"Les Colombes" (The Doves)

Exhibit by Michael Pendry

About the Exhibit

Just before Christmas, German artist Michael Pendry installed the Les Colombes exhibit: a winding column of more than 2,000 origami paper doves in the grand nave of Washington National Cathedral. Symbolizing hope and the Holy Spirit, the doves encourage a feeling of optimism as we end a challenging 2020 and begin a new year. This sculpture is arranged to give new life to our Cathedral, embody our resolve to be kind to our fellow human, and to do our part in making a better tomorrow.

Les Colombes has previously appeared in Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, England; St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London; Mount Zion in Jerusalem; Heilig-Geist Viktualienmarkt in Munich; and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. “The Les Colombes installation has found homes of some of the world’s most iconic sacred spaces, and now I’m thrilled to exhibit this piece in the National Cathedral, where it can challenge and engage new audiences, both virtually and, eventually, in person,” said Pendry.

This exhibit is sponsored by a fund from the German Bishops Conference and Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Foreign Office in Berlin, which supports projects of German artists abroad.

How to See the Exhibit

The Cathedral remains closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once it is deemed safe to re-open, members of the public will be able to visit the Cathedral and see the exhibit.

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Fold Your Own Paper Dove

Make your own dove of hope! It’s easy:

1.  Grab a piece of paper and write your own inspirational or hopeful message

2.  Download the PDF step-by-step pattern instruction guide based on Michael Pendry’s Les Colombes

3.  Fold into a dove and either hang it up or give it to a loved one

"Les Colombes"

German artist Michael Pendry's Les Colombes exhibit: a winding column of more than 2,000 origami paper doves in the Cathedral's grand nave. Symbolizing hope and the Holy Spirit, the doves encourage an optimistic start to 2021. Photos: Danielle Thomas

"Les Colombes"

German artist Michael Pendry's Les Colombes exhibit: a winding column of more than 2,000 origami paper doves in the Cathedral's grand nave. Symbolizing hope and the Holy Spirit, the doves encourage an optimistic start to 2021. Photos: Danielle Thomas

"Les Colombes" Installation

Just before Christmas, German artist Michael Pendry installed his ethereal “Les Colombes” in the Cathedral's nave. This exhibit, a winding column of over 2,000 origami paper doves, brings a message of hope, inspiration and fresh beginnings.

"Les Colombes" Installation

Just before Christmas, German artist Michael Pendry installed his ethereal “Les Colombes” in the Cathedral's nave. This exhibit, a winding column of over 2,000 origami paper doves, brings a message of hope, inspiration and fresh beginnings.

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