Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Navy Pier – From 1893 Chicago’s World Fair

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The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, which opened in 2000, was closed down in October 2014. It was America’s first museum dedicated exclusively to stained glass windows. The museum was a millennium gift to the people of Chicago from Maureen and Edward Byron Smith, Jr., and their sons Edward and Peter Smith. Don’t know the fate of the stained glass windows since closure. Maybe some cold storage somewhere have them.

Among the many exhibits were three windows from Chicago’s 1893 World Fair..

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Smith Museum: 1893 Chicago's World Columbian Exposition.

Smith Museum: 1893 Chicago’s World Columbian Exposition.

 

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The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Navy Pier, had three stained glass windows from the 1893, Chicago World fair. The three windows were places in tandem: Lili’s Managerie, Queen of the Elves, and Massachusetts Mothering the Coming Woman of Liberty, Progress, and Light.

 

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Queen of the Elves

Queen of the Elves

 

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Queen of the Elves:
This enigmatic window entitled “Queen of the Elves,” was designed and painted in 1893 in Munich, Germany, by Marie Herndl (1859-1912). It was first displayed at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893, and then, in 1904, at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, aka the St. Louis World’s Fair at which Marie Herndl was was awarded a bronze medal for it. She signed and dated it in the lower left corner. The window was then displayed for many years in Milwaukee before it was moved to the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, Navy Pier, Chicago, where it can now be seen.
The “Queen of the Elves” window is 108 inches tall and 72 inches wide.
From Rolf Achilles’ publication.

 

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Queen of the Elves

Queen of the Elves

 

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Lili's Managerie

Lili’s Managerie

 

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Lili’s Managerie
Entitled “Lili’s Managerie,” this window was designed and fabricated by the firm of Beiler of Heidelberg for exhibition in the German section of the Fine Arts Building, Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893. After the World’s Fair, the window was installed in the Madlener-Leight Residence, 2400 N. Lakeview, Chicago. In 1960-61, the window was moved to the Germania Club of Chicago from where it was acquired for exhibition at the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, Navy Pier, Chicago. The window is 68 inches x 40 inches. The image is fully painted on one sheet of glass, while the framing is beveled glass. Beiler apparently tried to please an American audience who liked beveled glass and the German’s who liked painted glass. He failed to find customers in American market.
From Rolf Achilles’ publication.

 

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Lili's Managerie

Lili’s Managerie

 

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Lili's Managerie

Lili’s Managerie

 

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Massachusetts Mothering the Coming Woman of Liberty, Progress, and Light

Massachusetts Mothering the Coming Woman of Liberty, Progress, and Light

 

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Massachusetts Mothering the Coming Woman of Liberty, Progress, and Light.
It was the center piece of three-piece window from Massachusetts installed in the Woman’s Building. Designed, signed and dated by Elizabeth Parson, Edith Blake Brown and Ethel Isadore Brown. Fabricated by Ford and Brooks of Boston, Massachusetts, 1893. The window is an early and major statement of American feminism. The central composition depicts the allegorical scene entitled “Massachusetts Mothering, the Coming Woman of Liberty, Progress, and Light”. The figure to the right, the older of the two, is personification of Massachusetts, is one of the inspiring states of the early United States, to the younger woman on the left representing the coming woman, the woman of future. The young woman, as a personification of freedom wears a liberty cap [Frigian Cap] and holds a torch lighting the way to wisdom and knowledge.

In brief, the window represents the three key elements argued for by women at the Exposition and represented by the building..
– Liberty of all women,
– Enlightenment for the oppressor
– Progress made when this is accomplished..
As she steps from the level of the older woman, she is the woman of the future.

 

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Massachusetts Mothering the Coming Woman of Liberty, Progress, and Light

Massachusetts Mothering the Coming Woman of Liberty, Progress, and Light

 

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Smith Museum: 1893 Chicago's World Columbian Exposition.

Smith Museum: 1893 Chicago’s World Columbian Exposition.

 

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1 Comment to “Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Navy Pier – From 1893 Chicago’s World Fair”

  1. Hi, please can you let me know where the stained glass collection was moved? Thanks, Geeta
    you can email me.

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