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Methodist History: Tiffany Church Windows

There's a unique display in the lobby of the United Methodist Archives and History agency in New Jersey. A huge stained glass window depicting Jesus in the Garden is there for visitors to see and touch. Mark Shenise is a preservationist with the agency and he says the Tiffany piece can give you clues to tell if your church windows might be Tiffany originals too.  

(Locator: Madison, NJ)
Mark Shenise, General Commission on Archives and History: "Stained glass windows in a local church are often a thing of beauty. And people who sit in the pew often wonder where they came from, who created the windows and stuff. This window of Jesus in the Garden comes from a church in Tuxedo, New York. When they were closing the building, and selling it to a different congregation. We were so surprised when it showed up, what a beautiful Tiffany window. And, of course, we know that Tiffany and Company in New York was very instrumental in making church windows. And what I want to show you today is how you can tell if it's a Tiffany window or if it's a Tiffany-like window. Now, how do you know it might be Tiffany? The secret is the folded or rounded glass in the robes. If you have a three-dimensional robe in your window, and if it's of the proper time period, there's a good chance that you have a Tiffany window. Then you have something very nice, worth a lot. Make sure your insurance is up to par, and you have a treasure of American art at the same time. But the key is the folded glass. Tiffany starts it as an art form for churches and stuff and then it becomes in-vogue later on as well. Be proud of what you have."


Louis Comfort Tiffany was an American glass artist known for texture and detail.  From 1878-1933, the Tiffany Glass Company in New York created hundreds of church windows. Many are still in place today.

St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Dubuque, Iowa has the fifth largest collection of Tiffany windows in the United States. The church welcomes visitors and offers guided tours.

This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN in partnership with the General Commission on Archives and History
Media contact is Joe Iovino.

This video was first posted on April 19, 2017.

United Methodist Communications is an agency of The United Methodist Church

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