Old Woman in Prayer
Christian Petersen had great compassion for the innocent victims of wars, the weak and the handicapped. In 1943 his deep emotions concerning World War II found outlet in the carving of Old Woman in Prayer (also known as The Refugee). The aged woman has her hands in prayer and eyes cast upward in a dazed search for refuge from terror. This studio sculpture is the artist's tribute to civilian refugees and concentration camp victims. Petersen's wife Charlotte regarded this piece as one of her husband's most eloquent works. She notes, "Christian was deeply moved by the barbarism and suffering of civilians during Hitler's Blitzkrieg. The sculpture tells that." The library acquired this work for the new building addition by purchase in 1983.