Our Next Program - Thursday, October 13, 2022
refreshments at 9:30 AM, lecture at 10:00 AM
Elizabeth McGoey, Associate Curator, Art of the Americas, Institute of Chicago
A New Setting for Tiffany Glass: The Hartwell Memorial Window
at the Art Institute of Chicago
Elizabeth McGoey, Ann S. and Samuel M. Mencoff Associate Curator of Art of the Americas
will discuss the multi-year, pioneering efforts to acquire, conserve, an install the Hartwell Memorial Window. A pinnacle achievement in stained glass designed by Agnes F. Northrop for Tiffany Studios, the work went on view in early 2022 at the Art Institute of Chicago in a stunning new installation in the Henry Crown Gallery at the top of the Woman's Board Grand Staircase in the Museum's iconic Michigan Avenue building.
The window was commissioned in 1917 by Mary Loring Hartwell (née Mary Loring Hartshorn, 1851–1949) of Providence, Rhode Island, in honor of her husband, Frederick W. Hartwell (1850–1911), for the Central Baptist Church (now Community Church of Providence), Providence, Rhode Island. It remained housed in the sanctuary of the church until 2018, when the congregation decided to relocate the window to the Art Institute of Chicago, where it could be conserved to ensure its long-term stability and remain on public view.
The window is composed of 48 panels that are each made up of different glass types and combinations. Inspired by the view from Frederick Hartwell’s family home near Mt. Chocorua in New Hampshire, the majestic scene captures the transitory beauty of nature—the sun setting over a mountain, flowing water, and dappled light dancing through the trees—in an intricate arrangement of vibrantly colored glass.
At 26 feet high and 18 feet wide, the 48-panel window is both a pathway and a destination. Its massive size makes it as tall even, or even taller, than many two-story houses in the United States.
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