Dr. Meredith Lillich, 1953 Fulbright Student to Belgium, 1983 Fulbright Scholar to France

September 14, 2012

Dr. Meredith Lillich: 1953 Fulbright Student to Belgium, 1983 Fulbright Scholar to France

Dr. Meredith Lillich: Four years of college as an art history major, I was frantic and desperate to get to Europe. I was a child of the World War II. Nobody traveled to Europe. Nobody that I knew had ever been there except, of course, connected with the war. I just had to see those things that I’d been spending so much time and effort on.

And the University had no light, no toilet paper, no heat, no, I mean, it was a really grim place at that point. I had professors who came up every three or four weeks from Paris. So, those courses, of course, I could schedule every month roughly, or every three to four weeks. I had to be in Belgium. And so, I would take a train to some place and plot out a trip that could be fit in between the courses that I had.

So, I went to Canterbury and I walked into Canterbury and I walked around and I saw twelfth and thirteenth century stained glass. We don’t have that kind of stuff here. I can remember still the place and it was in the north isle just before you get to the… there’s a chapel that goes off the end. I can remember the window where I stood in front of this window and I thought I’d never seen anything so magnificent in my life. I could have never imagined there could be anything so gorgeous.

And after the whole visit, I went back out to the nave, to the door, and there was a little table where they sold postcards. And so I found a photograph of this thing and looked at the back of it. It not only said Canterbury cathedral, which was obvious. But it gave the name of the stories in it and the date of it. And I thought, you can study this stuff? My immediate reaction was that I have to work on that.

That wouldn’t have happened otherwise. It was a revelation. And it basically touched a core of me that had been there from the very beginning but that there would have been no way that I could have discovered otherwise.