If you haven’t visited the lobby of the James Administration Building for a while, you’re in for a surprise – a visual one.
In addition to a new, more permanent welcome desk and a fresh paint job following repairs from last winter’s flood damage, the display cases near the elevators have been filled with stunning photos of various interesting spaces at McGill.
From shots of the pipe organ in Redpath Hall to a vintage lighted clock at the Raymond Building on Macdonald Campus, the display is designed to entice people to explore the fascinating parts of the McGill campuses. Most of the photos are the work of freelance photographer Owen Egan, who is a frequent recorder of McGill people and events.
“People will see this and want to discover more about McGill,” said Gwendolyn (Wendy) Owens, Senior Advisor for McGill’s Visual Arts Collection, which cares for the University’s extensive collection of art.
It’s also a way to share with the broader community some of the well-preserved visual assets that might only be regularly seen by comparatively few people.
Many of the photographs depict some of the University’s older spaces, including fireplaces, the billiard room in the Faculty Club and remarkable stained glass windows dating to the 15th century (photographed by Daisy Charles and Jessica Veevers of the Visual Arts Survey team) originally in Hosmer House, that are now in the School of Architecture in the Macdonald-Harrington Building on the downtown campus. But there are also shots of more modern spaces, such as a study corner in the Schulich Library nearby.
“We didn’t want this to be frozen in time,” Owens said.
Another artistic addition to the lobby is the mounting of a very large watercolour (290.5 cm by 108 cm) showing a bird’s-eye view of the downtown campus in 1925. This massive and very detailed work, which used to hang in the reception area of the Principal’s office, was painted by architect Percy Erskine Nobbs, and is the property of the Canadian Architectural Collection.
Owens was full of praise for Kinny Kreiswirth, a graphic designer in McGill’s Graphic Design Department, who arranged the photographic displays in the cases.
“Kinny did a great job,” Owens said. “She was wonderful to work with.”