Tiffany treasures at
The east window, placed in 1917, has the dollowing dedication: In Loving Memory of Harold Morgan Manning, 1894-1916, erected by his Mother.
The northernmost of the west windows which depict branches of thick pines silhouetted against a glowing sky.
The south window has a religious theme and features opalescent glass.
The signature of Louis C. Tiffany is at the bottom right of the south window. Photographs for Westside News Inc. by Walter Horylev.
St. Luke's, Brockport
Tucked into a corner church in downtown Brockport is one of the most beguiling secrets of the westside. Awaiting discovery by visitors willing to enter and linger a while at St. Luke's Episcopal church are three outstanding decorative glass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and made in his famous studio in New York City.
Tiffany was a grand innovator in many of the decorative arts, a leader of the Aesthetic Movement, internationally renowned even today for his jewelry, glass and pottery, enameled vases and, most of all, Tiffany lamps.
Tiffany's greatest and most widely acclaimed success was his work with stained glass. He raised the art of stained glass from its Medieval roots where poor quality glass was crudely colored, painted and etched to depict religious figures and bible stories. Tiffany's innovations in design and technique extended stained glass to a high art, one of vivid decoration of landscapes, flowers, birds and other scenes of the natural world.
At St. Luke's in Brockport, one of the most superb examples of this kind adorns the west wall. Dedicated in 1914, the four-panel window known as Peace, Perfect Peace and was near perfectly described by church historian Harold G. Dobson in the 1960s as "... landscape scenes, a lake tinged with gold by the rising sun filling the central lancet the side panels representing branches of thick pines silhouetted against the glowing sky."
The visual impact of this window comes, in part, from the use of opalescent glass, internally colored, with textures, hues and variations. With ordinary daylight, seen from inside, the landscape seems to glow.
Tiffany designs used layered glass for added depth, subtle but vibrant color and 3-D effects. Most of the glass Tiffany used for his windows was custom made, sometimes called Favrile glass, molded into shapes, using special colors and dramatic texture. Throughout Tiffany's career his respect and love of nature influenced his designs, contributing to the spiritual understanding of nature.
In 1917, St. Luke's dedicated a second Tiffany window depicting a more traditional religious theme - the Nativity. It was given as a memorial to Arnold Morgan Manning who died at age 22, by his mother, Sara Morgan Manning. This window is a unified three-panel piece placed on the east wall above the altar. Its beauty was appreciated by millions of travelers in 1955 when it was photographed by Eastman Kodak and used as a panoramic Christmas display in Grand Central Station in New York City.
A third Tiffany window on the south wall is signed and dated: Louis C. Tiffany '27. It, too, has a religious theme and is dedicated to the memory of George C. and Ida Hooker Gordon. Seen close up, this window is an excellent example of the technique Tiffany used in making his glass. Here you can see how the opalescent glass was internally colored, in layers, with shades of the same hue. In this window, one can see how Tiffany used textures, densities, even bubbles to create pictorial details that previously had to be painted on.
It's no accident that St. Luke's in Brockport was endowed with Tiffany and other treasures. Its illustrative history began in the 1820s with the first residents, including Heil Brockway. In 1838, the parish became part of the diocese of Western New York with its handsome Medina sandstone building completed in 1854. Names of many church members throughout its history are synonymous with Brockport village leaders and personalities including the novelist Mary Jane Holmes.
To view Tiffany windows depicting nature and landscape scenes go to: http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/Tiffany/listsgw.htm
To arrange a visit to St. Luke's call 637-6650.