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Posts Tagged ‘Copley Square’

Bust of Dean Stanley at Trinity Church

I took the picture, I did the research and this is what I learned:  On Easter Monday in 1877, Rev. Phillips Brooks was given leave by his parish, Trinity Church in the City of Boston, to take a sojourn to Europe.  While in England, he spent time with Arthur Stanley, Dean of Westminster Abbey. Brooks was invited to preach at Westminster in July, and it is written that Dean Stanley listened with delight to a doctrine after his own heart.  Brooks would later share in a letter, “Last Sunday I preached for Mr. Stanley at his church in London, and William and I were much in the little man’s company while we were in his town.  He is very pleasant and entertaining, but much changed since his wife’s [Lady Augusta Stanley] death. He has grown old and fights hard to keep up an interest in things.”(1)


In the autumn of 1878, Dean Stanley traveled to America. In Boston he preached for the Rev. Phillips Brooks at Trinity Church.  Brooks would later write that no one who heard the benediction at the close of the service would ever forget it. “He had been but a few days in America. It was the first time he had looked an American congregation in the face. The church was crowded with men and women of whom he knew that to him they represented the New World. He was for a moment a representative of English Christianity. And as he spoke the solemn words, it was not a clergyman dismissing a congregation, it was the Old World blessing the New; it was England blessing America.  The voice trembled while it grew rich and deep, and took every man’s heart into the great conception of the act that filled itself.”


In 1881, following Dean Stanley’s death, Phillips Brooks would write a 12-page retrospective for The Atlantic Monthly.  In conclusion Brooks would highlight lessons of faith and good will he thought taught by Stanley’s life, and then end with these words:

“These lessons will be taught by many lives in many languages before the end shall come; but for many years years yet to come there will be men who will find not the least persuasive and impressive teachings of them in Dean Stanley’s life. The heavens will still be bright with stars, and younger men will never miss the radiance which they never saw. But for those who once watched for his light there will always be a special darkness in the heavens, where a star of special beauty went out when he died.” (3)

Miss Mary Grant, an eminent British sculptor and Stanley’s niece by marriage, would execute a memorial bust.  That bust would be given to Trinity Church to commemorate his visit.  It is located in an area that I believe is known as the baptistry.  His visage “stands upon a bracket of Sienna marble … beneath which is a tablet of Mexican onyx, on which is engraved a tribute by Robert C. Winthrop.” (4) And sitting across from him?  A bust of Phillips Brooks.

Bust of Phillips Brooks by Daniel Chester French

Bust of Phillips Brooks by Daniel Chester French

Learn more about Trinity stories in stone and glass with a tour: http://trinitychurchboston.org/art-history/tours

Sources for this post …

(1) Phillips Brooks, 1835-1893: Memories of his life … by Alexander Viets Griswold Allen (1907)

(2) Life and Correspondence of Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Volume 2 by Rowland Edmund Prothero (1893)

(3) The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 48, October 1881

(4) Trinity Church in the City of Boston, 1888, pp. 31-32

(5) Mary Grant

(6) Phillips Brooks Bust image is from Wiki Commons

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A small, powerful detail in a corner of the stained glass window, David’s Charge to Solomon, at Trinity Church in Copley Square. A little dark but I hope to work with the image over time.  Meanwhile, learn more about Trinity Church, its history and architectural tours via this link. Have a good weekend. 😉

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Detail from Purity by John La Farge, 1885

Detail from Purity by John La Farge

Designed and executed by artists and stained glass manufacturers like John La Farge, Clayton and Bell, Burlison and Grylls, and others, these particular stained glass windows at Trinity Church in the City of Boston are “hidden gems.”

Detail 2 from Purity by John La Farge, 1885

Detail 2 from Purity by John La Farge

They are located in the Parish House. In part, due to renovation activities at different times over the past 100 years, some of the windows are now in stairwells, like Purity as well as John Hardman and Company’s Woods Window

The Woods Window, executed by John Hardman and Company

The Woods Window, executed by John Hardman and Company

others are in restricted areas like Ephphatha by Burlison and Grylls …

Detail from Ephphatha by Burlison and Grylls

Detail from Ephphatha by Burlison and Grylls

 

and others in areas dedicated to use by parishoners of all ages like The Sunday-School Windows by Clayton & Bell.  

They are not windows accessible as part of a traditional art and architecture tour of the sanctuary, but it has been my pleasure this summer to roam the halls a bit with my camera and to share this glimpse of details from some of the windows. Postcards and prints, and information about tours, are available at the Trinity Book Shop.

Interior of Trinity Church in the City of Boston, Copley Square

Interior of Trinity Church in the City of Boston, Copley Square

 

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In a world filled with such sadness and confusion, I think that is why it is such a pleasure to sit in the Boston Public Library courtyard and stare into these faces filled with such joy and awe.  The actual name of the sculpture is Bacchante and Infant Faun.  It is a replica of the bronze sculpture created by Frederick William MacMonnies.

You can read an interesting and very detailed analysis of the statue’s history in Boston and at the BPL via this link.  In short, while treasured today, this naked figure serving the infant god, Bacchus, caused quite the uproar in 1890’s Boston. Imagine that. 😉

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Detail from the Lucy R. Woods Window, Trinity Church, Boston

Detail from the Lucy R. Woods Window, Trinity Church, Boston

It is one of the many hidden gems of Trinity Church in the City of Boston.  According to archival records, the Woods Window was commissioned in memory of Miss Lucy R. Woods (1847-1904).  Miss Woods taught the Young Ladies’ Bible Class in the church Sunday School for thirty-three years, beginning in 1871.

The window was executed by John Hardman and Company, Birmingham, England, and designed by Dunstan John Powell, grandson of noted English architect and artist Augustus Pugin.

The window is located in a stairwell not easily accessible to the public but postcards and prints will soon be coming to the Book Shop.

Until then, you can read more about the original 1906 unveiling of the window here.  Hope to share more information about this window, and other hidden gems, in the near future.

 

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