CFFC: Animal Art

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the topic Non-Alive Animals. Of course, any representation of an animal has a real animal in mind as the artist creates it. But the rendition may be very close in appearance to the real animal, or it may be whimsical, or abstract. It all depends on the craftsman’s talent and point of view.

It was hard to choose photos for this post – so many to choose from! Everywhere I go, locally or abroad, there is animal art. Animals have been subjects for every kind of art imaginable for thousands of years…

Such as the first known painting in the world, a painting of Egyptian geese on papyrus at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo,

and the god Horus, usually represented as a hawk, at the Temple of Horus in Edfu, Egypt.

Also at the Egyptian Museum is a throne of King Tutankhamun, whose tomb was not found until 1922, with most of its grave goods intact – it hadn’t been subjected to many tomb robberies!

This elaborate throne contains many symbols and images of gods, such as twin lions on the front. One of ancient Egypt’s sacred symbols was the scarab beetle, depicted in the cartouche on the front of the arm; the hieroglyphics within the cartouche generally are names of kings, so this may have been Tuthankhamun’s. Embracing the throne of either side are the wings of the vulture, a bird considered to be a protector of kings. In this case, he represents the king-god himself, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

The ancient Chinese civilization also had many animal representations, one of the most common being the guardian lion. This one is in front of a restaurant, House of Szechwan, in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Generally depicted in pairs, guardian lions stood in front of imperial palaces, tombs, temples, government buildings, and the homes of the wealthy. The concept was to show the emotion of the animal, in this case ferocity, as a symbol of protection.

Deriving from this Chinese custom, there are people today who have a pair of lions as lawn ornaments, like this one in Des Plaines. He might look more ferocious if freshly painted!

Here are another example of a Des Plaines lawn ornament, this cute little bird sitting on an orb.

There were many whimsical animals on display for sale or as decoration in the charming small town of Poulsbo, Washington, north of Tacoma.

In Evanston, Illinois, there is a little known museum called the American Toby Jug Museum, which we discovered during Chicago’s annual Open House in October. Toby Jugs are ceramic figures, usually depicting well known persons, but also animals. The history of the toby jug, or philpot, dates back to 18th century potters in Staffordshire, England and was popularized by colonists in the United States. The top of each toby jug has a spout for pouring, but nowadays, these figurines are primarily for ornamentation or collections.

After the wedding we attended near Poulsbo, Washington, we spent a day in Tacoma before returning to Seattle for our flight home. There is a beautiful Museum of Glass there, which has many objects designed by the famous Dale Chihuly, but there is also a fine collection of glass sculptures by other artists, such as this beautiful horse.

Horses are the subject of many works of art, including statues of famous heroes mounted on horses in many European cities, but I am only including two 2-dimensional renditions, one a drawing of a palomino I drew a few days ago, and another one at a short film display at the Ij (Eye) Museum in Amsterdam.

While in Amsterdam, we visited the Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam, founded circa 1213 CE. Under the seats of the choir were unique carvings – some rather bawdy! – including this one of a pig.

Most people love animals, and there are many examples of whimsical animals to delight human sensibilities. In the gardens behind Melk Abbey in Austria are some cute creatures, mostly fantastical combinations of human and animal, but there was this turtle:

In Passau, Germany, which we had visited the previous day while on our Viking European cruise, while walking around town on our own, we came across a dachshund museum! Big and little dachshund statues were in front of it.

Who could resist being delighted by several painted cows in the town across from Mont St-Michel in France? Here is one of them, my personal favorite (I love that bright blue udder!).

Our daughter loves Hello Kitty, and for her bridal shower, Hello Kitty was the theme! I bought these as party favors.

Some animal sculptures are cute,

At Mount St. Mary Park in St. Charles, Illinois

but some can be a bit intimidating!…

Giant spider at Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines, Iowa

and some are reminders of favorite movies, such as this groundhog in Woodstock, Illinois, where Groundhog Day was filmed.

L-APC Checks and Stripes

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week has the topic Checks or Stripes.

Mosques have striped carpets where the worshippers line up to pray. (Cairo, Egypt)
Blinds in a friend’s apartment (Des Plaines, IL)
Stripes on steps (Des Plaines)
Fences are striped. (Chicago Krisha Society)
A fence with both stripes and checks – at The Church of All Nations in Jerusalem
Bottle Tree Ranch near Victorville, California (one of the sites on Route 66)
Seats in ancient amphitheatre in Caesrea Maritima, Israel
Woven striped design on my bottle holder that I bought in Peru
Beautiful inlaid (some of them checked) designs on small tables & other items in Aswan, Egypt
Stripes and Checks in a coloring book (photo modified)

OHC: Religious Traditions in Chicago; Part 1: ISKCON and Moody Church

During Open House Chicago, one has the opportunity to see many architecturally and historically interesting places, but some of the places I choose to attend during that weekend are churches and temples. Chicagoans represent all faiths and worship in a variety of ways (if they worship at all, which many of them don’t and that also is OK with me). I intend to feature two faiths in each post on this subject.

