Odds and quads

July 29, 2010

This stained-glass window was designed by George Bernard Shaw and made by Caroline Townshend in 1910 to celebrate the Fabian Society, the influential centre-left think tank that played a central role in the creation of the London School of Economics in 1895 and the Labour Party in 1900.

The window was stolen in 1978 and although it was later spotted in Arizona, it disappeared again for 25 years before coming up for sale at Sotheby's in 2005.

It was bought by the Webb Memorial Trust, which loaned it to the LSE. It is now displayed alongside a portrait of the institution's founders Sidney and Beatrice Webb in the Shaw Library.

The window is set within an oak frame and depicts the leading lights of the Fabian Society in mock-Tudor dress as they strive to remould the world "nearer to the heart's desire". They include Shaw himself and H.G. Wells. Books by Shaw and others appear below, while the coat of arms represents the Fabians as a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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