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charm of its own. All of these coun- the first windows were made by virtually tries, it is needless to say, have, until reinventing the whole process. Makers a comparatively recent date, furnished of the commoner kinds of stained glass our churches with their windows, and had long been established here, and the opportunities to judge them are not genius of the American mechanic had lacking.
devised or adapted machines by which But a change was at hand, and if the large sheets of colored glass could be result had been less good than we main- rolled, sheets both broad and long, and tain it to be, the attempt at making of uniform color and depth throughout. stained glass in this country would still These were admirable results of mehave been interesting from the spontane- chanical skill, but essentially inartistic. ity of its growth, from its resemblance They furnished the first glass, but as to the manner in which, in the old days, they proved inadequate and as other painting sprung full-blossomed from the colors and textures were imperatively Florentine soil. It came about the Cen- demanded, the proprietor of a large tennial year, the date from which our glass-making establishment, I think in future Vasari, if we ever deserve one, Brooklyn, grudgingly conceded the use will trace the first concerted art move- of some of his material and men who, unment in this country. Before that time der the direction of our pioneer glasswe had in more or less isolation men who stainers, made glass that was slightly betperhaps under happier auspices would ter in quality. And then the interesting have developed more, who at any rate, in discovery was made that glass made by a community that was more in sympathy the one-man power, as we may say, in with them, would have found more em small quantities, of uneven thickness, ployment for certain of their faculties. and undoubtedly improved by happy
To such a man, Mr. John La Farge, accident (as when by a failure to make who had been known for years as a one color another, and perhaps better painter possessed of a deep-seated feel- one, was obtained) was greatly more ing for color and a largeness of senti- varied in tone and color than that made ment in composition which had found by modern improved processes. By this expression only in easel pictures, was discovery, and by the consequent demand given, in the year 1876, the task of deco- for such glass, a new field was opened for rating Trinity Church, Boston. From ambitious men, who from workmen bethis building, the work of Richardson came masters on a small scale, and it is by which he is best known, and which from men such as these, constantly esis perhaps the most cathedral-like of perimenting and working with a small our churches, the transition to stained force and by hand-power, that the best glass seems to have been a natural one; glass is still obtained. As uniformity or possibly the moment was propitious, had been the criterion of excellence, for no sooner was Mr. La Farge engaged now variety obtained the palm, and it has in his first experimental glass than Mr. kept it, until to-day the larger stainedLouis C. Tiffany, who, like Mr. La Farge, glass - window manufacturers carry a was a painter by profession, became in- stock of glass that in its variety of hue terested in the same direction. Under and shade far exceeds the range of the the impetus given by these two men- painter's palette. working in different ways-Mr. Tiffany's Soon after the commencement of the sense of color and feeling for ornament new-old art came the introduction of the leading him rather toward the Orient, opalescent glass. The credit of its inand Mr. La Farge remaining more true troduction has been a matter of controto classic influence—the first steps of versy which need not enter here, and gless-inaking were taken.
the claim has also been made that it I say first steps advisedly, for at the was known to the old glass-makers, but, commencement everything had to be as far as I know, this claim is supported done anew. The rays from the lamp by little proof. The opalescent glass, of convention by which the makers of which has formed so large an element in glass in Europe had guided their steps the beauty of American glass, is by itself did not reach across the Atlantic, and somewhat porcelain-like in appearance;
Window in Grace Church, Providence, R. I., representing " St. John in the Island of Patmos."
(Designed by Maitland Armstrong, and erected by Mrs. Byron Smith.)
but against the light, and at certain an- in glass, but the effect was never satisgles, has much of the fire and the chang- factory; and having learned the lesing hue of the opal. It can be combined son that one may be too much of a with any other color, which then par- purist, our glass-makers now use vitritakes of the same characteristics. Used fiable colors when it is necessary. In with discretion in a window it is capable the course of this experiment an advanof charming effect, lighting up and vivi- tage was gained by the making of what fying tones which by themselves would is now technically known as drapery be sombre and quasi-opaque.
glass. This is made from the glass, as Mr. La Farge and Mr. Tiffany had it is thrown, in a melted state, upon a from the commencement men who flat table of iron to be rolled into a disk. worked with them and very near them, When the glass is spread out, very much and soon the number increased, until like pie-crust, the roller by which it is to-day, with the facilities which are spread keeping up the resemblance, the common or nearly so to them all, there edges are seized by the glass-maker, is a remarkable unity of merit in armed with short tongs, who overlaps American glass, the differences be- an edge, or pulls and twists it in various ing largely matters of taste or de- directions as his fancy may suggest. pendent upon the artistic merit of the This glass when annealed and cooled reoriginal design. Here, of course, there veals in great variety the How and twist can be the usual variety of opinion; but of folds of drapery, and when the artistit is, I think, almost without parallel artisan, with the main direction of the that the means employed to render lines of the draperies of the cartoon the effect of the original cartoon should which he is following firmly fixed in his be so uniformly good. It is somewhat mind, visits the racks in which, row upon like a school of painting, where the row, the disks of glass are stored, he is technical execution of every artist should generally able to select pieces which, be the same, leaving only the difference placed in the window, represent in the which the temperament of the different color of the glass, unaided by the men would impose in subject and senti- painter's skill, the most subtile gradament. But this fair edifice was not tions of light and shade in the form of built in a day. Many were the failures, the drapery. For the heads, and indeed many the paths diligently followed only whenever it becomes necessary, recourse to find that they ended in quagmires, is had to the painter. Here the French before this uniformity of excellence, and Germans, with their long experiworthy to be classed as a school, was ence, have been, until very lately, greatly reached. In the effort to avoid the er- our superiors. Painting upon glass is at ror into which the European makers the best a tedious mechanical process, had fallen, of depending too largely and a clever piece of painting may be upon painting the glass, our early mak- utterly spoiled in the firing ” which is ers tried various expedients. The first necessary to vitrify the colors used. But and most natural of these was little else already we have acquired experience, and than an adaptation of the principle on some of our work is in effect as good as which are made the familiar porcelain that done abroad, while the grade of arglass lamp-shades, with landscapes mod- tists employed is somewhat better, giving elled on their surface. As the picture is occasionally a more personal character seen in transparence it is necessary to to the work. make the darkest accents the thickest In fact as the art stands here to-day, and most opaque portions of the glass, it has kept a more distinctly artistic and proceeding in this manner, making character than in the old world. In Euthinner or thicker the glass as the inten- rope, with governmental patronage, and sity or the delicacy of the tone requires, with museums ready to receive works of a curious sort of bass-relief is made, a large size which such encouragement which, placed in front of a light, appears creates, it is an inferior class of artists, to be painted on the surface.
as a rule, who engage in making stained With great effort heads and draperies glass. Here, on the contrary, almost were modelled in this manner and cast every man who has the technical equip
Memorial Window in the Church of the Heavenly Rest, New York, representing Christ and the Four Evargelists. (Erected to the memory of the Rev. Robert Shaw Howland, D.D., by his successor, the Rev. D. Parker Morgan, and sev.
eral members of the congregation ; made by the Tiffany Glass Company from a cartoon by LYELL CARR.)