Des Moines, Iowa: At the beginning of December, the painting called “Guardian Angel” (1885) by Theodore Leistner was unveiled. Now the community is invited to see this work of art at St. John’s Lutheran Church at 600 6th Avenue, between Park Street and Watson Powell Jr. Way. Office hours are Monday-Thursday, 9am-5pm and Friday, 9am-4pm.
The painting was recently restored by celebrated conservator Barry Bauman. Bauman has refurbished upwards of 1,500 paintings for around 300 nonprofit organizations including museums, historical societies, and libraries — nationwide.
About the Painting
The “Guardian Angel” is the oldest painting at St. John’s Lutheran having been completed in 1885 by Theodore Leistner . Theodore immigrated to Iowa from Germany in 1885 to paint murals for Emerick & McIvor — a company providing fresco, painting and design for churches, halls and public buildings.
ABOVE LEFT (Clockwise) Full image of painting; detail of open window; detail of angel looking down on infant; detail of spinning wheel and open book on red cushioned seat.
Emerick & McIvor was one of the contractors painting murals at the state capitol in Des Moines during its construction from 1871 – 1886. Due to a fire in 1904 at the capito l , many of these murals were lost forever. The Guardian Angel provides a glimpse of the composition, colors, style and technique representative of this lost art work .