Stained Glass - Table of Contents ................................ Illustrated Architecture Dictionary

Mary Tillinghast Stained Glass Studios

Click here for larger size

Detail: Resurrection
In the early 1880s, there was a small group of artists who worked with La Farge and Tiffany who were also attracted to the medium of opalescent glass windows. The most important of these early artists were David Maitland Armstrong, Francis Augustus Lathrop, Mary Tillinghast, Thomas Wright, John Calvin, Frank Millet and Joseph Lauber.

Armstrong, Tillinghast, Wright and Calvin continued careers as full-time glass artists...

Early in her career, Tillinghast created Jacob's Dream in Grace Church in New York City. Her window was a fantastic vision of angels ascending a ladder within billowing clouds of multi-colored opalescent glass.

- Shaw Creek Bird Supply, American Opalescent Glass (online June 2011)

A stained glass designer, died December 15, 1912, in New York. She was born in New York [1845. Died 1912] and studied in Paris under Carolus-Duran and Henner. Since 1882 she had been established in New York and at one time assisted
John La Farge with his windows.

She received a gold medal at the Chicago Exposition in 1893 and gold and bronze medals at the Charleston Exposition in 1902.

Among her most important works were a stained window presented by Mrs. Russell Sage to the Home for Friendless Children, the Hutton window in Grace Church, The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in the New York Historical Society Building, Urania in the Allegheny Observatory, and mural decorations in the Hotel Savoy.

Miss Tillinghast was the first to realize the difference that the electric lighting of churches would make in the spectacular effect of window designs.

In 1878 Tillinghast began a seven-year affiliation with New York artist John LaFarge, (1835-1910) - painter, muralist, critic, and inventor of a new process for making decorative glass windows. Tillinghast became an expert textile designer, served as manager of the La Farge Decorative Art Company, and learned the art of designing and making windows from La Farge.

Tillinghast’s first major window, Jacob’s Dream, was installed in 1887 in Grace Episcopal Church, New York City. She worked from her Greenwich Village studio, primarily as a window designer, but she also designed furniture and, in one case, was architect, decorator, and glass artist for a private chapel. Her glass was exhibited and won gold medals at several World’s Fairs. In addition to church windows, she designed windows for residences, and for institutions, most notably Urania in Pittsburgh and The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1908) in the New York Historical Society.

[Mary Tillinghast] was a stained glass artist who was hired by architect Bertram Goodhue to create windows for Asheville's Trinity Episcopal Church in 1912...

This is one of her windows, Urania, located at the Allegheny Observatory in Pennsylvania.

This woman was an artist, a contemporary of Tiffany and John LaFarge, both of whom she worked with or for. She even became business partners with LaFarge, then she sued the company and started her own. Unmarried, deeply talented, whipsmart and born into money, Tillinghast had a way with glass that I think neither LaFarge nor Tiffany (and his countless workers whose names have melted away under his own) come close to touching. Certainly each of the three, the veritable triumvirate of 20th century glass making, has his and her own aesthetic.

Tillinghast's windows at Trinity have been taken down. I learned tonight that they were in such horrid condition that they fell apart or were broken apart and six-inch pieces were either sold or given to parishioners. I've read her letters, detailing her experience of making them. And I want to see them whole again. I know this isn't possible.

But I am beginning a quest to find the six-inch pieces of the windows. I want to touch them.

-  Laura Hope-Gill, Diary of a Fascination (June 2010)

Examples on
Buffalo Architecture and History Website:

Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2011
| ...Home Page ...| ..Buffalo Architecture Index...| ..Buffalo History Index... |.....E-Mail ...| .

web site consulting by ingenious, inc.