Thursday, June 8, 2017

2017 American Peony Society Convention Tour of Duke Chapel

Duke Chapel on Duke University Campus

I had been to Duke Chapel before, but I had never learned as much as I did when I toured it with the American Peony Society. When we first arrived, we had a bit of free time where we were allowed to walk freely around the chapel. People admired the architecture, the stained glass windows, and the fresh flowers. Eventually people started settling into the pews at the front of the chapel, and our tour guide, a current member of the chapel's choir, met us there and gave us a great talk. We learned about the 4 organs in the chapel, how they were cleaned and restored, the chapel building and its architecture and materials (stone at the bottom and a terra cotta like tile at the top), what the chapel is used for today - a interdenominational Christian church. There are no members, just participants, and although it looks like a Cathedral, it cannot be called one since it is not affiliated with the Catholic church and uses no religious hierarchy.

APS Members Listening to Tour Guide's Talk

We also learned about the gorgeous stained glass windows in the chapel, how the windows' color is not painted but infused into the glass, giving it its richness. Each window is unique, and the larger windows placed higher in the chapel have figures from the Old Testament of the Bible, while the smaller windows placed nearer to the ground level have scenes from the New Testament of the Bible. He also mentioned that the original window drawings and plans were burned when the artists attempted to put their own initials into some of the windows. However in the 1980s a grad student of the University was granted permission to install temporary scaffolding to document each window photographically and created a book about the windows.

Stained Glass Windows in Duke Chapel

No comments:

Post a Comment