Religious meeting planners, do your attendees appreciate stained glass? If so, then the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at the popular Navy Pier in Chicago should be on your city tours the next time you visit the Windy City.
The Smith Museum showcases both religious and secular windows, and on Aug. 15 it will welcome a new addition: the Richard H. Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass. The collection features 13 windows that highlight the work of the famous Louis Comfort Tiffany and his workshop from 1890-1930. The Driehaus Gallery will be located at the east end of the Smith Museum’s 800-foot series of galleries, which run along the lower-level terraces of Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. All 13 windows come from Tiffany’s New York studio, and he designed most of the glass.
Tiffany first began experimenting with glass art in 1873. He opened the Tiffany Glass Company in 1885, and the company later was known as Tiffany Studios. After designing hundreds of windows for churches, public buildings, and private homes, Tiffany became one of the most well-known glass designers in the United States. His reputation for experimentation in stained glass techniques and originality of design is unsurpassed.
Among the windows featured in the gallery are:
-- Rapelye Memorial from St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Jersey. Religious windows, especially memorial windows, were the cornerstones of Tiffany’s stained glass business.
-- The Annunication, which probably was commissioned for a church. In this diptych of the Annunciation, a milky white glass covers much of the composition. When the window is backlit, the image is softened, giving a sense of depth and drama. When the light is turned off, the viewer sees only the milky white layer.
The Richard H. Dreihaus Gallery of Stained Glass is representative of Dreihaus’ collection of both religious and secular windows, which he has accumulated over the past 25 years. Dreihaus, a Chicago native, is the founder of Driehaus Capital Management.
The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows recently celebrated its one-year anniversary at Navy Pier and is the first museum in the United States dedicated solely to stained glass windows.
For more information, call (312) 595-PIER or visit www.navypier.com.