monarch. She was married at Westminster Abbey in 1947. The Abbey also hosted her coronation in 1953. Westminster Abbey, founded in 960, has been the traditional site of numerous life events among the members of England’s royal family, largely because the Abbey belongs to the monarchy. All coronations since 1066 have taken place there, and most English and British royals are buried at Westminster Abbey.
In 2011, Hockney, who is considered to be one of the premier contemporary British artists of the 20th century, was invited to paint a portrait of the Queen but turned down the opportunity. For the stained glass window, Hockney will supply the design, working closely with Westminster Abbey. The Abbey will oversee the production of the window once the design has been finalized.
Hockney works in a number of artistic media, including paint, photography and printmaking. He divides his time between London and Los Angeles, where he owns two residences. Early in his career, Hockney focused on portraiture. His later works include photographic collages and etchings.
The stained glass window will be installed in the Diamond Jubilee Galleries, which will be part of the museum complex at Westminster Abbey. This portion of the complex dates back to the church’s original foundation, and has been used as a museum for more than 100 years. The new galleries, which are currently under construction, will be elevated and will create significant new display space for artifacts held by the Abbey.
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