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Posts Tagged ‘stained glass windows’

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… and that is what I feel Anulfo Baez of The Evolving Critic has done with #MuseumswithAnulfo, his commitment to bring … or in my case drag … friends to museums, to catch up, to take respite from the chaos of these times, to see and experience the beauty created in the past and in the present. In my case, I was delighted that Anulfo introduced me to the newly expanded McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College. He pushed me over the edge when he mentioned the museum has a LaFarge window. It’s the first thing you see as you make your entrance.

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Of course the piece has a story. It’s an 1889 triptych designed by John LaFarge for the All Souls Unitarian Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts. In the 1920s the church was sold to another denomination and the original donors asked that the window be given to another Unitarian church located in Amherst. In 2013 that church decided to sell the windows in part as part of a planned expansion of the building. The McMullen Museum with the aid of alum William Vareika was able to purchase the windows. Serpentino Stained Glass which restored the window before its installation at Boston College has a great page describing the window’s structure and their restoration efforts.

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Of the three figures – St. John, Christ Preaching and St. Paul, LaFarge’s rendering of Paul held my attention most but the whole of course is a masterpiece.

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Anulfo, who @evolvingcritic describes himself as a “Self-proclaimed nerd into art, architecture, design, culture and sneakers,” discussed the fact that LaFarge was well known for his experimentation. He understood the science behind the materials he used, whether paint or glass, and how to create the painterly effects he desired.

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One thing you always hear about LaFarge is that he painted the head, hands and feet. While the window was undoubtedly meant to be up high on a wall, it is a delight to be able to walk right up to the window in its specially lit display case and see LaFarge’s work up close.

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Thanks to Anulfo for making this visit happen!

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Learn more …

McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College

http://www.serpentinostainedglass.com/Serpentino_Stained_Glass/John_La_Farge_at_McMullen_Museum.html

 

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Installed between 1872 and 1957, the stained glass windows of First Church in Cambridge, Congregational “do not belong to a comprehensive scheme, nor to a single style, subject or studio. They are a melange. Each must be viewed in its own light.

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The Kimball/Rice Window by Horace J. Phipps and Company (1918) and The Willet Stained Glass Studios, Inc. (1960)

Those are the words of Pastor Allen Happe in the Foreword of the book, A Sympony of Color, by Patricia H. Rodgers. The book, published in 1990, provides a brief overview of the church’s 350 year history, and then focuses on the evolution of the physical building now present at 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA. It has been my pleasure to visit the building several times at night to attend concerts. Of course, I could not see the windows but  I was intrigued by their size and the lead outlines. Recently I made contact and was given permission to visit and photograph the windows. It was a cloudy day but there was just enough to light to illuminate the interior beauty.

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Detail from the Kimball/Rice Window by Horace J. Phipps and Company (1918) and The Willet Stained Glass Studios, Inc. (1960)

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Detail from the Kimball/Rice Window by Horace J. Phipps and Company (1918) and The Willet Stained Glass Studios, Inc. (1960)

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Detail from the Kimball/Rice Window by Horace J. Phipps and Company (1918) and The Willet Stained Glass Studios, Inc. (1960)

In her book, Rodgers identifies at least six studios whose work is represented including the Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company, The Willet Stained Glass Studios, Inc., Horace J. Phipps and Company, Reynolds, Francis and Rohnstock, Arthur Murray Dallin and Cummings Studios. There are several windows for which the studio is unknown. One of those windows is the Hart Window.

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Produced by an American glass company in 1901, it is composed of layers of opalescent glass. According to Rodger’s research, the windows was restored in 1987 and at that time it was discovered that there were up to three layers of glass in places.

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There are several striking windows by Tiffany Studios including St. Catherine of Alexander (1908). Catherine represents saintliness, beauty, and learning. This window, the last to be installed by Tiffany for First Church, was given in memory of young woman who was a noted scholar and dedicated to her missionary work.

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The Catherine window is situated between several non-figural grisaille windows.

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There are at least eight Tiffany Studios windows present.

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Detail from They Shall Be Mine, Saith the Lord, 1895

Perhaps one of the most captivating windows overall is Tiffany’s The Four Elements, 1895.

