What is “The Christian Science Banner”?
On May 17, 1901, D.E. Fultz wrote to Mary Baker Eddy:
…will you accept this tapestry painting from me, who shall ever feel your debtor, for all that truth has done for me, this blessed Christian Science.1
The “tapestry painting” sent by Daniel E. Fultz, of Spokane, Washington, is oil paint on fabric depicting Christ holding a lamb. It is modeled after a painting entitled “The Good Shepherd” by German artist Bernhard Plockhorst (1825-1907).
Tapestry painting hanging in Pleasant View parlor. P06246
Eddy was impressed with the painting, and in a letter to Fultz dated May 23, 1901, thanked him in words of inspiration:
…May the blessings you have received…continue and increase…and the tender Christ take you in his arms and carry you to the fold of Truth – as gently as you depict this in painting.2
After consulting with Fultz regarding the proper way to hang the painting—it is large at 82 inches high by 56 inches wide—Eddy decided to hang it from a roller and to add fringe to the bottom edge. To further illustrate the significance of the painting to her, she had a placard created to hang with the tapestry painting.
Eddy wrote to Daniel Fultz on July 28, 1901:
…I almost kneel before that shrine of my heart.
I have hung above it a gilt frame with this lettering on it.
The Christian Science Banner.
“His banner over us was love”
All who visit my house are shown your painting.3
Contemporary photograph of the painting as it hung at Chestnut Hill
A banner can be defined as anything regarded or displayed as a symbol of principles. Mary Baker Eddy identified this painting as an expression of the principles she held dear and which she wished others to value. “The Christian Science Banner” remained a focal point in her homes, both at Pleasant View in Concord, New Hampshire and at Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.