In 1878 the controversial and flamboyant Dr James George Beaney donated a stained glass window to the Melbourne Hospital in Swanston Street. The window was created by Ferguson & Urie and now resides in modern surroundings that would now be unfamiliar to it’s historical past, but still befitting to it’s history in medicine.
I’ve written a previous post on the Beaney window before with detailed information about the life and times of the controversial so called ‘Quack’ doctor Beaney. On the 18th of May 2012 Ms Laurel Clark found the current location of the historic Ferguson & Urie ‘Beaney’ stained glass window in the Chapel of the Monash Medical Centre at Clayton and graciously sent me photos. I visited the Monash on the 10th June 2012 to see the window personally and found that there were another three historical Ferguson & Urie window that have been placed in unusual settings. In this post I’ve included more detailed photos of the Beaney window, and the other two Ferguson & Urie windows located in the chapel (artificially illuminated) and also the ‘Good Samaritan’ window, now strangely incorporated within an unsympathetic modern setting in the food court.
Photos taken 10th June 2012 and 17th August 2013.
As I mentioned in the original article about the Beaney window, the glass has unfortunately been re-installed back-to-front in it’s frame with the exception of the small text panel at the base of the window, which is an extremely bizarre outcome from a restoration/conservation aspect. Until this is rectified we may never know the true intended colouring of this 135 year old window and how it was originally intended to be seen by the viewer.
The other three stained glass windows found at the Monash are equally important to the Ferguson & Urie stained glass history. Two predominantly yellow/gold coloured windows are artificially lighted just inside the chapel door and described as follows:
The left window in the chapel has a scrolling ribbon wrapped around a golden cross made up of small golden stylised depictions of the passion flower and has the text “The Lord Shall deliver him in the time of trouble”. The right window has the text: “Blessed is the man that provideth for the sick and needy”, written in a ribbon that entwines a depiction of a ships anchor (well known as the religious symbol of “Hope”) and has a background of oak leaves and acorns.
The last window is outside the chapel and located in the fast food court and depicts the ‘Good Samaritan’. The text at the top of the window reads; “In as much as he did to one of the least of these we did it unto me”, and at the base; “Who is my neighbour”. This poor old historic window has now been fitted above a modern exit doorway in the Medical Centre’s food court and looks completely out of place. It’s surroundings now look more akin to having been installed above the entrance to a MacDonald’s fast food outlet.
The last set of photos are of the memorial monument to James George Beaney located at the Melbourne General Cemetery which still stands as testament to his ego. The photos of his monument was taken on the 9th December 2012 and it is quite an imposing landmark in the cemetery.