Library Stained Glass

Library Stained Glass Windows 

The Library windows have 12 inch tall transoms of stained glass portraits of authors. The portraits are painted with extreme detail and the patterned backdrops for the faces vary from one portrait to another and include themes of scrolling acanthus leaves, oak leaves and acorns, flowers, and berries. The authors’ clothing is rendered in great detail as well.

Each portrait plate is made of multiple pieces assembled in a nine inch circle. Outlining each portrait is a very thin outer ring of glass made up of alternating short and long sections in a variety of colors. The central transom is approximately 39 inches wide with a portrait flanking each side of an emblem that appears to be a publisher’s mark.

The central transom is flanked by a single portrait, approximately 15 inches wide. In the south transom from left to right are believed to be: Burns, Walt Whitman or Carlyle, Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Walter Scott. Whitman/Carlyle and Poe are separated by a pair of swans or geese in flight. The larger bird appears to be feeding the smaller one and a banner with the text “16 ELSEVIER 20” flies below them.

Elsevier, a Dutch publishing house, still operates today, but dates its origins back to the 1500’s.

In the north transom from left to right are believed to be: Milton, William Shakespeare, Tennyson and Longfellow. Shakespeare and Tennyson are separated by an anchor intertwined with a stylized dolphin or fish. Text in this panel is “ALD VS.” This is the publishing mark of Aldus Manutius, the founder of the Aldine Press in Venice, Italy. The style of painting exhibited in the faces is similar to that of the stained glass on the main stair landing. *See the QR code for the Stained Glass Windows – Top of Stairs.

Library- south stained glass transom printers mark.

North transom, center section showing what is believed to be Shakespeare and Tennyson.

 

North transom, left section showing what is believed to be Milton. 

 Library- north stained glass transom portrait 
(believed to be Longfellow)

 

 South transom showing what is believed to be Scott.

 

South transom showing what is believed to be Burns. 

Historic photo looking into the library.  It is understood that additional stained glass transoms featured additional authors.  Sadly there are no confirming photos showing if and what those transoms might have been.