Today’s post is by Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass
A spectacular and large Tiffany stained glass memorial window has just been installed in the Museum’s Modern Glass Gallery. It is the first time that this window has been on view at the Museum since its donation in 1996.
Titled The Righteous Shall Receive a Crown of Glory, the window was designed by Frederick Wilson (American, 1858–1932) for Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848–1933). It was made around 1901 at Tiffany Studios in Corona, New York. The window includes handmade colored and opalescent sheet glass—and special textured glass for the drapery—that was cut, painted, and assembled with lead came. The window measures 13 feet high by 8 feet wide, and it was given to the Museum by Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Randall.
The theme of the window celebrates victory over death, and the joyous hope of resurrection. Tiffany’s outlook was more optimistic than that depicted in most 19th-century stained glass memorials, in which the subjects of mourning and death—illustrated by weeping angels or the Crucifixion—predominated. This window is dedicated to the memory of Charles Green (1811–1901), a prominent hop contractor and banker in Hubbardsville, New York. It was commissioned by Ira Dewayne Brainard (1846–1914) and his wife, Mary Genevie Green Brainard (1847–1931), for the United Methodist Church in Waterville, New York.
Built in 1860, the Waterville United Methodist Church was renovated in 1902 and during the 1950s. The church was in use until a new church was built in 1967, at which time the old church was sold. Like many 19th-century churches in the small towns of New York State, the building was adapted for other uses. The former church has served as an auction house, a store, and it is now a private residence. The Tiffany window was removed at the time of its sale in 1967, or soon thereafter.
The window was bought by the donors in the late 1960s. When the window arrived at the Museum in 1996, it was disassembled. It needed cleaning and restoration of its support structure, and it was too tall to fit into the Museum’s galleries. The window was preserved in crates in Museum storage until 2012, when it was requested on loan for an exhibition by the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBiA) in New York City. The window was conserved and exhibited at MOBiA, and then returned to the Museum and installed in the gallery. For more information on the conservation, see Exhibition on Louis C. Tiffany features Stained Glass Window from Corning Museum, and watch a video from MOBiA – Glass Conservation and Stabilization of a Window.
In order for the window to fit into the Museum’s Modern Glass Gallery, the memorial panel at the bottom of the window, beneath and separate from the main scene, had to be removed. However, it is because of this panel that we know the history of this window. The memorial panel is inscribed:
“The Righteovs Shall Receive a Crown of Glory”
To The Glory of God
1811 Charles Green 1901
Read more about the window in the full article The Righteous Shall Receive a Crown of Glory.
— Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass