Gate of Heaven Mausoleum, East Hanover, NJ
Created nine majestic mosaics focusing on Jesus Christ’s public ministry and the charitable actions for the common good. Mosaics were designed in Rambusch’s U.S. studios and constructed in Italy. Located within the mausoleum’s central chapel, “Our Lady of the Rosary” depicts Pope John Paul II contemplating the Luminous Mysteries. It is 24 feet tall, contains more than 135 colors, including gold tesserae. Eight ancillary mosaics flank corridors, four on the first floor and four on the second. Each of these comprises 450,000 tesserae.
Catholic Cemeteries has served its community for more than 185 years. Its roots are in the mission of Mary lending comfort to her crucified son.
The Archdiocese of Newark held an international competition to create the artwork for its new 10,000-crypt Mausoleum. The cemetery committee unanimously chose Rambusch to create nine majestic mosaics focused on Jesus Christ’s public ministry. The central mosaic is located within the mausoleum’s chapel. Entitled “Our Lady of the Rosary,” the mosaic depicts Pope John Paul II contemplating the Luminous Mysteries.
Eight ancillary mosaics flank the corridors, four on the first floor and four on the second. First floor mosaics illustrate the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. The challenge of fitting the Five Mysteries into four panels was met by moving the final Mystery into an oratory looking out toward the central mosaic.
Only four openings along the second floor’s wall were available to depict the Corporal Works of Mercy, so, in collaboration with the committee, one saint was selected to represent four of the Works. Each mosaic was then bordered with descriptions of all seven Works. The mosaics were designed in Rambusch’s U.S. studios and constructed in Italy. The resplendent, 24-foot tall central mosaic contains more than 135 colors of tile, including gold tesserae.
Additionally, the Archdiocese wished to create one-of-a-kind artworks of the Mysteries of the Rosary, using these works at two different locations. The solution was to frame the artwork in two orientations. Each presentation would therefore be complete. The name of each Mystery was designed to be shown either vertically or horizontally. So that either could be chosen for any opening, the original oil paintings contained both configurations. The artwork was scaled up 200%, and then fired into ceramic tile. This represents a typical Rambusch project — a creative, cost-effective solution, which is both beautiful and original.