Wednesday, November 5, 2014


I was so captivated by the Cathedral stations of Seattle artist JOAN BRAND- LANDKRAMER that I decided to root through the air and see if I could find more of her art. Low and behold, before the very modern stations, she did some lovely, very traditional icons, for the Cathedral.

Despite her prolific output, Joan calls herself a late bloomer. Icons are steeped in mysticism, she says, and she is “just getting the hang of it.”

The icons, based on traditional Russian iconography, represent the central mysteries of faith and the feasts of the Church year.  

People and things she loves and is moved by make their way into her creative process. Other parishioners and family members appear. Joan hopes these images may one day serve history as records of St. James Cathedral and its community at the turn of the twenty-first century.
The first icon Joan “wrote” for the Cathedral was the Icon of the Annunciation of the Lord.  Mary turns from her work (she holds a spindle) to receive the message of the angel.  Local details are incorporated into the classic style of the icon:  an image of St. James, the Cathedral’s patron, and of the Cathedral towers, in the upper right-hand corner.

Joan' s Pentecost icon shows some familiar faces among the assembled apostles.  Archbishop Thomas Murphy, Father Ryan (Cathedral pastor) who sits among the apostles, and Dr. James Savage (music director) are all pictured.

Other icons incorporate portraits of parishioners at St. James and leaders of the Church in Seattle and beyond.  In this icon of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, you can find Bl. (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta, St. Frances Cabrini, and St.John Paul II, as well as some of our past bishops: Archbishop Brunett, Bishop George Thomas, Archbishop Murphy. Father Ryan is Constantine, with his real-life mother next to him.

Holy Cross

Each Sunday, one of the icons is carried in procession at the Cathedral, and placed on a stand for viewing by the faithful.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. These paintings are neither lovely, nor traditional, nor are they icons. They are self-indulgent, self-expressive, blasphemous perversions, and the opposite of what iconography is and stands for.