Story Chapel Stained Glass Windows Installed

March 19, 2013

In 1929 architects Allen and Collens supervised the installation of richly colored stained glass in the windows of the nave and chancel of Story Chapel. The large chancel window includes figures of Christ and angels and is signed by Earl E. Sanborn (1890 – 1937), a noted artist working in the New England area.  The image of Christ holds a book or tablet bearing the inscription “John V:XXIV.”  This refers to the Biblical verse, John 5:24: “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.”  Above his head is a dove, representing the Holy Spirit.  It is an appropriate image for a funeral chapel as it represents the resurrected Christ on the Day of Judgment.  Curious though is the overtly Christian symbolism which is in contrast to the non-denominational intentions of the Cemetery.

Wilbur Burnham Studios made the gothic revival colored and leaded windows in the nave and side gallery of the Chapel. For their work they were paid $3650 in April 1929. These windows are in the medieval tradition with a harmony of primary colors. Wilbur Herbert Burnham Sr., who founded the studio in 1922, said his “first purpose was to give glory to god through a materials which is the crowning accent to architecture.” He also said, “Stained glass appeals directly to the emotions. Being more closely allied to music than to painting, it thrills and overpowers and leaves us with a sense of richness and beauty simulating the orchestration of a great symphony.”

Additionally, there are several opaque glass windows that are probably original to Story Chapel which was designed by Willard T. Sears and erected in 1896 – 1897.

 

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