Published: June 7, 2011
A piece of once-lost Cincinnati history comes home when “In Company with Angels: Seven Tiffany Windows” opens on June 11 at the Taft Museum of Art. These beautiful stained glass windows, originally from a Clifton church demolished when I-71 was built, were created by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The exhibition will remain on view through September 11.
“Tiffany was probably the most innovative glassmaker who ever lived, creating hundreds of new textures and colors of glass in his workshop: glass that is opalescent, fractured, rippled, mottled, striated, and jeweled,” said Lynne Ambrosini, the Taft’s chief curator.
In 1903, these 8-foot-high stained glass lancet windows were installed in the Swedenborgian Church of the New Jerusalem at the corner of Oak Street and Winslow Avenue in Cincinnati. The church was demolished in 1964, and parishioners saved the windows, storing them in various locations throughout Ohio. In 1991, they were purchased for the Swedenborgian church at Temonos, Penn., near Philadelphia. They are on a national tour to help pay for their conservation and upkeep.
“With light pouring through them from behind, these figures of seven angels, each different and lovelier than the last, will shine in all their brilliant coloristic glory in a rainbow of hues,” said Ambrosini.
The windows are exquisite examples of Tiffany’s glass art. Tiffany revived old medieval and Renaissance methods of glass painting and invented many new techniques of working with glass: making opalescent, rolled, textured and flashed glass, among other methods. The windows embody the American Renaissance, a blossoming of the arts and decorative arts between 1876, the year of the American centennial, and 1914.
“In its Cincinnati showing, this traveling exhibition will feature something special that no other city will have,” said Ambrosini. “The Taft will recreate some of the original appearance of the Cincinnati church for which the Tiffany windows were created: local owners are generously lending some pieces of the richly-patterned, Nineteenth Century art-carved furniture by the Fry family, greatly enhancing the display here.”
The Taft Museum of Art is at 316 Pike Street. For information, www.taftmuseum.org or 513-241-0343.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm