Replicating the Ship of State Menorahs for the Air Force Academy
" Ship of State Menorah"
U.S. Air Force Academy
The Reproduction and Preservation of a Historically Important
Art Work for the National Archives.
The Alter in the Chapel of Air Force Academy thematically
carries the symbolic and metaphorical motif of the Ship of State.
To the credit of the designers and architects for the building this
motif is carefully reflected in the travertine alter and is echoed
by repeating the design in the two Menorahs placed on either side
of the alter.
The Ship Of State theme and its placement at the
heart of the Chapel structure is a sober reminder of the relationship
the spiritual health of the cadets and future leaders of the
Air force has to the well being of the nation.
Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel
The Background Story
After nearly fifty years of use the candelabras
in the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel were suffering from constant
wear. The use of candles in the fixtures was causing some damage
to the tiles on the wall of the divider and alter backdrop in the
main chapel due to the deposit to soot and wax fumes from the burning
candles in the menorahs. The gold and silver plated finishes of
the Menorah's themselves had been damaged by the constant
scraping to remove the wax from the Menorahs deposited on them by
the melting candles. The Menorah's and their setting were showing
the effects of time and wear from constant use.
Someone had expressed the desire to resolve
the ongoing problem of soot damage and continual maintenance to
the building by changing the Menorah's to electrified lighting fixtures.
It was determined the appropriate steps to be taken were to upgrade
the menorahs to electrical fixtures and replace the original fixtures
storing the original Menorahs in an archive as historically important
works of art.
By careful examination of the above photograph
of the Chapel you can see the evidence of the effects of the soot
from the candles above the candelabras on the backdrop for the alter.
In the attempt made by the Academy
to find someone to create the Ship of State Menorah's the
talent search eventually lead to Comstock Sculpture Studio and a
contract was let to have the Menorahs replicated and prepared as
The production contract was let to Comstock
Sculpture Studio on the 4th of March, 2002 by
Neosource the art of Imagination
with delivery of the New Menorahs expected by the middle
of May 2002.