Recently I learned of an image in stained glass also appearing in thread, both based on a design by Burne-Jones. I couldn’t help but do a bit of digging and learned this: the stained glass window, David’s Charge to Solomon, was first commissioned in memory of George Minot Dexter (1802-1872) by his son Frederic Dexter. It is located at Trinity Church in the City of Boston. I’ve had the great pleasure of photographing details over the years.
The window was designed by Edward Burne-Jones, the color harmonies developed by William Morris and the window fabricated in the William Morris & Co studio.
The window was installed at Trinity Church in 1882 in an area known as the baptistry.
While Morris and Burne Jones would both pass away in the late 1890s, Morris & Co.’s design work and manufacturing would continue for decades at Merton Abbey, a village in Surrey, England where textile printing had taken place since the mid-19th Century.
While attending an exhibit at the 1900 Paris International Exhibition, and later visiting Merton Abbey in England, Australian mining magnate George Brookman saw Morris tapestries being custom woven for individual and corporate clients. He also saw original designs, still being used, to reproduce artwork. After seeing the Burne-Jones cartoon for David’s Charge to Solomon, he commissioned a tapestry to be made of that image.
Known as David giving Solomon directions for building of the Temple, the tapestry would be described as “a spacious and complex weaving of unusual size. The soft, abundant reds beloved of the [Pre-Raphaelite] Brotherhood were in evidence. Of especial beauty were the figures clad in silver-threaded armor.” Weavers were Walter Taylor, John Martin and Robert Ellis.
In 1920, Brookman sold the tapestry back to Morris & Co. May Morris, the daughter of William Morris, would exhibit the tapestry along with other Merton Abbey works at the Detroit Society of Art and Crafts Exhibit.
Newspaper businessman, philanthropist and art benefactor George G. Booth and his wife, Ellen Scripps Booth, would purchase the tapestry to hang in Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where I believe it still hangs to this day.
Details for comparison taken from David giving Solomon directions for building of the Temple, photograph by Jack Kausch, copyright Cranbrook Archives.