Monday, October 15, 2012

Road Trip: Tiffany Studios Landscape Window, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Auburn, NY

Auburn is rich Tiffany territory.  After visiting the Willard Memorial Chapel, I headed over to Westminster Presbyterian Church to view their lovely landscape window.
The window dates to 1910 and was given to the church by Mrs. William H. Seward in memory of her mother, Mrs. Margaret Rebecca Standart Watson.  The window is inscribed with an excerpt from the 23rd Psalm: ‘He leadeth me beside the still waters, He maketh me to lie down in green pastures..’
Detail of the tree at the left--looks like it is plated with confetti glass behind?
The Celestial City is just visible beneath the rainbow
The window measures 12 feet high and is plated with up to four layers of glass in some spots (according to the the restorer who recently worked on the window).
There are many variations of this type of landscape window where the Tiffany vocabulary of flowers, trees, water and mountains is utilized.  The double rainbow is nice added touch and well executed--I wonder how exactly it is achieved?  Just plating, or is there something else going on?
Left, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Magnolia and Irises window, c. 1908; right, a landscape window sold at Christie's in December 2003.  Both of these are from mausoleums and much smaller than the Westminster window.
I was so taken with the window that I neglected to take wide shots that show its location within the church.  Really, it’s front and center, smack in front of you when you walk in, right behind the altar.  Apparently, there was a time parishioners wanted something a bit less soft and naturalistic to look at during services as the window was once surrounded by heavy curtains and a large cross was put up in front of it.  Tastes change, and now the window is again a much treasured part of the church decor.
For more on Westminster Presbyterian, click here

Next:  More Tiffany in Auburn.

© All text and images are copyright of Jeni Sandberg

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