Grant helps put better roof over Gun library
Published 4:18 pm, Thursday, July 2, 2015
A valuable component of the Gunn Memorial Library in Washington has recently been safeguarded.
A new roof installation was accomplished last fall, preventing leaks and protecting a 100-year-old ceiling mural by H. Siddons Mowbray over the long, hard winter.
The artist’s mural work can also be found in the Morgan Library and The University Club, both in New York City.
The work was funded in part by a $15,000 grant from the 1772 Foundation, one of 17 awards bestowed last August in cooperation with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.
The maintenance and repair grant required a one-to-one match from the Gunn Library, which received the highest amount allowed by this award.
Unveiled on July 4, 1914, the grand ceiling mural was donated by the muralist and painter H. Siddons Mowbray in memory of his wife.
The vaulted ceiling is divided into four panels depicting the Greek myth of Proserpine, daughter of Ceres, being abducted by Pluto. The four seasons are represented, along with end-panel quotations from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“We were grateful and proud to earn the confidence of the Trust for Historic Preservation,” said Jean Chapin, Gunn Memorial’s executive director. “The library building is an architectural gem and a centerpiece for the town of Washington.
“The Mowbray mural is the crowning glory of the library, and it was very important for us to complete the roof project when we did,” added Chapin.
“This past winter presented some particularly challenging weather,” she said, “and we were relieved to know we had done all we could to protect this important work.”