Posts Tagged ‘Trinity Church’

Before I leaned over the stairwell to photograph the window, I asked the gentleman at the front desk to listen carefully. If he heard a thud, he should come running. Luckily there was no thud and I was able to photograph an interesting decorative detail from the window, Purity, by John La Farge.


In the early 1900s, during a lecture to young architecture students, John La Farge made the point that “The use of color in architectural decoration is not mere arrangement of pleasing tints. It is a matter of construction by color.” His philosophy is evidenced throughout Trinity Church. The rich colors and bold patterns he produced provide great inspiration for new custom merchandise from the simplicity of a square coaster to so much more including a green bordered 36 x 36 chiffon scarf, canvas pencil pouch and fountain pen. You’ll be able to find these items on the shelves of the shop at Trinity Church starting in January. Below is a slideshow of how a new pattern evolved from its original source. Hope you enjoy!

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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.


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

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Hot off the press … a new silk scarf debuting this week exclusively in the gift shop at Trinity Church in the City of Boston. The inspiration for the design is a stained glass window, The Sower and the Reaper, by Cottier & Co. of London, 1878, located in Trinity’s south transept.


I’ve seen the window for years now, photographing both the sower and the reaper, but recently it was the light shining through the wheat in the reaper’s arms that made me pause and in pausing I could see the parts that made up the beautiful whole.


And then I was able to play with those parts. A wonderful exercise producing other designs I hope to share in the near future. Meanwhile, I hope you have a chance to see the scarf for yourself in the shop, and you can learn more about the window on one of the excellent guided tours.


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When I first photographed the John La Farge mural Christ Woman at the Well inside Trinity Church in the City of Boston it was late afternoon and I had a much simpler point and shoot camera. The photograph turned out just fine. As I progress as a photographer though it has been fun to revisit works photographed in the past. These photos were taken with a more advanced camera and in the light of the early morning sun shining onto the mural.



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Morning light falling on the north wall of the nave in Trinity Church in the City of Boston. It has been my pleasure to photograph the stained glass windows over the years but this particular morning I focused my camera on the decorative features of one wall.  Zooming in you can see the elegance of the design orchestrated by John La Farge. The ravages of time are present and so is the enduring beauty of an architectural masterpiece.

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Learn more about Trinity’s Art and History tours at trinitychurchboston.org/art-history/tours

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details from life of st. paul's life, by henry holiday of london, 1878

details from st. paul’s life, by henry holiday of london, 1878

During my time visiting Trinity Church in the City of Boston, I have focused my camera on the details of the stained glass windows and the stories behind their creation. Within the church itself there are over 30 windows visible to the public and, less accessible to the public, there are additional windows in the parish house that I refer to as “hidden gems.”

detail from ephphatha by burlison and grylls

detail from ephphatha by burlison and grylls

Significant changes have occurred to the church over time, which you can learn about on the excellent guided tours. It’s the changes that took place in the parish house during the 1940s and 1950s that recently intrigued me. As the parish house was being reconfigured, three stained glass windows were removed.  My curiosity was sparked. What was the story of those “lost” windows? Here’s what I found on my search, not much that wasn’t already known but for me it was a wonderful journey.

An 1888 history of the church describes in detail The Harmon Window.  Designed by Frederick Crowninshield, the window was created in memory of Cordelia Harmon.  Harmon was “Almoner of Trinity Church for many years, and through her good deeds was well known by all the poor connected in any way with the Parish.”  The window depicted Charity composed of “a woman and two half-clothed children in the centre, and a figure with bowed head at the left. Behind is the figure of Christ, with his hand extended over them. Above is the text — Inasmuch As Ye Have Done It Unto One Of The Least Of These, My Brethren, Ye Have Done It Unto Me.” You can read more about Miss Harmon in this previous post Enduring Legacies.

1920s photo of Charity, courtesy of Trinity Archives

In a 1910 history of the church there is a description of The Tuckerman Window.  Designed by artist Francis Lathrop, most well known for his work with John La Farge on the murals of Trinity Church, the window depicted a woman surrounded by her four sons and instructing them from the bible.  According to the history, the woman and the boy at her right are the ones commemorated by the window.  They were Florence Tuckerman and her son Brooks Fenno Tuckerman. The design includes the words, Seek Ye Out The Book Of The Lord And Read. The window was given by Mr. and Mrs. John Brooks Fenno who also gave the window, The Storm on the Lake, located inside the church.

And finally there is The Suter Window. Designed by Charles E. Mills, it was executed by Edwin Ford and Frederick Brooks. It was a gift by Hales W. Suter in memory of his daughter, Gertrude Bingham Suter. “In the lower part of the window is the figure of a young girl, holding a sheaf of wheat.  On the ground before her, there lies a cross, while the path is strewn with roses. Her face is turned upward toward a vision – an angel who points out the New Jerusalem above.  The New Jerusalem is further represented in the smaller window above by the figures of two angels holding between them a crown.”

from Exhibition Catalog for the Boston Architectural Exhibition, 1891

The cartoon above I was able to find in the Catalog for the Boston Architectural Exhibition, 1891.  Such catalogs and similar art and architectural publications from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are increasingly being digitized and made available online. I love online research but it has been a pleasure interacting with archivists and stained glass experts too to learn as much as I did about these windows, the artists and their studios. While my search for now has come to an end, I hope you enjoy this brief glimpse of something beautiful that once was but is now no more except in stories. 😉

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I will not likely make my goal of photographing by Christmas day all eighteen Burne-Jones angels in the stained glass windows known as the Christmas Windows at Trinity Church in the City of Boston.  The logistics are just not going to work out.  But …

… it has been a delightful exercise.  As I review what I did accomplish, new ideas are forming.

I think I shall consider this attempt a “first draft.” We’ll see what unfolds in the new year. 😉

You can read more about this personal project here: https://wordsandimagesbycynthia.com/2015/11/02/as-for-those-angels/

You can view the gallery of angels here: https://photosbycynthia.smugmug.com/ArchitectureDesign/Burne-Jones-Angels/

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