Lawrenceville Hosts Tiffany Windows Symposium at Edith Memorial Chapel

A symposium exploring the art of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) and the fourteen rare and priceless Tiffany leaded glass windows in The Lawrenceville School’s Edith Memorial Chapel will be held Friday, March 29, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel. The event is open to members of the community.

The symposium, “A Discussion of Tiffany: The Man, The Business, and The Windows He Created for Edith Memorial Chapel,” will feature talks by Paul Doros, Trustee of The Neustadt, a premier collection of Louis C. Tiffany’s celebrated lamps, windows, metalwork and rare archival materials, author of The Art Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany, and the First Curator of Glass for the Chrysler Museum of Art; Patricia Pongracz, Executive Director of Macculloch Hall Historial Museum and editor of the book Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion; and Arthur J. Femenella, Sr., President of Femenella & Associates, Inc., specialists in glass restoration.

According to Sarah Mezzino, Curator of Decorative Art & Design for the Stephan Archives at Lawrenceville’s Bunn Library, Edith Memorial Chapel has six Tiffany medieval medallion windows. The large, predominantly yellow, opalescent glassworks flank the Chapel nave and feature Judeo-Christian scenes from the Old and New Testaments. These six medieval medallion windows incorporate hand-blown and other precious glass components and were a point of pride for Tiffany, who featured them prominently in his 1910 catalogue for prospective clients. The two largest Tiffany windows are an impressive 19 feet tall.

“The windows feature diverse elements of precious glass – including opalescent, mottled, rolled, patterned and mouth-blown varieties – some of which are layered to create more dynamic images with color and texture when light passes through them,” Mezzino says.

In addition to the Chapel’s six Tiffany medieval medallion windows, there are eight ornamental windows, festooned with quatrefoils and wreathed in garland, representing the four apostles, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, to the left and right of the pipe organ.

Edith Memorial Chapel, designed by architectural firm Peabody & Stearns, was constructed in 1895 and is a National Historic Landmark. Installed in 1895, all of the Chapel’s windows are beyond the 100-year lifespan for leaded glass, with the needs of the Tiffany windows being most urgent. The lead has bowed with temperature changes over time, compromising the glass, and the wood frames have experienced rot. The symposium is being convened in an effort to bring awareness to the historic and artistic value of the windows, as well as to highlight the School’s restoration efforts.

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