Gigantic $3m stained glass window charts history of knowledge
Source:the guardian Author:Maev Kennedy Date: 2016-10-27 Size:
Among thousands of figures, buildings and scenes jostling for space in one of the ……

Panel D-2 from the Roots of Knowledge project includes depictions of Stonehenge, a camel caravan and the pyramids of Giza. Photograph: UVU

Among thousands of figures, buildings and scenes jostling for space in one of the most spectacular stained glass windows made in the past century, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, the Gherkin, Stonehenge, Alice looking up at the Cheshire Cat grinning in his tree, Queen Victoria, and Mr Bean admiring the Whistler’s Mother painting have all found a place, alongside Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Joan of Arc and the Kangxi emperor.

Some of the panels are on display in London, appropriately at a fair in theGlazier’s Hall, the last stop on a tour before they are shipped back to the US to be installed in a gigantic window, 200 ft long and 10 ft high, bookended by 30 ft-high panels, created to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Utah Valley University.

Its creator, Tom Holdman, had been working for years on the idea for a window tracing the history of knowledge before he entered the office of the then new president of UVU, Matthew Holland.

A panel from the Roots of Knowledge project. Photograph: Holdman Studios

He unrolled a long paper scroll across Holland’s desk of his drawings for a giant window packed with images of famous buildings, works of art, quotations, scientists and politicians, authors and artists, animals and plants.

Holland studied it carefully, and said he liked it – but he thought it should be more ambitious. Seven years, $3m raised through private donations and 60,000 pieces of handmade glass later, the windows are finished and being installed under armed guard in the undulating front wall of the university’s library.

The human figures include little portraits of Holdman – as King John reluctantly signing the Magna Carta – his children, and many students and staff. It also incorporates real objects including a Roman coin, a piece of meteorite and a spoon from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Some of the first few panels, showing the formation of the universe, the Tree of Knowledge, cave drawings and early humans. Photograph: Holdman Studios

The university began as a technical college camped out in shabby prefab huts in the desert, and though it is now a full university offering scores of degrees, it has retained the vocational courses. Students and academic staff have contributed thousands of hours of work, researching the subjects, finding the quotations, helping to draw the cartoons and make and lead the glass.

“We want people to get hooked by it, to see something and think: ‘Wow, what is that?’ and look it up,” Holdman said. “If students just say ‘that’s beautiful’ and walk away, we’ll have failed.”

[Editor] 孙涵