The treasure in St. James Episcopal Church isn’t just spiritual, but artistic as well, with works by America’s greatest stained-glass artist.
Six Tiffany stained-glass windows installed at the Fordham church from 1889 to 1929 will be on display at an open house and tour from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. The open house is part of the New York Landmarks Conservancy Sacred Sites Program.
The church is at 2500 Jerome Ave. at E. 190th Street.
The six windows that span almost the entire career of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s glass making include depictions of The Last Supper, Lilies and Apple Blossoms, Wheat and Vine – known as The True Vine, The Resurrection Morning – depicting Jesus, the Resurrection Angel, and Saint Augustine and his Mother Monica, said Reverend Tobias Haller, the vicar of St. James for the past 13 years.
There has not been an official open house featuring the Tiffany windows, or the church’s royal Bavarian stained glass windows, in the past decade or more, Haller said.
However, the church did receive a good deal of attention when it was featured in a Tokyo TV documentary in 2010 on the work of Tiffany.
He made stained-glass art that pioneered the use of implanting the pigment of the color into the body of the glass – a technique that had not been used since the middle ages.
“We have one of the first Tiffany windows and you can see Tiffany’s experimenting with different techniques,” Haller said. “The oldest, a representation of DaVinci’s Last Supper, is tentative and frankly, a little crude.”
The Tiffany works that adorn the church range from more secular pastoral scenes, to the ecclesiastical work that Tiffany stained-glass windows are primarily known for, Haller said.
One of the windows has already been restored with help from a grant from the New York Landmarks Conservancy Sacred Sites Program, and the church’s roof has also received restoration, Haller said.
In the coming years, the church hopes to restore most of the stained glass windows to their original splendor, removing plexiglas backs installed a half-century ago and other structural repairs, Haller said.
For more information on Saturday’s open house, please call the church at (718) 367-0655. The church’s website is saintjamesfordham.org.