-Luminated Manuscripts
-About Luminated Manuscripts
The conceptual design for the expansion and renovation of Knight Library (1988-94) allowed for the inclusion of several ‘architecturally integrated’ works of art. The distinctive sculpture Pegasus, perched atop the library, is among the best known of these works. Pegasus and other works acquired during this time were funded in accordance with Percent for Art legislation and selected by a collaborative process managed by the Oregon Arts Commission’s Percent for Public Art Program.

Decorative step lights were envisioned for the circular staircase which serves as a focal point for the south end of the library. In 1990, three glass artists -- John Rose, Linda Ethier, and Liz Capelli -- were invited to make a proposal for the design and fabrication of cast glass sculptures to decorate (and illuminate) these stairs. In 1991, Ethier, of Portland, Oregon, was selected for the project, and in response to the selection committee’s suggestions, she used collections unique to Knight Library as the inspiration for her final designs.

Ethier’s completed work, entitled Luminated Manuscripts, consists of 15 glass panels installed on the guardrails of the three flights of stairs that comprise what is now called the Solari Staircase. This staircase is named for Mary Corrigan Solari, a 1946 UO graduate, and her husband, Richard Solari, who contributed to the Knight Library expansion project. Initially installed in November, 1992, the glass sculptures were adjusted with filters in August 1993 to enhance their appearance.

The panels depict a variety of figures and objects associated with library collections, and several images are based on recommendations from library staff. Thus these illuminated panels represent a unique collaboration resulting in art about the library: its environment, collections, and the people it serves.

As step lights, the content and detail of Luminated Manuscripts are not easily apparent, although the color and texture of the panels clearly stand out. The purpose of this web page is to provide images which can more easily be examined -- images scanned from slides made by the artist before installation of the work -- as well as some background information about the processes employed to create this sculptural ensemble.

See this page more information about how this work was created.


About Linda Ethier:
  • Ethier, Linda. Linda Ethier Art Glass [artist's web site].
  • Ethier, Linda. Interview, conducted by Ed Teague. 16 Nov. 2003.
  • Gragg, Randy. “Transparent Torsos Test Your Viewpoint.” The Oregonian 26 October 1990: K24.
  • Oregon Art Beat [# 3, 1999-2000 season]. Portland, OR: Oregon Public Broadcasting, 1999-2000. Show includes Linda Ethier; Will Vinton; the Portland Opera.
  • Oregon Art Beat [# 404, October 24, 2002]. Portland, OR: Oregon Public Broadcasting, 2002. Show includes Linda Ethier; Pete Beeman, Body Moves.
  • Richards, Suzanne. “Schools Become Galleries for Fun, Functional Art.” The Oregonian 14 February 1991: 10.
  • “Troutdale Husband/Wife Team to Show a Touch of Glass at Their First Joint Show.” The Oregonian 16 June 1989: G17. 
  • University of Oregon Libraries Percent for Art Archives.
  • Wichert, Geoffrey. “Fusing.” Stained Glass 90 (Summer 1995): 104-7. The work of Linda Ethier is featured as an example kiln-forming in architectural glass.
About Knight Library's architecture:
About cast glass art:
  • “Casting.” Dictionary of Glass: Materials and Techniques. Charles Bray. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. 68-72.
  • "Cire Perdue." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001. 
  • “Fusing.” Dictionary of Glass: Materials and Techniques. Charles Bray. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. 127-8.
  • “Lost Wax Technique.” Dictionary of Glass: Materials and Techniques. Charles Bray. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. 163-5.
  • Luminated Manuscripts: Art and Craft
  • Winchert, op cit.

-----Flight 1 (Image)

U. S. Census Documents.
Economic Studies
Library Patrons.
Women Studies
Newspaper Reading Room.
-----Flight 2 (Image)

McKnight Juvenile Collection.
Orientalia Collection
Curriculum Collection.
Western Civilization
Douglas Listening Room.
-----Flight 3 (Image)

Early Russian Manuscripts.
Comparative Literature
Oregon Collection.
More Library Patrons
Thesaurus Linguae Grecae.
Created 1 December 2003
Ed Teague <ehteague@darkwing.uoregon.edu>