Posts Tagged ‘pre-raphaelites’


I’m quite pleased with the new travel thermos featuring the Purity stained glass window design. I’m a pretty happy go lucky person but every now and then even I need to add a bit of brightness to my life and I think this thermos fits! Available at the Trinity Church gift shop. If you’re not in Boston, and are interested in purchasing, send inquiries to artandarchitecture@trinitychurchboston.org. And in the works, new silk chiffon scarves inspired by Burne-Jones and William Morris …


At least two variations on a theme are in production, the designs inspired by details from one of my favorite windows at Trinity Church, David’s Charge to Solomon. Soon to be available exclusively at the church gift shop.


As for the rest of this day, back to paperwork (aargh!) and then out into the sunshine with my camera. More reflections upon water to view, squirrels and birds to chase down, and maybe even a church or two to be found with sunlit stained glass windows. We’ll see … Have a good day, folks!

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… they are Edward Burne-Jones angels.  Eighteen of them in a series of windows that are often referred to as the Christmas Windows, located inside Trinity Church in the City of Boston.  As I’ve written about before on this blog, these windows depict The Journey into Egypt, Worship of the Magi, and Wonder of the Shepherds.  The windows were designed by Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris in 1882.

Photographing these angels is very much a work in progress.  I’ve only captured eight so far and not all to my satisfaction.  British historian Fiona McCarthy once wrote what would Christmas be without a Burne-Jones angel.

Maybe that is the goal I can set for myself.  Before Christmas to have photographed all eighteen angels.  Wouldn’t that be something? We’ll see.  You know I’ll share if I succeed. 😉

Meanwhile, learn more about visiting Trinity Church and seeing the angels for yourself via this link: http://trinitychurchboston.org/art-history/tours

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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.

William Morris (1834-1896) and Edward Burne Jones (1833-1898)

William Morris (1834-1896) and Edward Burne Jones (1833-1898)

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.

Sir George Brookman c. 1920

Sir George Brookman c. 1920

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.

May Morris (1862-1938)

May Morris (1862-1938)

excerpt from International Studio Magazine, 1922

excerpt from International Studio Magazine, 1922

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.

One design expressed in two different ways sharing one of the most influential stories in human history.

Sources/Additional Reading

Cranbrook Digital Archives

Details for comparison taken from David giving Solomon directions for building of the Temple, photograph by Jack Kausch, copyright Cranbrook Archives.

The William Morris Society in the United States


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It is always a treat to walk through Trinity Church in Boston’s Copley Square and to have the opportunity to photograph the architectural features, especially the stained glass windows.  This particular detail of a gold-winged angel is in the Edward Burne-Jones window, Wonder of the Shepherds (1882).  This image is now available as a postcard in the church Book Shop, located in the building undercroft.  You can read more about Burne-Jones’s adoration of angels in this 2006 article by his biographer, Fiona MacCarthy.  Learn more about the Book Shop here.

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Well, not really.  A friend hung a large poster print of a photograph I took of 4 maidens in Edwin Abbey’s mural depicting scenes from the search for the Holy Grail.  As I photographed the poster and how it appeared in his home, I began to notice the reflections in the picture frame.

The layering of images, especially in black and white, appeared ghostly to me.

The effect was heightened by some rather moody music playing in the background at a local music festival.

In any case, I hope my friend enjoys his poster.

That poster print and other items are available here.

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At least it is the pinks and golds that stand out to me on this hot, hot day as I review these images recently taken of the stained glass window, David’s Charge to Solomon.

At some point I hope to direct you to some of the stories and resources that other have shared with me about the window and the fascinating relationship between Burne-Jones and Morris.

Until then, here a few more images of the parts that create the whole.

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