Sawyer Home and Grounds
The library was a large and impressive room stretching along the south side of the home. The room likely served as a space for Mr. Sawyer to meet and entertain company and demonstrated to guests the Sawyers’ commitment to learning.
The library was trimmed in American quarter sawn white oak. Built-in oak bookcases with locking glass doors lined three of the room’s walls. Along the west wall, a limestone fireplace was framed by oak-paneled walls. Two stained black Ionic columns supported the intricately carved mantle. Artwork was hung on the linen and jute wall coverings that lined the walls above the bookcases, leading up to an elaborate, ivory-colored pressed plaster ceiling. The room’s southern exposure made it an ideal place to read, and two Tiffany dual-level brass chandeliers provided illumination in the evening hours. A mammoth couch sat in front of the fireplace, while a heavy oak desk, deeply padded leather chairs and a hand-woven oriental rug completed the room. The overall effect of the room and its furnishings was to be of exceeding comfort.
The library retains its original beauty and ambiance. The limestone fireplace, oak bookcases and pressed plaster ceiling remain intact. The only discernible difference to the room’s architecture is the removal of two windows from the west wall as a result of the 1982 Steiger Wing addition. Today the library houses the Museum’s Gallery of Glass and Ceramics. The oak bookcases now hold hundreds of excellent examples of decorative arts glassware, china and lusterware. Due to its expansiveness, the library also serves as a primary gathering space for Museum programs and functions. On occasion, large traveling exhibitions extend into the library.