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Designed by W. Frederick Wilson for the Tiffany Studio. As Rodgers notes in her book from a period newspaper, the window apparently has over one hundred thousand separate pieces of glass and one half tone of lead and solder used to hold the pieces in position. They are the largest set of windows at First Church.

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The robes of the largest angels, representing earth, air, fire and water, are made from drapery glass.

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Tiffany Studios closed around 1928. Windows installed after this time reflect a different aesthetic as in the Bancroft Window, 1929, produced by the studio of Reynolds, Francis and Rohnstock.

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First Church in Cambridge, Congregational is quite the expansive space with a long history, and it is a welcoming place. I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit this lovely place and share the beauty of its windows.

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Learn more about this church online at http://www.firstchurchcambridge.org/

Sources & Additional Reading

https://www.amazon.com/symphony-color-Stained-glass-Church/dp/0962619604

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Detail from opalescent chancel window, Cummings Studios, 1954

 

 

 

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I recently visited First Church in Cambridge with my camera. Looking forward to sharing what I saw. Have a good Friday!

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I stepped into another church again. This one also sat in the middle of Dublin’s city centre, this time on Clarendon Street. The website describes St. Teresa’s as a quiet oasis of prayer and that was certainly true. On the streets, people were rushing about but once inside, there was utter quiet.

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People entered and wandered into particular chapels to light candles, pray. Perhaps to simply sit and be.

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I wandered …

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… just enough to “discover” the stained glass.

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I didn’t wander long but I didn’t need to in order to see the beauty of the place.

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I could find no literature on the tables about the building’s art and architecture.

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An eclectic mix of styles accrued over time as tastes vary.

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Whatever one’s desire, for prayer, for quiet, to view beautiful art, it is a lovely place for a respite.  More about St. Teresa’s on Clarendon Street, Dublin can be found via this link:  http://clarendonstreet.com/

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I’ve long known of Harry Clarke and his illustrations and during previous trips to Dublin I learned of his work in stained glass, like at Bewley Cafe, but for this trip I was a bit by the seat of my pants and so I did not know there was some of his glass on exhibit at the National Gallery. And as we chanced upon his work, a docent for the museum led in a group and began to talk about why Clarke was so special in his use of layered glass for jeweled effect and his use of dark colors to direct the eyes of the viewer to the lighter glass to see what he wanted you to see. One window on view was the Mother of Sorrows, depicting the story of Mary holding the lifeless body of her son.

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According to an accompanying curatorial note, the window had been designed as a WWI memorial but instead became a memorial to Sister Superior Mary of Saint Winifred who had commissioned it.

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In addition to Mary holding Jesus, St. Francis stands to one side and St. Catherine on the other.

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And always angels looking on.

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The window is currently on view at the National Gallery. Entrance is free (though not all exhibits are free).

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

https://www.nationalgallery.ie/

 

 

 

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… and so we walked into the Church of the Assumption Howth. Howth is a fishing village east of Dublin and easily accessible via DART, the public rail transportation system. We were walking, quite frankly trying to find another destination, when we noticed a church and though there did not immediately appear to be stained glass inside we took a chance and entered. Built in 1899, the church was designed by William H. Byrne. Not every church needs stained glass windows but it was a pleasant surprise to venture far enough inside to see the three apse windows dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

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The sequence begins with the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she is bear a son.

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The next features the Assumption of Mary into heaven, based on text from Revelation 12, her body and soul raised up to heaven.

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And finally Jesus placing the crown of Queen of Heaven on Mary’s head. She gazes down on humanity while angels keep watch from a sky full of stars.

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A quick, lovely, unexpected visit. You can read more about the village of Howth here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howth

You can learn more about the church here: http://www.howthparish.ie/heritage

 

 

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I’m pleased to share that two new cuff bracelets are available in the gift shop at Trinity Church in Copley Square. The designs are derived from the decorative and architectural features of that beautiful building, in this case the hand stenciled golden walls of the chancel and the stained glass window, The New Jerusalem, by John La Farge. Speaking of which … returning soon will be the silk scarf also featuring that bright blue design.

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The shop is open Tuesday – Sunday. Learn more about location/direction on the church website: http://trinitychurchboston.org/

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