Tiffany Stained Glass
The glorious stained and painted glass windows of the First Presbyterian Church building at Seventh Street and Capitol Avenue, Springfield, Illinois, bear witness to a vibrant Church history. The windows represent the changing styles of decorative glass techniques, developed over the period between the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth century, and they eloquently reflect the faith of those in whose spiritual tradition we follow.
First Presbyterian Church’s decision to install memorial windows in the 1890s reflected a growing religious revival and a trend of paying tribute to the ministry of church leaders through colorful windows depicting biblical themes. The Art Nouveau style that became popular during this period found a shining example in the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, who experimented with recreating the brilliance and excitement of ancient colored glass. His chapel exhibit at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition earned him awards and fame, which led to increased commissions for memorial windows from churches around the country.
The World’s Columbian Exhibition occurred in Chicago, undoubtedly drawing visits from admiring members of the Springfield congregation, for in 1895, First Presbyterian Church received its first Tiffany memorial window.
Installed in 1895, the window on the right may have been the central panel of Tiffany's Chapel at the 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, according to church oral history.
Two Tiffany stained glass windows have been recently removed for repair and cleaning, and they are now back in place. The difference is amazing! This multi-year project, which involves many more windows, will require significant funds. Donations may be made online here.
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