Alois Lang

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Alois Lang (1872–1954) was a Master Woodcarver at the American Seating Company, and one of the artists responsible for bringing the medieval art of ecclesiastical carving to life in the United States.

Lang was born in Oberammergau in Bavaria, a town long known for its excellence in wood carving. He was apprenticed to his cousin Andreas Lang around the age of 14 and moved to the United States in 1890 at the age of 19. Lang first found work in Boston carving elaborate mantelpieces for Back Bay families.

Alois Lang working on "The Last Supper"

In 1903, he moved westward and joined the American Seating Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, moving with the firm to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1927. Lang became well known as a prominent ecclesiastical wood-carver. An article in a 1946 newsletter states that “recently the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters presented him with a special award for his contribution to art in Michigan.”

His carvings can be found in numerous buildings, mostly churches, throughout the United States, including:


  1. ^ "Our Story Carved in Wood". Union Avenue Christian Church. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  • Hendry, Fay, L., Balthazar Korab, photographs, Outdoor Sculpture of Kalamazoo, iota press, Okemos, Michigan 1980

Hughes, D. Dale. Conscience of A City: The History of Central Methodist Church, Detroit, MI 1967.

  • McMechan, Jervis Bell, Christ Church Cranbrook: 1928 – 1978, Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 1979
  • American Seater newsletter, March 19, 1946
  • Ohnsman, Stephen, Pastor of Calvary UCC, 2013