Ellen Mandelbaum


Marian Woods Retirement Home For Five Orders of Nuns

Click on any image to enlarge
Interior view: 'Resurrection Window', Altar (photo: Stephen Ostrow)
'Wind of the Spirit' window; west view
'Four Seasons' window
Interior Chapel view
'Let There Be Light' Circle
'Mystic Rose' window
'Mystic Rose' process drawing

About This Project

Thirty-two windows on the theme of Creation surround the central altar in this octagonal chapel on the former Gillette Estate. Unlike many Catholic churches, the stained glass design is not figurative, but abstract with simple symbols to help to create an atmosphere for worship. This sanctuary, at the heart of the residence, is situated so that the sisters are always passing by on their way to meals or the library, often stopping to pray in this “particularly prayerful space”.

The arched Resurrection is the focal point and largest window; four small, attached corner chapels celebrate themes like the Crucifixion and the Eucharist. Mary is symbolized by a rose in the Holy Family Chapel. Lines of yellow painted silver-stain radiate out like rays of light from the circular Let There Be Light window up in the eaves of the roof. The landscape and changing light of each time of day, as well as the weather and the seasons can all be seen through the windows and often project colors onto the floor. This was the plan from the very beginning when the sisters requested that the views of the beautiful landscape be incorporated. Most of the glass is hand-made mouth-blown glass with beautiful colors and striations, however clear window glass was also used to let the landscape in.  David Lawrence, Architect. 

“Ellen worked well with our committee of potential residents and listened carefully to our expressions of faith and the mysteries we hold dear. Ellen was able to translate those expressions into a true work of art- worthy of the sacred space in which it plays so significant a role…I gladly recommend Ellen Mandelbaum to any project that could benefit from her artistry.”  – Sister Mary Pashcal Hill, Marian Woods Retirement Home

Location: Hartsdale, NY
Date: 2001
Medium: Original Design of 28 Stained Glass Windows for Octagonal Chapel for Five Orders of Nuns (Permanent Installation)
Size: totals ~700 sq. ft.

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