The Chapel

In 1993, at the age of 83, Holmes designed a chapel to house a collection of her favorite paintings. The design was executed by Larry Makjavich and filled with artwork. In 1998 Gideon Rappaport, a student and friend of Holmes, interviewed her on the chapel and compiled her answers into a chapel guide. That guide is available here, complete with photographs of each painting taken by David Stroud and Charlie Eckert.

Explore The Three Chapel Sections:

Building the Chapel

I was told about some cement culverts the county didn’t want. When I saw them, I realized they would make columns for the chapel I had been wanting to build to house my paintings. I called Larry Makjavich and said we had columns and all he needed to do was to put some cement block walls between them. He said, “No problem.” The ceiling was going to be vaulted, but when Larry had finished the frame for the vault, it looked so beautiful that we decided to leave it as it was. For the capitals of the columns, we used automobile tires for the cement forms and rope saturated in cement [for the necking]. The door and its handle were designed and made by Larry. The doorstep is a Greek cross made of the words “Zoe” (life) and “Phos” (light) in Greek. The Romanesque sculpture of the Virgin and many of the sculptures inside the chapel are cement casts of sculptures on a tenth-century church in Spain. They were used as ballast on ships sailing to the new world. I bought them at Little Baja in Moss Landing. To have in a twentieth-century chapel the exact copies of Spanish Romanesque cathedral sculpture is extraordinary.