Chicago’s Hidden Jewel : Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Navy Pier

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Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows

Opened: 2000

Location: Navy Pier, Chicago.

The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows is the only museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to stained glass windows. The museum is a millennium gift to the people of Chicago from Maureen and Edward Byron Smith, Jr., and their sons Edward and Peter Smith. The permanent installation is a joint venture with Navy Pier.  The Smith family has been collecting stained glass windows since 1970.  Their interest in Chicago history is represented by both secular and religious windows from Chicago. The family was dedicated to saving these important works of art at a time when stained glass fell out of fashion during the 1960s to 1990s and was in a danger of being discarded and destroyed.

 

 

Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows

Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows

 

A hidden jewel of Chicago: the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows.  Located at Navy Pier, Smith Museum is the first [and perhaps the only] museum dedicated to stained glass windows.  In a 800-foot long hallway we can see about 150 stained glass windows at display.

For me,  some of the highlights are of the museum are..

- Seeing at  eye-level,  the stained glass art-works which are usually placed high-up on the wall in churches, theaters, and other places.

- The meticulously written text / information  accompanying each piece.  Hats off to curator Rolf Achilles for doing the hard work, making it so much easier for a visitor like me, to embark upon a self-guided tour.

- Tiffany Galleries.. There are two galleries within the Smith Museum [ named  “Tiffany Gallery” and  “Tiffany and his contemporaries”]  which highlight the works produced at Tiffany Studio, landscape and  figural, secular and religious…  click here..

- The  Driehaus Galleries [which opened in 2001],  just east of the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, Navy Pier.  The permanent gallery is dedicated to the work of  Louis Comfort Tiffany  and to the artists and craftsmen who worked at his Studio. It contains windows made by Tiffany Studio between 1890-1930. These windows are from the extensive collection of Chicago businessman Richard H. Driehaus. There are 13 Tiffany windows which are displayed in an enclosed dark areas,  illuminated with artificial lighting… click here..

- One of the highlights is stained glass artwork from  Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893..  There are two such pieces.. “Massachusetts Mothering, the Coming Woman of Liberty, Progress, and Light” [click here..] and  “Lili’s Menagerie”, by Beiler of Heidelberg.. [click here..]

- Each piece is protected by bullet-proof glass.

- To add, it’s free  admission to the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows and to the Driehaus Gallery are both free!!

 

Tiffany Gallery at Smith Museum of Stained Glass

Tiffany Gallery at the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows

 


 

Some of my favorite pieces at the gallery..

Trinity "Father, Son & Holy Ghost" - by Schmidt Arant

Trinity “Father, Son & Holy Ghost” – by Schmidt Arant

 

Autumn Landscape – by Agnes F. Northrop / Tiffany Studio

Autumn Landscape – by Agnes F. Northrop / Tiffany Studio

 

Autumn landscape is from Driehaus Gallery, within the Smith Museum.. For more information on this.. click here..

 

Printer’s History – by Thomas Augustin O’ Shaughnessy

Printer’s History – by Thomas Augustin O’ Shaughnessy

 

Printer’s History – by Thomas Augustin O’ Shaughnessy.. This painting is huge. To see the entire painting,  click here..

 


 

Select Images from Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows

 


 

 

Published by Jyoti Srivastava / Dec 1, 2013.
Image copyright © Jyoti Srivastava

 


 

At Navy Pier, Chicago

Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows: click here..

Smith Museum: Photo Gallery – I .. click here..

Smith Museum: Photo Gallery – II.. click here..

Smith Museum: Photo Gallery – III.. click here..

Smith Museum: Photo Gallery IV [Tiffany Galleries] click here..

Driehaus Gallery: click here..

 


 

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