Although I posted about the Krishna tradition last year, I am including it as part of this post’s topic of diverse faiths. The International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is the official name of the religion and place of worship.
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Krishna is a major deity in the Hindu religion, one of its principal gods. Krishna can be portrayed as male or female and is not especially identified with either gender, I was told when we visited ISKCON last year.
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According to Religious Tolerance: Hare Krishna and ISKCON web site, “ISKCON and Hinduism both trace their beginnings to the Vedas and to the Bhagavad-Gita text. Whereas mainstream Hinduism regards Krishna to be the 8th incarnation of Vishnu (the Preserver and one of the Hindu trinity of deities), ISKCON regards Krishna to be the supreme Lord over all deities, including Vishnu. They are therefore a monotheistic faith group, one that stresses bhakti, the way of devotion.”
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The spiritual leader of ISKCON is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who introduced Westerners to the faith by publishing 60 books in only 12 years and over 60 million published in 30 different languages. He initiated over 4,000 disciples of Lord Krishna, established ISKCON which has more than 100 temples, and he travelled around the world 14 times preaching the message of Krishna consciousness.
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Musical instruments such as drums, keyboards, and sitars are used in Krishna worship.

The roots of the faith can be traced to the advent of Krishna, 5000 years ago in an Indian village, and was revived in the 16th century by Guru Caitanya Mahaprabu who is considered to be the reincarnation of Lord Krishna himself. He taught that Krishna was the one true deity and that anyone can gain a personal relationship with the god through sankirtana, congregational chanting of God’s names, specifically the Hare Krishna Mantra, also known as the Maha Mantra.

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Worship takes place in this large hall.

 

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As Krishna worship is an offshoot of Hinduism, I now turn to one offshoot of the Protestant Christian tradition. This year we visited the Moody Church. This non-denominational evangelical faith was named after Dwight L. Moody, an evangelist of the mid to late 19th century. The present church building, completed in 1925, combines Byzantine and Romanesque architecture, meant to bridge the gap between the Roman Catholic cathedral and the typical Protestant church buildings of the 19th-20th centuries.

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In this vast sanctuary which seats 3,700, people of all faiths are welcome. The Moody Church is fundamentalist and evangelical in its beliefs, including the belief in the Second Coming of Jesus, published on their web site.  
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Here are some excerpts of their Doctrinal Statement:

Article I
God is triune, one Being eternally existing in three co-equal Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; these divine Persons…work inseparably and harmoniously in creating, sustaining, and redeeming the world. …

Article II
The Bible, including both the Old and the New Testaments, is a divine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit. …

Article III
Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God…He is Himself very God; He took upon Him our nature, being conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary; He died upon the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of the world; … He will come again personally and visibly to set up His kingdom and to judge the quick and the dead. …

Article IV
Man was created in the image of God but fell into sin, and, in that sense, is lost;…[unless a person is] born again he cannot see the kingdom of God; …the retribution of the wicked and unbelieving and the reward of the righteous are everlasting, and as the reward is conscious, so is the retribution. …

Article V
The Church is an elect company of believers baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body; its mission is to witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, preaching the gospel among all nations; it will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air ere He appears to set up His kingdom. …

 

 

 

 

 

CB&WPC: Vintage Kitchen

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge, the topic this week is kitchen items. Here are photos of a vintage kitchen, all of which are on display at the Dawes Mansion, now known as the Evanston Historical Society. We toured this building last year during Open House Chicago 2018.
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A radiator may not seem like something found in a kitchen, but in old homes, radiators were commonly found in kitchens as well as other rooms. Our house in Des Plaines, built in 1924, had a radiator in the kitchen originally, until we had it renovated.

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CFFC: Fashion Near and Far

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge this week is about fashion.

In The Bistro Restaurant at Lyric Opera of Chicago, there is always one of the beautiful dresses worn by the lead female character on display in a case with a mirror behind it so you can see both front and back. This was the dress on display last December for Il Trovatore.
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These miniatures were on display at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines, Sept. 2018, as 19th century public figures decked out in their finery.
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1960s fashions – exhibit at Evanston History Center (Dawes House) during Open House Chicago, Oct. 2018.
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Muslim women & men in Old Jerusalem, Israel, January 2019.
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At the Israeli Diamond Center, Tel Aviv
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Mannequin, Le Pijp Market, Amsterdam, Holland (June 2019)
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Store display – for bridesmaids (?), Wurzburg, Germany (June 2019)
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Ribbons for hats, Regensburg, Germany (July 2019)
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Not sure what this mannequin is advertising, but she looks rather fashionable, don’t you think? (Regensburg, Germany)
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When I saw the design on this T-shirt in Regensburg, I had to go into the shop and purchase two of them for our daughter and son-in-law, who have a particular fondness for skulls and food!
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Thursday Doors: Sigma Alpha Epsilon National Headquarters (OHC 2018)

During Open House Chicago 2018, we visited several sites in Evanston, including the national headquarters of the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
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Regardless of my personal opinion of this fraternity’s history of hazing (for which it has been disciplined at least nine times) as well as of fraternities in general, the headquarters building is an austere German Gothic structure, whose interior is contemplative, far away from typical college campus fraternity activity.

