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Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Redmond’

bradley2

Detail from stained glass window by Margaret Redmond (1867-1948). Located at Trinity Church in the City of Boston and dedicated to her friend and fellow painter Susan Hinckley Bradley (1851-1929). You can read more about Redmond and Bradley here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Redmond

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Hinckley_Bradley

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A plain black gown emphasized her type, which is fine, clean cut and deceptively simple.  Her eyes are dark and bright, her hair spun silver and the modulations of her low pitched voice are peculiarly musical. Denying herself color, she is a master of color.

Margaret Redmond, circa 1927

Margaret Redmond, circa 1927

In 1927, artist Margaret Redmond (1867-1948) was interviewed in her studio at 45 Newbury Street, Boston.  The interviewer Helen Fitzgerald described the space as, “a veritable treasure trove to the art lover.  All about her color glows and flames.  On the walls are sketches of colorful places … and the light transmuted by the stained glass of her own making fills the room with rays of gold and ruby, emerald, violet and blue so intense that it stirs in the sensitive observer an emotion akin to ecstasy.

Detail from Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Detail from Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

For the 1927 interview and in others, Redmond describes in detail her stained glass technique and why she chose to work with glass quite differently than contemporaries John La Farge or Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose works she admired.  As author Elinor Morgan summarized, La Farge and Tiffany designed with glass, whereas Redmond sought to use the glass as her canvas.

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Born in Philadelphia, Redmond would study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, travel abroad to study in Europe, before returning to the states. In that 1927 interview, Redmond shared, “I went to England and France, where I spent two years studying the old glass windows in cathedrals, churches and museums. … My studies led me to many old cities and their churches and cathedrals.

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

Detail from the Evangelists Window, Trinity Church, 1927

When I had completed my pilgrimage of the cathedrals, I studied with Simon and Mellard in Paris.  Returning to this country, I came to Boston and entered the studio of Connick, the famous maker of stained glass, where I made my first window.”

Charles Jay Connick

Charles Jay Connick

Redmond apprenticed with Connick between 1906 and 1910.  Prior to that she bought a farm in Nelson, New Hampshire in an area that would become a hub for artists and intellectuals with Pennsylvania roots.  Redmond would maintain a summer home and studio there. Examples of her painting and stained glass work can still be found in this community.

Though her medieval inspired style of glassmaking was not in vogue, Redmond received a wide range of commissions for work in churches as well as in private homes and businesses. She exhibited her work, including watercolors and oil paintings as well as stained glass items, at arts and craft shows across the nation.

The 1920s and 1930s is considered her most productive period and this is when, for approximately $12,800, she would produce a series of windows for Trinity Church in the City of Boston, from the Apostles to the Evangelists (pictured earlier in this post) to scenes from the life of David and Solomon.

Throughout her career, Redmond was an innovator, for instance, experimenting with different uses for stained glass in the home, including fire screens which were popular in the period.  Though respected as an artist, she like many women was too often ostracized in a male-dominated field.  But in her studios she worked with both men and women, making a special effort to train young women as assistants in the different phases of the work.  In 1931, Connick would ask Redmond to list some of her favorite creations.  She would include on the list the windows produced for Trinity Church.

Detail from Tree of Life Window, Trinity Church

Detail from Tree of Life Window, Trinity Church

I have been unable to find a book solely about Margaret Redmond, or a single listing of her creations, but her papers including contracts are housed in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.  A research project for another day perhaps. 😉

Sources/Additional Reading

Creates Stained Glass Windows, Margaret Redmond Searches Europe for Secrets of her Chosen Art, September 11, 1927 article interview by Helen Fitzgerald, Sunday Eagle Magazine, September 11, 1927

History Written in Glass by Elizabeth B. Prudden, The Christian Science Monitor, June 30, 1931

A Woman in Stained Glass … Against the Odds by Elinor Morgan, Stained Glass Quarterly, 1990

Women Artists at Trinity: Sarah Wyman Whitman and Margaret Redmond, article by Erica E. Hirshler in Makers of Trinity ed. by James F. O’Gorman, 2004

Redmond Papers at the Archives of American Art

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There is a person dear in my life who on occasion drives me crazy because he is compulsively compelled to help other people. As he likes to say, why else were we put here on this earth? A man of deep faith, his favorite saint is James.  I told him to tell me about James.  He shrugged and said, what more is there to say than what is faith without good works.  Indeed.  😉 This image of Saint James is one of two Saint James’s appearing in the the stained glass window designed by Margaret Redmond of Boston (1867-1948).  As you enter the sanctuary of Trinity Church in Copley Square, the windows are located to the left toward the north transept.  In the map one receives when engaged in a tour, the windows are labeled as Eight Apostles (1927).  In fact, all twelve apostles are represented, but only eight are most easily seen from the floor of the church, depicted in sets of four.

These eight apostles are James of Alphaeus, Matthias, Thomas, Bartholomew, James of Zebedee, Simon the Canaanite, Thaddeus and Simon Barnabus.

The other apostles — Andrew, Phillip, Peter and Paul — are paired above each set of four apostles.

A causeway not accessible by the public except during special events obscures their view …

… but assorted postcards and prints capturing their details are available in Trinity’s Book Shop.

What I enjoy about these windows is the explosion of colors.  Regardless of time of day or even season, there is always some new detail to discover.  For many reasons, they are an inspiring sight.

As the spring progresses, I hope to learn more about the artist Margaret Redmond, her life and her work.  As I do, I’ll be sure to share stories. Take care.

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