American stained glass windows, long shrugged off as a Victorian enthusiasm, are attracting increasing interest, say museum curators, and Cincinnati is on the leading edge of this trend.
The Taft Museum of Art recently opened In Company with Angels: Seven Rediscovered Tiffany Windows. And at the Cincinnati Art Museum conservation is under way on four stained glass windows to go on view next May.
Each set of windows has a Cincinnati history, and all were made in the famed 19th- and 20th-century studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Tiffany "was an artist, not a craftsman," Lynne Ambrosini, the Taft's chief curator, says firmly.
Amy Dehan, associate curator of decorative arts at the CAM, agrees.
"He was a fabulous colorist," Dehan says, adding that his approval was essential to each step of the process. Ambrosini notes that, "In the beginning, Tiffany did all the hands-on work but quickly added studio assistants as commissions came in … always (using) a draftsman for figures, since he was a landscape artist by training. He was tough on assistants and re-drew designs, made them take out unsatisfactory glass."
In Company With Angels: Seven Rediscovered Tiffany Windows continues at the Taft Museum of Art through Sept. 11. Go here to read Jane Durrell's full review.