The next time you take the front stairwell in Widener’s Wolfgram Library, pause to look straight up over your head. There you’ll see The Little Nipper Window installed in 1971. As noted in the entertainment timeline feature in the new Widener Magazine, “The 14-foot window is one of the four original stained-glass windows depicting Nipper, the mascot of the Victor Talking Machine Company (later RCA) removed in 1967 from the RCA Tower in Camden.”
There’s more to the story than the magazine could hold. According to an article on The Gloucester County Times web site, NJ.com, “The window was one of four executed in 1915 by Nicola D’Ascenzo, one of the most important stained-glass artists of his day. His works include the chapel windows at West Point Chapel, St. John the Divine Church in New York and, closer to home, the mosaic frieze on Camden’s Cooper Library — now the Walt Whitman Arts Center.
“All four windows were removed to make way for a more modern logo; one went to the Smithsonian Institution, another to Penn State University and a third to Widener University. The fourth Nipper window, built in nine sections, was packed into three crates and stored in a Cherry Hill warehouse.”
Readers of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Weekend Section on Friday noticed the Little Nipper image gracing a cover story about Camden. That picture shows a replica of the original windows, now hanging in the refurbished RCA Building 17. For more on the building renovation, read this excellent story by Hoag Levins on historiccamdencounty.com.