Stained Glass Window "Hospitalitas"
On View: Decorative Art, 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
Debate as to who was the true inventor of the opalescent, or iridescent, glass that figured so prominently in American stained glass, arose between Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge in their own time, and continues today, although it seems that La Farge may have been the first to explore this medium. Hospitalitas was designed for the Brooklyn house of Herbert L. Pratt, still standing at 213 Clinton Avenue, where it was installed in the stairwell landing in the entrance hall. Only eight years after it was made, the window was given to the Museum. This may be explained by La Farge's waning popularity at the end of his career. La Farge's earlier windows were often lush, Asian-inspired floral compositions in the Aesthetic Movement style. Hospitalitas, dressed in classical garb and flanked by columns, may have been La Farge's attempt to reconcile his art with the neoclassicism of the Beaux-Arts style popular at the time.
Gift of Herbert L. Pratt
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John La Farge (American, 1835-1910). Stained Glass Window "Hospitalitas," 1906-1907. Glass, 82 1/2 x 52 in. (209.6 x 132.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Herbert L. Pratt, 15.493. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 15.493_bw.jpg)
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