St. Basil The Great

St. Basil The Great

By Margaret Moss-Hilligoss

A Modern painting of the icon of St. Basil The Great is currently on display in the gallery at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Enid. This painting is on loan from St. Basil's Episcopal Church in Tahlequah. It will be exhibited through the month of January.

Margaret Moss-Hilligoss prepared and donated the painting in honor of the Blessing and Dedication of the Parish Hall and Sunday School at St. Basil's. Bishop Powell blessed the painting and buildings in 1969. For 50 years, this painting has been on exhibit at St. Basil's, except for periods of time when the modern art aesthetic was not palatable for either clergy or parishioners. In the early 1990s, Moss-Hilligoss moved from Tahlequah and transported the painting to Taos, New Mexico where she was in residence. After its removal, the church was vandalized. Fires were set in trash cans throughout the Parish Hall and Sunday School rooms. This incident would have destroyed the painting.

In 1997, three women of St. Basil's contacted the artist and offered to purchase the painting. It was returned to the church and now resides in the hall beside the church office.

This image of St. Basil is drawn from a history book titled A Concise History of Russian Art by Tamara Talbot Rice. The black and white photo is from a full length figure of saints on the south side of the main apse of the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, Kiev, Russia. It is dated mid eleventh century.

Margaret Moss-Hilligoss is a practicing quilter in Enid and holds quilt days at St. Matthew's Episcopal. She held a retrospective of her paintings and quilts at Northern Oklahoma College Enid at the Phillips University Alumni meeting in 2015. She continues to be active advancing the inclusion of art in the public school.


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