LET THERE BE LIGHT: A Book About Windows by James Cross Giblin
Kirkus Star

LET THERE BE LIGHT: A Book About Windows

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Another splendid slice of social history by the author of Chimney Sweeps, Milk, and From Hand to Mouth. From caves to mirror-skinned skyscrapers, a period's climate, evolving technology, and social forces have influenced dwellings and the apertures that let light and air into them and allow people to see out. Ancient homes faced an inner courtyard, avoiding the dangers and odors of the street; in other times, windows were barricaded against vandals. But people have always been glad of spacious windows, from the conservatories of the wealthy to Philip Johnson's all-glass house. Ranging to the far North and the Orient, while concentrating on Europe and North America, Giblin describes both the typical and the unusual, castles and cathedrals as well as domestic architecture, the many materials other than glass (e.g., oiled paper, horn, and thin slices of marble) used for glazing, and a wealth of architectual details and devices. Windows may be a fine art, like stained glass, both medieval and modern; their destruction may be a significant historical event, as in the bombing of Dresden or Hiroshima; yet they will be needed ""as long as people have eyes to see, hearts to feel, and a healthy curiosity about the world around them."" A mind-expanding survey that includes a careful bibliography and source notes, arranged by chapter and with books for children noted. Many carefully reproduced, well-chosen photos and works of art, including a color section on stained glass; index.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1988
Page count: 162pp
Publisher: Crowell