Tag: Stained Glass

  • Skylight in Baker Hall, Carnegie Mellon University

    “My heart is in the work,” said Andrew Carnegie in 1900, and it was a good enough slogan to be immortalized in glass, especially if Carnegie himself was paying for it.

  • Stained Glass in the Church of the Assumption

    Stained glass, Church of the Assumption

    The drama of salvation plays out in glass in the Church of the Assumption, with each pair of windows illustrating events from the Old and New Testaments related by a common theme. We have only a few of the windows here; it would be worth spending an hour or two to examine all of them. Above left: King Achab sends Micheas to prison; the Agony in the Garden; King Joram rejects the prophecy of Eliseus. Above right: Abner is slain treacherously by Joab; Judas betrays Christ with a kiss; Tryphon deceives Jonathan with gifts.

    Stained glass

    Left: Joseph is sold by his brethren; Judas conspires with the priest and magistrates; Absalom entices the men of Israel. Right: Melchisedech meets Abram; the Last Supper; the manna from heaven.

    Stained glass

    Left: Esau sells his birthright to Jacob; the Temptation of Christ; the tempting of Adam and Eve. Right: Moses heals Miriam; Mary Magdalene at the feet of Christ; the repentance of David.

    Stained glass

    Left: Enoch is borne to heaven; the Ascension; Elias is raised into heaven. Right: Moses receives the tables of the Law; the descent of the Holy Ghost as fire from heaven; the sacrifice of Elias.

    See the whole collection of the Church of the Assumption.

  • Alumnae Memorial Window, Chatham University

    A window by Louis Comfort Tiffany, donated to the Pennsylvania Female College (now Chatham) in 1888. The figure is taken from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling: the Erythraean Sibyl, “here transformed into a symbol for women’s education,” as a plaque nearby says. This was an early work of Tiffany’s, believed to be his earliest in the Pittsburgh area. It was put away in about 1930 and sat in storage for seventy years, because who needed a window by Tiffany? In 2000 it was finally brought out of storage—old Pa Pitt imagines a janitor starting the ball rolling by saying, “Hey, can we get this thing out of the way?”—and restored for a place in the science building.

    Note that Shakespeare’s name appears twice in the pantheon of great figures every young lady should know. No one else gets that honor, and—though Shakespeare certainly is worth twice as much as any of the others to an English-speaking college student—one wonders who specified the duplication, or even whether it was intentional.

  • Arts-and-Crafts Storefront, Mount Oliver

    212 Brownsville Road

    This tiny building has a simple but rich front; we suspect that the projecting roof was originally covered with green tile, which would have set off the Arts-and-Crafts stained glass even more.

  • Domestic Stained Glass on the South Side

    Stained glass in a parlor window

    Parlor windows and transoms over the front door are often decorated with stained glass. Old Pa Pitt has been out wandering the South Side in the evening to bring back a few pictures of stained glass the way it was meant to be seen.

    Parlor window
    Parlor window
    Parlor window
  • Domestic Stained Glass in Beechview

    A stained-glass window in an early-twentieth-century house in Beechview. Stained glass like this was especially popular between about 1890 and 1920, just when the streetcar suburbs that later became city neighborhoods were mushrooming. These windows are often stolen if the house is vacant for a while, but even so thousands still decorate houses all around the city.

  • Domestic Stained Glass in Shadyside

    Stained glass in the Brayton Apartments

    Some stained glass illuminated from the inside. Above: over the entrance to the Brayton apartments.

    Parlor window

    In a parlor window.

    Apartment building on Negley Avenue

    The entrance to a Tudor apartment building on Negley Avenue at Walnut Street.

  • Trinity Window in Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

    Trinity window

    The large window at the rear of the cathedral. At the apex is the Shield of Faith, the emblem of the Trinity. In the center is Christ ascending, with the legend “He is the King of Glory.” Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John watch and record, each with his traditional symbol (man, lion, ox, eagle).

  • A Dim Religious Light

    Interior of Heinz Chapel

    But let my due feet never fail
    To walk the studious cloister’s pale,
    And love the high embowed roof,
    With antique pillars massy proof,
    And storied windows richly dight,
    Casting a dim religious light.
    There let the pealing organ blow,
    To the full-voic’d quire below,
    In service high, and anthems clear,
    As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
    Dissolve me into ecstasies,
    And bring all Heav’n before mine eyes.

    ——Milton, Il Penseroso.

    It is difficult to convey in a photograph the impression we get from entering a glorious Gothic church like Heinz Chapel. In general photographs are too light, either because the photographers laudably attempted to capture the many artistic details of the Gothic interior, or because they used automatic exposure and let their cameras do the thinking. Old Pa Pitt has tried very hard in these pictures to give some impression of the relative lighting as we enter the chapel from the bright light outside. Most of the light is dim, but a pool of light shines in the distance, drawing us toward the altar.

    Toward the altar
    Toward the rear

    No matter how bright it may be outside, turning to leave the church is walking away from the light.

  • Two Parlor Windows from the South Side

    In a Victorian rowhouse, the parlor window—the ground-floor window facing the street—was an opportunity for the homeowners to display their taste and, even more important, their ability to pay skilled craftsmen to decorate their houses with woodwork and stained or leaded glass. Above, even the masonry is incised with decorative patterns.