Stained glass window

Stained glass window

If I look up from my computer terminal at work, and glance across the room, this is what I see. A memorial window to a young girl who died in 1898, it stood for many years in a children’s ward endowed by the family. Elizabeth Dennison is depicted wearing a white dress, black buttoned boots, and carrying a lily. Eventually, after many years in storage, it ended up with us, in the Medical Library.

No longer illuminated by natural light, but backlit by flourescent tubes, it still exhibits that morbid flavour typical of memorials of the period.
It is in the style of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the great New York artist and glassmaker – but is NOT a Tiffany, of course – and is probably the work of a local New England artist.
Stained glass has been with us for over a thousand years, either in the form of tinted glass fragments assembled into a mosaic frame of lead channels, or small painted pieces of glass, as with Tiffany and his imitators (although Tiffany also manufactured his own tinted glass, where chemicals which other glassmakers thought of as impurities caused the luminescent colours).
Despite the rather sad nature of the subject, this is still an object of beauty.

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