In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Louis Comfort Tiffany was known as one of the most creative and prolific designers. Son of Tiffany & Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, it was his mission to make a name for himself — and that he did. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Military Academy in Chester, he found a passion for glassmaking early in his career. From there, he went on to create numerous, tremendous works of art throughout the country, but many you can find right here in PA. Read more to learn about where you can go for an up-close look at these breathtaking pieces of Tiffany-stained glass.
1. St. John's Episcopal Church
In western PA lies the historic and charming St. John's Episcopal Church, one of only eight churches in the country with a complete set of Tiffany-stained glass windows. The church features 30 original windows made of the remarkably iridescent Tiffany glass, all built between 1901 and 1917 and restored in 2002. Situated across from the altar is the eye-catching centerpiece of the holy space, “The Great Rose Window,” which contains 3,912 pieces of Tiffany glass and is the third largest window ever made by Tiffany Studios, Louis Comfort Tiffany’s creative enterprise. Take a Tiffany Windows Tour and choose between exploring on your own with the self-guided tour or booking in advance with a guide to hear from the Window Tour Docents, who explain the rich history of the Tiffany windows and the church.
2. The Dream Garden
Designed by Maxfield Parrish and created by Louis Comfort Tiffany and a small army of glass artisans, The Dream Garden‘s idyllic landscape has graced the lobby of the Curtis building for more than a century. Weighing upwards of 7.5 tons, the mural is 15 feet tall and 49 feet wide and features 100,000 pieces of handcrafted Tiffany glass in more than 260 color tones. Now safely the property of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, this iconic piece of Philadelphia history and art came close to leaving its Philly home for a Las Vegas casino. Thankfully, that did not happen and generous donors have ensured it will remain in Philly where it belongs and where you are free to walk in and marvel at the beauty of this treasured piece of art.
3. The Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel
Take a step back in time to the days when the lobby of the Lackawanna Station was filled with the hustle and bustle of rush hour train-goers. This architectural gem features rare Siena marble walls, 36 unique tile murals, and—most notably—a remarkable, barrel-vaulted Tiffany-stained glass ceiling. Originally built as Scranton’s premiere passenger rail depot, the building now offers a deluxe lodging experience as The Raddison Lackawanna Station Hotel where you can enjoy a delicious, top-tier, breakfast dining experience beneath the beautiful domed Tiffany glass ceiling at Carmen’s 2.0 Restaurant & World Tour.
4. St. Mark’s & St. John’s Episcopal Church
In the heart of Jim Thorpe sits St. Mark’s & St. John’s Episcopal Church, one of the most notable Gothic Revival churches in the Keystone State. The church serves as a cornerstone for history and community in this small town and welcomes everyone with open arms. Built in 1867, this church is a registered National Historical Landmark featuring beautiful architecture and artwork including hand-carved Caen Stone Reredos and two exquisite Tiffany-stained glass windows. Book a guided tour and learn about the past and present of this northeastern PA staple.
5. First Presbyterian Church
Next time you’re in Steel City, take a virtual or in-person tour of the First Presbyterian Church and its 13 exquisite stained-glass Tiffany windows. Each window is 26 feet high and 7.5 feet wide and depict scenes of Christ’s ministry on earth, as well as angels and other heavenly images. The windows are especially unique, painted on fine, specially made Tiffany pastel cathedral glass then backed with a plating of Tiffany opalescent Favrile glass, all set in specially milled double-high heart lead to house the double layer of glass – the only time this process was used for windows by the Tiffany Studios.
6. Chatham University
At Chatham University, see one of Tiffany’s earliest works where he experimented with the glass and coloring techniques that would become one of the hallmarks of his studio. Commissioned in 1889, the window depicts a scholarly woman reading a book inscribed with the college motto as a cherub holds the lamp of wisdom high over the book – one of the very few pieces Tiffany created honoring women. Stored away in the school’s basement for half a century, this historic and stunning piece was “rediscovered” in 1997” and has been fully restored, and is now displayed at the Science Complex.
