Adelaide Stock Exchange: Federation Window

This is an example of a building detail best appreciated from the inside. The former Stock Exchange building is now the home of the Royal Institution of Australia. As you enter turn left and walk towards the main staircase. At the top of the staircase is perhaps one of the most precious stained glass works in Adelaide.

South Australian Premier J.G. Jenkins opened the new Stock Exchange building on 6 September 1901. One of the Exchange members, Sir George A. Brookman, had this stained glass window specially commissioned. The famous London design company Morris & Co produced the window.

There are Morris and Co stained glass windows in other Adelaide buildings, but this is the earliest. It is also the only one not in a achurch.

The window commemorates an important moment in Australian history. In 1901 Federation joined the Australian colonies in as a nation. This event's importance is showed in the window by Morris artist John Henry Dearle. In its lower panes there are figures representing Britain and her colonies, including Australia, Canada, India and South Africa. In the upper panels the figures represent the morning, sun and evening.

Fire damaged the building twice, once in 1938 and again in 1982. Amazingly, the stained glass window survived. In 2007 South Australia government bought the building. The Federation window was donated to the Art Gallery of South Australia, but it remains part of the building.