Harvard College Library

Sylvester and Pozeilov Capture Memorial Hall Stained Glass

This photo, taken by Stephen Sylvester and Yosi Rodriguez-Pozeilov, depicts one of the plated opalescent style windows in Memorial Hall. The scene takes place outside the Scaen Gates, leading down to the plain of Troy, which forms the background for Hector and Andromache holding the child Astyanax.
September 30, 2003 -- Stephen Sylvester and Yosi Rodriguez-Pozeilov, photographers for the Harvard College Library Digital Imaging and Studio Photography Group, can usually be found on Widener’s D-Level capturing images of materials from HCL and other Harvard tubs. Available to do work on location, the two recently left their windowless studio to photograph the 22 stained glass windows in Memorial Hall for the Fogg Art Museum.

The project was not without its challenges. The windows are quite high and it was crucial to catch the sun in an exact location in order to capture optimal color for each window. The veteran photographers put together a tightly choreographed schedule, used a highly sophisticated camera, a ladder, and every hour of sunlight, completing the project in two days.

The Memorial Hall stained glass windows, which were commissioned and funded by alumni classes between 1879 and 1902, represent such a variety of designers, manufacturers, and techniques that they comprise a veritable museum of American stained glass. The artistic styles range from the traditional European techniques employed by British designers to the innovative use of new glass forms which are hallmarks of the American style first developed by John La Farge and Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Ted Stebbins, Distinguished Fellow and Consultative Curator of American Art, and Kim Orcutt, Assistant Curator of American Art, initiated the creation of a catalog of Harvard’s American art collection – something that has never been done before – in an attempt to inform scholars of the items held at Harvard. The catalog, to be published in 2006, will feature portraits from the Harvard University Portrait Collection, paintings by Homer, Whistler, and Sargent, pastels, watercolors, and stained glass.

The Studio Photography Group is a unit of the Harvard College Library (HCL). To find out more information about the studio go to http://preserve.harvard.edu/photography/.


This story appears courtesy of the Harvard College Library Communications Office
Copyright © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College