7. Westmoreland Museum of American Art
It was a true community effort that enabled that enabled the Westmoreland Museum of American Art to acquire the beautiful Tiffany window that once adorned the home of one of Greensburg’s favorite sons, Thomas Lynch. The 4.6-foot by 7 -foot leaded-and-plated glass landscape window depicts a “storybook” thatched cottage surrounded by trees, representing the Irish birthplace of Lynch’s father, Patrick. When the window went up for auction at Christie’s in 2001, the generous contributions of 167 local donors made sure the Tiffany window would remain in Greensburg. Lovingly restored, the window is on full display backlit with LED light panels to create the perfect illuminous glow at the free and ADA-accessible Westmoreland Museum.
8. Lafayette College
At the turn of the 19th century, two remarkable art glass windows were commissioned for Lafayette College from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s studio in New York. The two pieces, “Alcuin and Charlemagne” (1898) and “Death of Sit Philip Sidney” (1899), can be found on campus in the Skillman Library. Learn more about the incredible pieces by browsing the “Tiffany at Lafayette” catalog, where you can read through four essays discussing the different aspect of Lafayette’s windows. Notably, three of the four essays were written by Tiffany scholars.
9. Bloomsburg University
Bloomsburg University’s Harvey A. Andruss Library houses three magnificent Tiffany-stained glass windows. Presented to the school in 1920 by college alumni, the windows depict lady “Truth” and lady “Virtue” with a beautiful stained-glass arch that originally framed a doorway between the two windows echoing the themes of truth and virtue. Originally housed in an annex to a boys’ dormitory, the “Truth” and “Virtue” windows now hang side by side on the library’s second floor, while the connecting arch located over the doorway to the University Archives/Special Collections Reading Room on the third floor.
Not only does Nemacolin feature elegant accommodations, five-star restaurants, and a relaxing and rejuvenating spa, but the resort also has an impressive art collection of more than 1,000 pieces displayed throughout the resort, including several pieces by Tiffany. One of those pieces, a nine-part Tiffany window featuring bright flowers, leaves, and vines is mounted on the resort’s atrium ceiling, while a three-panel Tiffany wisteria window is mounted in the conference center. The resort’s paneled library boasts an assortment of table and floor lamps from Louis Comfort Tiffany Studios. Book a stay and be sure to reserve your spot for 30- to 60-minute tour of the resort’s amazing art collection.
11. Cavalry United Methodist Church
The standout feature of Cavalry United Methodist Church in Philadelphia is a trio of Tiffany-stained glass windows commissioned in 1892 by congregants of the church. Each of the three 30-foot-tall windows in the sanctuary are dedicated to prominent historic individuals. The “Ascension” window is dedicated to Calvary founder Joseph Horne, while the “Resurrection” window is dedicated to Calvary founder C.B. Shea. The third window, “Apocalypse,” is dedicated to the notable American bishop Matthew Simpson. In 1895, when the windows were first completed, Calvary had three of the largest Tiffany windows in the world; today, the trio are among the ten largest.
12. U.S. Mint at Philadelphia
A delightful surprise awaits when you tour the United States Mint at Philadelphia where seven, five-foot tall mosaics designed and created in 1901 by Tiffany Studios for the Philadelphia mint are on display. Based on a wall painting unearthed at Pompeii, the glass panels depict figures of children illustrating the ancient Roman coin-making processes of melting, granulating, drying, weighing, stamping, and finishing, with shimmering blues and greens reflective of water and sky along with reds that represent sails of a ship in homage to the ancient mints that were built on islands. Tour the U.S. Mint to see how coins are made and to marvel at these beautiful Favrile glass panels.
Discover other beautiful works of art at museums and more across Pennsylvania. Be sure to check out the visitPA website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more PA inspiration. Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter so you never miss an update.