Flavelle Ceiling - Angel

As you stand in the middle of "Fireplace Foyer" in Flavelle House, look up and you'll see one of the more elegant and historically significant ceilings in Toronto.  

A popular, quiet reading area for students and lounge for visitors to the Law School, the fine Georgian Hall with its art nouveau ceiling was painted by German-born artist, Gustav Hahn (1866-1962). Hahn painted four floating angels reminiscent of stained glass in the arts and crafts tradition of the late 19th century. One of more architecturally important rooms in Flavelle, the room hosts the only surviving Hahn-painted ceiling in Toronto. The only other in existence was painted in the 1890s, at Paul's Methodist Church (at Avenue Road south of Davenport), but it was destroyed by fire in April 1995.   

Hahn was appointed head of the Department of Interior Design at the Ontario College of Art in 1930. While pursuing an academic career, he served for two decades as the chief designer at Elliott and Sons, specialists in church interiors. Among his public and private mural projects in Toronto, the ones at the Ontario Legislature Building at Queen's Park and at Flavelle House are recognized on the City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties.

This article was first published in the "Did you know?" feature of Nexus, Fall 2005.

The ceiling of the fireplace room, Flavelle House