On Friday, June 4, 1971—three years before the dedication of the Cathedral’s Space Window—a lesser-known window of the same theme was dedicated in the Lane-Johnston gallery of St. Albans School. An article by Eliza Watts from the fall 1971 issue of Cathedral Age, excerpted here, describes how the window came about.
For 61 years, each graduating class at St. Albans School has donated a stained glass window to the school. These windows present a vivid testimonial to the changing tastes in American art during the twentieth century.
The theme for the class of ’71 window, “Space and Technology in a Changing World,” was chosen by a committee of seniors formed by the class president, George Goodrich, with Chaplain Craig Eder as advisor. Rowan LeCompte, designer of many chapel and Cathedral windows, was asked to recommend an artist.
Miss Jimilu Mason, of Alexandria, was LeCompte’s enthusiastic recommendation. Mason is the sculptor of the official marble bust of President Lyndon Johnson, to be placed in the Capitol.
The class of ’71 gave Mason the creative task of depicting in glass the experience of man’s conquest of the moon. This was an experience which was closely shared by the school since Michael Collins (sta ’48) was a member of the Apollo 11 crew.
Mason chose clear, bubbled glass for the representation of the astronaut. He stands in contrast to an etched black sky pierced by the image of the distant Earth in cobalt blue glass veined white with a special acid. Below the astronaut, one sees footprints of space boots as the figure moves on with his probe stick. On both sides of the solitary man are small, irregularly shaped pieces of brilliantly hued glass. These colors were inspired by studies of a microphoto of a slender slice of moon rock magnified. Symbolically, the colors represent man’s effect on his environment: bringing the color of life to a cold, grey planet.
The glass maker responsible for the construction of the window was Dieter Goldkulhe of Reston, Va.