Morning visitors to Whitworth’s dining hall are greeted by vibrant hues of gold, red, green and blue bursting onto the tables and chairs. The breathtaking light is filtered through a stained-glass window on the east side of the room. The window, titled Glory of God, was designed and installed in 1999 by alum and former Whitworth art professor Spike Grosvenor, ’63, who founded Whitworth’s stained-glass program during his 31 years of teaching.
“There are a great many things hidden in the design, signs and symbols,” Grosvenor said of the work in a Whitworthian article. “Some of them are fairly subtle, but they’re there. You need to read both the glass and the negative space.”
Using the dalle de verre process, a French glass-working technique using glass slabs, the design comprises 24 panels, each weighing 65-75 pounds, which are set in a shallow bed of sand to cure for 72 hours. The artwork was funded through a gift from the class of 1997 and other donors as the second phase of HUB construction, which completed the dining hall, was underway.
“When you’re in the room,” Grosvenor said, “imagine you were in a helicopter, hovering right above the cross on the window, looking straight down from the top. There are abstract suggestions in the window, like a crown of thorns.”