The Sterling Memorial Library was built by James
Gamble Rogers, and first opened its doors in 1930. The design was based
in a Collegiate Gothic style, which was popular to Ivy League campuses
at the time of its construction.
The Nave portion of the library is considered by
many to be the crown jewel of the University’s New Haven campus. The
clerestory of the Nave is home to 22 large multi-lancet windows made by
G. Owen Bonawit (1891-1971). Bonawit created thousands of panels for
many universities including Yale, Duke & Northwestern, to name a few.
The Nave windows of the library display many of the
talents of this famous artist. The most noticeable technique present in
the nave windows is the use of lead overlays and sculpted soldering. The
overlays would be floated with solder, and the craftsman would use a hot
iron to add texture to the solder. The texture gives the viewer a
three-dimensional impression of items ranging from tree bark, to the
texture of a piece of clothing. This technique give the panels a very
unique visual aesthetic.
The restoration project took about 18 months to
complete, under the direction of Turner Construction and the guidance of
*photo credits - Yale University