The Gropper Windows

Genesis in Glass

In 1967, artist William Gropper completed a series of five windows in the Gottlieb Community Hall at West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest, Illinois. In anticipation of the approaching 30th anniversary of the installation, we present a celebration of these vibrant windows which represent some of the most familiar stories of Genesis. Because this page focuses on images from the windows, it exceeds 70 K in size and may take a short time to fully load.

Dove and Rainbow Image
Detail from the Window of Good and Evil (160719 bytes)

Instead of traditional stained glass techniques, Gropper used one inch thick slabs of brilliantly colored glass which were cut to shape and chipped or faceted on the surface. The windows were made by the Valeska studios in Chicago and are over two stories high.

On these pages you will find:

In order to facilitate loading, all of the images on this page have been kept fairly small and at a low resolution. However, most of the images themselves are linked to large downloadable files to enable you to see some of the panels in closer detail.

The Five Windows

The Gropper Windows constitute the East wall of Gottlieb Community Hall at West Suburban Temple. Although the windows are, in reality, separated by brick columns of approximately the same width as the windows themselves, we have included a composite picture which eliminates the bricks. Ambient light makes photography of the entire wall quite difficult.

The text links below lead to separate pages, each devoted to one of the five windows, including a full length image and a summary of the subject matter of the window. Reading from right to left they are:

The Wall

The brilliance and magnificence of these windows can only be appreciated in person. You are invited to visit West Suburban Temple Har Zion.

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Selected Panels

The images below are taken from selected panels of the respective windows. They are linked to large true color files for more detailed viewing.

from The Window of Creation (approx. 100 k).

Good and Evil
from The Window of Good and Evil (approx. 230 k).

from The Window of Abraham (approx. 260 k).

from The Window of Jacob (not available for download).

Pharaoh's Dream
from The Window of Joseph (approx. 200 k).

Shabbat from The Window of Creation (approx. 145 k).

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Gropper and Horn

In addition to the Gropper Windows, West Suburban Temple has an eclectic collection of other works of art, including the once controversial, bas relief, "Not by might..." by sculptor Milton Horn which adorns an exterior wall of the Temple. This link leads to a larger version of the composite picture shown above as well as to a photograph of the Horn sculpture.

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About Gropper and more

William Gropper was a fascinating and controversial individual. These windows were his first efforts in glass. We have collected a small number of links to other works by the artist and to biographical information about him.

We have also begun a collection of links to other sources of art, religious and otherwise.

Additional suggestions will be appreciated.

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West Suburban Temple has just completed a major renovation under the guidance of noted Oak Park architect, John Thorpe. Therefore, we invite you to visit the building. Guests are always welcome at our services. If you wish to visit at other times please contact the Temple administrator to make arrangements.

For more information visit the West Suburban Temple Har ZionWST link home page or contact Harvey Gross, Temple Administrator at har.zion@syslink.mcs.com or (708)366-9000.

For information about other places of interest in Oak Park and River Forest, and much, much, more visit The Oak Park Tourist.

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All images and text copyright West Suburban Temple Har Zion.
Photographs of the Gropper Windows by Dr. Howard Berlin.

Please leave your public comments in our Guestbook Guestbook or send your private comments by e-mail.

This page created and maintained by Leonard Grossman who has his own wholly unrelated pages Reflections of a ModemJunkie.


W3C Wilbur Checked! Although this page has been validated to the WebTechs "Wilbur" standard, it is not my intention to restrict viewing to any particular browser. It is, of course, dedicated to images. If this page presents any problems on your browser, please drop me a note.
Created with DiDa! Rev. 12/21/96 9:28:58 AM.
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