First Presbyterian Church - Table of Contents

Resurrection Stained Glass Windows
First Presbyterian Church
One Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY
In the Allentown Local and Federal Historic Districts


First Presbyterian Church - Official Web Site

Studios: Mary Tillinghast
Year installed: 1892 (Building erected 1889-91)
Style: Opalescent with painted body parts.
Some of the opalescent glass is layered.


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



[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 (2010)




West transept
Gallery window: Ascension stained glass window,  by the Ford Company of Boston
Ground level: 3 Resurrection panels by Mary Tillinghast

On this page, below: Resurrection

(See also, on a different page: Ascension)

Resurrection - Left panel





Left panel - Detail: Salome? Joanna? Mary, the Mother of James? See "Resurrection" iconography


Left panel - Detail


Left panel - Detail: bottom of window


Resurrection - Center panel: the risen Christ speaking to Mary Magdalene (right panel)

Resurrection iconography




Center panel - Detail


Center panel - detail


Center panel - detail (bottom)

The quote "I am the Resurrection and the life" is spoken to Martha in John 11:25 - not to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection.


Resurrection - Right panel: Mary Magdalene (based on the text at the bottom of the center panel)


Right panel - detail

The color distortion in the clothing is due to artificial backlighting added after a 1925 addition blocked natural light.



Right panel - detail: top of window


Right panel - detail



  Special thanks to Business Manager Christina Trachtenberg for her cooperation in 2010.
Photos 2010  Chuck LaChiusa
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