November 21, 2019, to December 27, 2020
The Joe W. and Dorothy D. Brown Foundation Special Exhibit Gallery
Remembered Light: Glass Fragments from World War II, the McDonald Windows is a collection of 25 art pieces produced by Atelier Le Roux in Oakland, California, using shards of glass from damaged and destroyed European churches collected during World War II by the late US Army Episcopal chaplain Frederick McDonald. McDonald, who served under General Omar Bradley in the 12th Army Group through war-torn Europe, collected shards of stained glass and other mementos from desecrated sanctuary sites he visited from 1944 to 1945 after he first encountered a church in England destroyed by bombing and was heartbroken by the ruins.
During one of his assignments on March 8, 1945, McDonald entered the Gothic Church of Our Lady in Trier, Germany. He wrote of seeing the fallen crucifix on the floor with a statue of the Virgin Mary looking down at it. McDonald observed, as did many soldiers at the end of World War II, the devastation around him and the way the bits of broken glass on the ground shined in the sunlight. He believed that shards from shattered stained glass windows “might be worked into a memorial window somewhere” after the war. In 2003, 25 works of stained glass art were crafted by 13 artists using the small fragments collected by McDonald.
Each of the artists in Remembered Light incorporated the glass fragments into pieces that interpret themes of loss, devastation, and continual striving for peace. Each piece includes a transcript from McDonald’s memory of the specific location and events related to it. The artists used McDonald’s notes from World War II, his recollections after the war, and their own research to create the original artworks. The scenes memorialized in the pieces speak directly to the origin of the shards—bombings in England, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Most of the art pieces combine various glass techniques, such as leaded glass, glass painting, enameling, sandblasting, fusing, slumping, silkscreen, and lampworking. Other media, such as ceramic, wood, acetate, and Plexiglas, have also been used.
Remembered Light has traveled the country since 2007. The exhibit contains graphics explaining McDonald’s journey and includes a booklet of his stories, a lit display case of the remaining shards, various archives, and even a video produced by McDonald’s family in which he tells the story of his life and what he saw and felt during World War II.
Remembered Light: Glass Fragments from World War II, the McDonald Windows is organized by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, San Francisco, California, where the stained glass art pieces from Remembered Light will be incorporated into and permanently displayed in the planned renovation of the historic Post Chapel. Lead Artist, Armelle LeRoux.
Remembered Light will be on display at the Museum from November 21, 2019, through December 27, 2020, in The Joe W. and Dorothy D. Brown Special Exhibit Gallery in Louisiana Memorial Pavilion.
Purchase the Remembered Light catalogue here.
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion
Explore The CampusMuseum Campus Guide
The Louisiana Memorial Pavilion exhibits take visitors into the monumental efforts on the Home Front and to the beaches of Normandy—focusing on the thousands of men and women who made Allied victory in World War II possible.
In a war where the terrain was as deadly as the enemy, this pavilion tells the story of American servicemembers abroad—and how they overcame unprecedented challenges on multiple fronts to win victory in World War II. In over 19,000 square feet of exhibit space, two extraordinary exhibitions bring visitors inside the epic story of the war in its most infamous settings, bringing to life jungles, beaches, mountains, and oceans in 19 immersive galleries.
The Solomon Victory Theater is home to Beyond All Boundaries, a 4D cinematic experience produced exclusively for The National WWII Museum by Tom Hanks—who narrates the film—and Phil Hettema.
The Hall of Democracy represents the center of the Museum’s expanding educational outreach initiatives—providing a space that will enable the institution to share its collections, oral histories, research, and expertise with audiences across the world.
In World War II—the war that changed the world—freedom hung in the balance. Americans answered the call to protect that freedom with 16 million men and women serving in uniform and an untold number of citizens of all ages doing their part on the Home Front. In US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, we honor their contributions.
The official Hotel of The National WWII Museum, this stunning art-deco style property offers first-class accommodations, meeting spaces, and dining options providing a sophisticated lodging experience for guests.
The John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion features glass exterior walls that allow the public a permanent, behind-the-scenes view of the restoration and preservation of priceless WWII artifacts. New to the pavilion is the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Innovation Gallery, which focuses on how problems were solved during World War II through ingenuity and innovation.
Founders Plaza creates an impressive entryway to the Museum campus, safe passage for Museum guests, and a pleasant setting for rest and reflection as part of the visitor experience.
The soaring Bollinger Canopy of Peace, set to stand 150 feet tall, will unify the Museum's diverse campus and establish the Museum as a fixture on the New Orleans skyline.
Three building levels will explore the closing months of the war and immediate postwar years, concluding with an explanation of links to our lives today.