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Vibrant Colors: Glass in Baltimore
Saturday, November 3, 2018 - 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Stained glass window by John LaFarge in Union Baptist Church, Baltimore
Baltimore offers the perfect destination for aficionados of historic glass in its many forms. Stunning works by Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge—as well as bottles created for one of the city’s most famous products—are among the highlights of a glass-lovers’ tour led by museum education consultant Sheila Pinsker.
Begin at a Baltimore landmark inspired by Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, the Bromo Seltzer Tower. It’s the site of the Emerson/Maryland Glass Museum, where a sea of cobalt-blue glass bottles (and some in rare teal and dark green) traces the commercial history of the headache remedy introduced in the 1890s. Then step into a former Gilded-Age mansion on North Charles Street, now the Evergreen Museum & Library, which holds one of the largest private collections of Louis Comfort Tiffany art glass.
More Tiffany designs are on view during a lunch visit to The Elephant restaurant, originally a grand townhouse that dates from the 1850s. The sumptuous spaces include Tiffany stained glass and a room of furniture by Lockwood deForest, the designer’s partner in his interior decorating business.
Afternoon stops at three churches focus on the vivid colors and beauty of glass art in religious settings. The Union Baptist Church’s Gothic design features stained glass windows created by John LaFarge, Louis Comfort Tiffany’s closest rival in the use of opalescent, colored, and textured glass. Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church houses one of the world’s largest collection of Tiffany windows still in their original setting, offering examples of the novel techniques that the artists of Tiffany Studios used to create a limitless ranges of hues, colors, and textures in glass.
Conclude the day at First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, a visit highlighted by a mosaic that depicts the Last Supper in 65,000 pieces of iridescent glass, notable for its use of colors and patterns to mimic texture and depth and to depict details such as facial features and folds of clothing. Considered a major work of art when it was created, it was displayed at Tiffany Studios in New York before its installation above the altar at First Unitarian in 1897.
Fringe stop at about 7:55 a.m.
Departs from the Holiday Inn Capitol at
550 C St SW (corner of 6th & C Sts)
Fringe: I-495, Exit 27 carpool parking lot