This building had several interesting doors, and photos of them, such as this one of the front entrance are scattered throughout this post, as contribution to Norm’s Thursday Doors 12/20/18.
20181014_151902Located on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, the building of what is officially called Levere Memorial Temple was begun in 1929 and was dedicated in December, 1930. The headquarters, also known as Fraternity Service Center, honors members of the fraternity who have served in the armed forces since 1856.

Beautiful Tiffany stained glass windows in the chapel and elsewhere depict scenes which men have experienced in wartime as well as historical and Greek subjects.
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The interior décor of the chapel was simple and elegant.
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The building today is used for social and academic ceremonies and receptions at Northwestern University as well as fraternity national conferences and weddings. There is a museum on the bottom floor and a library contains annual volumes of fraternity affairs going back a century.
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To learn more about Sigma Alpha Epsilon and its history, go to the Wikipedia article online.
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Thursday Doors: Lake Street Church (OHC 2018, Part 7)

During the weekend of Open House Chicago (Oct. 13-14, 2018), we visited another of the Evanston sites, Lake Street Church.
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Although founded as Evanston Baptist Church in 1858, according to their welcome brochure, Lake Street Church is now a “progressive community of spiritual seekers from across multiple denominations” and is “rooted in the free-church tradition,” seeking to “embody the best components of liberal Protestant Christianity.” This sign outside the church makes its mission of inclusion quite clear.20181013_161331
Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Roman Catholics and Protestants of several traditions have all passed through the main entrance.
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The present Victorian Gothic building opened its doors in 1875 and it is now Evanston’s oldest public building.
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Major renovation of the sanctuary took place in 1995.
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Pulpit detail: carving of seed pods opening and cascading down the front toward the carvings of cherubic faces.
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Victorian Gothic structures emphasize the vertical, designed to create an “uplifting feeling” through tall roofs pointing toward heaven and pointed arches in doors and windows.
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The lancet windows in the sanctuary feature the high, pointed Gothic arch.
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Facing the back of the church
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The Rose Window is the centerpiece of the stained glass windows. It was designed and manufactured in Chicago and is characteristic of the Victorian Gothic design popular in the 19th century. Notice the use of elaborate designs and vibrant colors.
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Stairwell windows

The organ, framed by a decorative arched ceiling.
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Arch detail
DSC06574.JPGThe Church House, north of the sanctuary, was completed in 1925. Inside are a large auditorium, a dining room, Sunday School classrooms and meeting rooms. Its entrance continues the pointed arches and Victorian Gothic design.
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Lake Street Church boasts many activities with an interfaith and social justice emphasis.

Plenty more awesome doors at Norm’s Thursday Doors, 12/13/18.

 

Open House Chicago-Part 4: The American Toby Jug Museum

In Evanston is a small museum that most residents don’t even know exists. We didn’t either, until Open House Chicago listed it in the sites to tour in Evanston. In fact, I didn’t know what a Toby jug was. Nevertheless, located at 910 Chicago Ave. in Evanston, IL, the museum hosts thousands of visitors per year and has a collection of about 8300 jugs.  Once you enter the front door, you then go down a flight of stairs to enter the museum.
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The Toby jug and its derivative, the Character jug, is an art form of pottery that dates back to 1760.
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These jugs were made in various European countries and in the United States.

Some are beautiful, some are whimsical, some have the faces of famous persons while others are painted in the style of Delft pottery.
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There are very large jugs which stand on the floor and tiny ones no larger than a thimble. There are jugs representing people in various occupations as well as many in the shape of animals.

 

Why the name Toby? There are a few theories, but the most plausible one is that it comes from a 1761 drinking song composed by Rev. Francis Fawkes, The Brown Jug. The song tells the story of an expert boozer named Toby Fillpot.

After Toby Fillpot dies from excess drinking, his body turns to clay and is found by a potter. So the potter formed a brown jug from a fat Toby!

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Some Toby jugs have been put to other uses, such as an umbrella stand, lamp bases, and decorative spoon handles.

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These photos represent only a fraction of the jugs on display. (Since most are in glass cases, it wasn’t always possible to capture the displays without reflections from the overhead lights.)

