Sterling Memorial Library as Cathedral

 

 

Reassessing Yale’s Cathedral Orgy The Ecclesiastical Metaphor and the Sterling Memorial Library by Margaret M. Grubiak

Abstract: 
The Sterling Memorial Library (1927–31) at Yale University employed the ecclesiastical metaphor to imagine a new place for religion in the modern university, where secular and scientific concerns increasingly overshadowed religion. Architect James Gamble Rogers patterned the neo-Gothic library after a cathedral, complete with an entrance nave, an Alma Mater altar piece, and a Gutenberg Bible relic. Yet the range of the building’s interpretations, from religion as an omnipresent background to modern inquiry to a mockery of religion, reveals religion’s transitional role in higher education in the twentieth century. Read the rest

 

Image credits to:
Angelo Mercado (Yale Campus)
Angel G Pachon (Sterling Memorial Library; Reading Room, Sterling Memorial Library)

 

 

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