Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation is proud to collaborate with the University of New Brunswick in the restoration of seven stained glass windows that dominate the auditorium of Memorial Hall. One of five designated heritage building at UNB, Memorial Hall is home to UNB Arts Centre, and theatre program, hosting events that attract 8,000 to 10,000 people annually.
Installed between 1926 and 1943, these heritage windows had become fragile over time and a campaign to save these works of art is underway. According to art historian John Leroux, “The wealth of stained glass in Memorial Hall represents the apex of the figurative glass tradition in Fredericton.”
Originally produced by the studio of Robert McCausland Company of Toronto and Clayton and Bell Company of London the windows were donations in praise and honor of the pursuit of excellence. The earliest of the windows commemorate great poets and philosophers such as Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Longfellow, and Aristotle. The later windows pay tribute to remarkable New Brunswickers. Shards of glass from Ypres Cathedral are part of the 1926 tribute window to George Fenwick who died at Passchendaele. John Douglas Hazen, former premier and Justice of the NB Supreme Court and Henry S Bridges, Classic professor and member of the UNB Senate are both honored through these windows.
Peter Coates, Director of Development and Donor Relations notes that the windows are both works of art in their own right and an important part of the built heritage of New Brunswick. The restoration of these windows by local artist and restoration expert Ned Bowes will return them to their former brilliance and ensure their future longevity for the people of this province. The glass sections will be removed, cleaned, repaired and releaded. In addition to the stained glass itself, the interior frames, sills and tracery will be repaired or replaced as necessary. An external vented UV Plexiglas will be installed to protect the interior windows.
SHMF salutes UNB for its work in respecting and preserving cultural and historic objects d’art.