The Willner Chapel was originally an all purpose room. The Orthodox Minyon met there for decades. In the 1950s, the room was outfitted as a chapel by a donation of Judge Larry and Helen Willner [parents of Joan Smaus] in memory of his father, David Willner.
The chapel was refurbished as part of the 1986/88 renovation. At that time, the doors to the Aron were removed [but we have them upstairs] to make the process of removing and replacing the Torah a little easier. A new Ner Talmid was installed [we have the original one in the closet] and the painted woodwork was done at that time.
Originally, the windows are plain. In the late 1980s, Rabbi Nesson assembled a team to create new windows for the Willner Chapel. New window frames were purchased and an artist was selected. That artist, Robert Pinart, later went on to have a long and fruitful career.
A copy of the brochure explaining the meaning of each window was created and the windows were dedicated in 1991.
Pick up a copy in the Willner Chapel.
Here is a little bit about Mr. Pinart:
Robert Pinart, internationally acclaimed glass artist, was born in Paris and studied at the Ecole National Superieure des Arts Decorallis & the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts. He received his first practical training in the three top studios of Maitres-Verriere: first with Max Ingrand, later with Auguste Labouret, and next he free-lanced for Jean Barillet. In these studios he became acquainted with, and collaborated in, restoration of 13th to 15th century windows that had been removed and stored away in caves during World War II. Pinart arrived in the USA in December 1951. After a brief time with Payne-Spiers in New Jersey, he went to work for Rambusch until he went on his own in 1954. Examples of Pinart’s work can be found in the Cathedral of Saint Quentin, France, in Washington D.C.’s National Cathedral, in the dalle de verre and epoxy wall for the entry to the World of Darkness in the Bronx Zoo and in the Beatitudes windows for Ste Anne de Beaupres in Quebec, Canada.
Robert Pinart, resides in Rockland County, New York and has created more than 100 major works in glass since he began experimentation in the art form in the fifties. His work has almost always been abstract in form, as Pinart has sought fervently from the beginning of his career to move well beyond the strictly representational approach of traditional liturgical artists. His commissions are all characterized, therefore, by a bright and free-form color palette, and a symbolic representation of the subject matter that evokes both high thought and strong emotion. There is a distinct absence of heavy black lines and somber paint overlay in Pinart’s work; instead, a Pinart stained glass installation is decidedly modern and energetic.
In 1993, Robert Pinart was awarded the very first “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Stained Glass Association of America in honor and recognition of his unique approach to the art form.
Due to the prominence of Mr. Pinart, Michael W. Padwee and his wife, Susan Ingham Padwee, herself a published author, have begun to inventory his work with the hope of publishing a book on his work.
Here is a little information about Mr. Padwee:
Michael W. Padwee is an historian and collector of United States art tiles. He has published “A Field Guide to the Key Patterns on the Backs of United States Ceramic Tiles, 1870s-1930s”, which can be accessed at http://tilefieldguide.omeka.net/items/show/49. Michael has written a column, “Tile Back Views”, for “Flashpoint, the Newsletter of the Tile Heritage Foundation”, and for the THF’s e-newsletter; articles about tile identification for the Journal of the American Art Pottery Association and the Newsletter of the Potteries of Trenton Society; and a chapter about Brayton Laguna Pottery tiles in Volume I of “California Tiles, 1910-1930”. His “Historic U.S. Tile Installations” website may be accessed at https://sites.google.com/site/tileinstallationdb/. Michael lives in Brooklyn, NY and is married to Susan Ingham Padwee, a decorative arts historian, author and lecturer.
From his blog https://www.blogger.com/profile/11726793804731765250
He is also a photographer; here is his blog
This is his wife’s area of expertise :
Here is his work at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC
George Washington Bay Stained Glass Window Founding of a Nation by Robert Pinart 1976