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Stained Glass
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STAINED GLASS Stained Glass in the America

THE earliest work in stained glass of John La Farge has been followed continuously in America, with more or less success, by many other individual artists. That their windows have in recent years called forth much criticism is due to several causes. John La Forge was gifted by nature with a most extraordinary color sense which all must admit is a necessary requisite for the master in glass windows.
Added to this, he was familiar from years of study abroad with all the master workers' achievements, in glass as well as in other modes of artistic expression. He seemed possessed of an intuitive sense of the value of convention in restraining realistic representations in a stained glass window. Of his earlier work, the windows in the Church of the Ascension, New York City, are perhaps the best expression of his talent.
    The magnificent "Peacock Window" in the Worcester Museum, by la Farge, is universally considered a master-work in pure color. "It is the very poetry of stained glass-- realized in a medium obstinate, but made to serve the designer's purpose as readil;y as pigment serves it."
    "Finding European material not dense enough," we are told, "Mr. La Farge produced potmetal more heavily charged with color. This was wilfully streaked, mottled and quasi-accidentally varied; some of it was opalescent; much of it was more like agate or onyx than jewels. Other forms of American enterprise were: the making of glass in lumps, to be chipped into flakes; the rucking it; the shaping it into a molten state, or the pulling it out of shape. It takes an artist of some reserve to make judicious use of glass like this. La Farge and L. C. Tiffany have turned it to beautiful account."
    Mr. La Farge's work in glass shown at the Paris Exposition of 1889 won for him the meal of honor from the French Government. Immediately following this recognition, great interest in American glass developed in this country. Churches and private houses were enriched with windows of many different styles by artists of varying ability.
    Inharmonious windows in many buildings in the land were made wit no consideration for their surroundings or each other,
and do not truly represent the art of American stained glass, but there are capable artist workers in the United States who under proper conditions have made and can make windows worthy to be classed among the best achievements of the art of modern stained glass. Notable among the stained-glass makers of the country are the workers directed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, artist and designer, in whose studios in New York and on Long Island veritable masterpieces have been executed within recent years for the adornment of American churches, public buildings and homes. Mr. Tiffany studied painting with John La Forge. "With his efforts," says a writer in the International Studio, "the development of potmetal has given results in the texture, form and color of opalescent glass never before attained, and has resulted in such a rebirth and advancement of the craft as to make it actually an American departure. The company, designing and executing all its work from preliminary sketch to the final installation, has through a course of years perfected a method of building up the glass window with super-imposed cuttings carefully selected for color, that has resulted in making a standard with which to compare other efforts. Of the recent work of this house a good proportion has been in domestic designs. This is not to say that the most considerable work in stained glass is not still undertaken for institutional decoration." Noteworthy memorials executed in Tiffany favrile glass are the thirteen windows for the New First Presbyterian Church, in Pittsburgh, and the windows in the Women's College of Baltimore, in the Russell Sage Memorial Church, Far Rockaway, N.Y., the Masonic Chapel, Utica, N.Y., and in the Public Library, Winchester, Mass.