In the spirit of uniting for an “Earthly” cause: On March 31, our Collections team met via Zoom with the Philbrook Museum of Fine Art‘s curator Susan Green, Chief Registrar Ellen Brinch, and Library and Archive Specialist Sage Blanchard to shed some light on our globe light fixtures.
Both Caramoor and the Phillbrook Museum have stained-glass globe lights with a metal ring that has concave depictions of each zodiac sign. Before this meeting, we at Caramoor knew that the Rosens chose this E. F. Caldwell light to hang in the Observatory. Alas, the Observatory was never built (more to come in a future post). The globe light was hung, instead, in young Walter’s sitting room on the second floor of the East Wing, since he was interested in astronomy. The Philbrook Museum team did not have much information about their maker. Instead, they had researched the imagined world and determined it to date from the time of Leonardo da Vinci, c.1515, according to an inscription at the bottom near present-day Antarctica.
Through brilliant comparisons of images of our globe lights and archive materials, together we positively determined the Philbrook Museum’s library globe to be a Caldwell light!
And a fun fact: In January 2020, our wonderful stained glass restorers, Femenella & Associates were able to open the globe in young Walter’s sitting room and change the light bulb to have it working for the first time in decades!
Click on the thumbnail images below to go through the slideshow to see all angles of the globe light!