Before we left, I had to use the restroom, which was decorated with a Toby jug theme!
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How about a shirt with Toby jug designs?
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After spending about half an hour here, we vowed to return at a later date when we have more time.

 

First Presbyterian Church of Evanston – Open House Chicago 2018, Part 5

One of the most beautiful churches in Evanston, particularly its stained glass windows, is the First Presbyterian Church, which we visited during Open House Chicago 2018 in mid-October.  The architect of this building was Daniel H. Burnham, the same man who made Chicago famous for the design of the White City during the World’s Columbian Exhibition in 1893. (If you have read Devil in the White City, you have learned a lot about him.)
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The church was built in 1894 and completed in 1895 after a fire that destroyed the previous sanctuary.
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Additions to the Joliet limestone building included a Sunday School wing (1926) and the Walker Chapel (1969).
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The stained glass windows contain a lot of sapphire blue, which is City Sonnet’s color of the day today.

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These large windows which flank the north and south sides of the church depict the Old Testament (south window) and the New Testament (north window).
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If you look closely at this window depicting the Ascension, you can see Jesus’ feet and the bottom of his turquoise robe, just above the heads of the witnesses!
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These windows tell the story of Adam and Eve.

The Balcony Rose Window is the most beautiful of all! Fully illuminated by the setting sun, it draws its inspiration from the Beatitudes which Jesus shared during his “Sermon on the Mount.” (Matthew 5:3-11) Each “petal” depicts one of the Beatitudes.

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From Top and moving Clockwise: Dove (Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven); Lily (Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God); Scales of Justice (Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled); Crown with Stars (Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven); Inverted Torch (Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted); Olive Branch (Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God); Lamb (Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth); Broken Sword (Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy).

Looking toward the altar from the main entrance. Everything on the platform on which the altar sits is removable so the space is very flexible for concerts, pageants and other performances. The sanctuary plus the balcony seats 1,100 people.
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The lectern
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The altar
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Much of the wood trim has carvings, such as these angels. All the columns and decorative trim were not part of the original structure and were added later. The types of wood used were red oak and Georgian pine.

 

Also notable is the splendid organ, which the organist let me try out! The organ is an amalgamation of parts from the original 1895 organ, the 1940 installation and the 1958 Aeolian Skinner instrument.
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The sounds of different instruments, such as the oboe, flutes or violins, can be produced using the levers on the left and right; the sound is transmitted through the approximately 3,500 pipes arranged in 64 ranks.
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The organ pipes, as seen from the balcony. The blue ceiling and back-lighting in the organ chamber were added as part of a major renovation of the church in 2001.
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Light fixture
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The original building cost $80,000 to build.

http://www.liahona.net

Thursday Doors: First United Methodist Church of Evanston (OHC 2018 Part 4)

During Open House Chicago on Oct. 13-14, we visited some beautiful churches in Evanston. The largest was the First United Methodist Church, the first church established in Evanston (prior to the building it is housed in today) in 1854.20181014_141336
The current structure was built in 1910; the architect, Thomas E. Tallmadge, was a member of the church. The building was dedicated in 1911.
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The entire church was remodeled in 1930. By that time, there were 1,852 members.
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The main entrance
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The inside of the main entrance’s double doors
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Between the outer entrance and the entrance to the sanctuary
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Another entrance on the front façade
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It is a Gothic style church, built like a cross (many old Catholic churches are built like this), called cruciform. Here is a view looking toward the altar, with its beautiful carved Reredos.
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Facing the rear of the sanctuary
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The Reredos, depicting the life of Christ, was designed by Ralph Adams Cram, an architect who supervised 50 Swiss and German artisans in its construction in 1930.
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The Rose window above the Reredos was the first stained glass window installed in the sanctuary and was recently completely restored.
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The organ has 4,865 pipes and was built by Austin Organ Company.
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The transept stained glass windows depict the parables of Jesus and the works of Jesus.
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The six small windows under the large transept windows depict the Acts of Mercy as enumerated by Jesus.
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The “Te Deum” window above the balcony in the back of the sanctuary is designed to be a hymn of praise.
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A cloister separates the main sanctuary with a smaller chapel. The labyrinth was added in 2017.
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The cloister door is enhanced by wrought iron, symbolizing the primeval forest that occupied the site on which the church was built.
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Interior chapel door (between the narthex and the sanctuary)
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The Gothic style Tittle Chapel, named for Dr. Ernest Fremont Tittle, minister of the church from 1918 to 1949. His ashes and those of his wife are buried beside the altar.
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The Reredos in the chapel has figures representing various figures from history: Justinian, Michelangelo, Dante, Aristotle, Newton and Plato.
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Posted for Norm’s Thursday Doors, 11/8/18.