The Rose Window

When our current building was built, Tiffany was commissioned to create this beautiful window which is very interactive during morning worship. Sometimes the deep olive green predominates. Some days a beautiful blue is seen at the outer edge. Other days when the sunlight strikes it directly, it is golden and so radient that the star in the center is not able to be seen.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art noted at the time of the installation in 1909, "...under the personal supervion of Mr. Louis C. Tiffany, has been placed in the Church-'a magnificent Rose Window containing a jeweled cross, extending through many openings in the circle with an illuminated background representing the sky'".


Goodness and Mercy Angels


"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever, Psalm 23:6."
Note the delicate faceted work in the wings and the circular composition; no matter where one looks first, the design moves the viewer's eye around and through both panels of the long vertical space.
Tiffany incorporated the metal strips into the design as outlines...instead of using the cames, or frames, at regular intervals, as glass makers had done for centuries. Seen here, the lead cames follow the gradual lines of the angel's flowing robes and the clouds.

(Photo by Dennis Wilcox)



The Angels of Praise

This window is truly magnificent! It is our largest window. It was installed as the church was being built and was so listed in the dedication services booklet of September 19, 1909. Tiffany has created a feeling of upward flight. The colors graduate from deep blues at the bottom through lighter shades of color toward the top. Vertical lines are predominant.

(Photo by Dennis Wilcox)

For a higher resolution photo of this window provided by the 150th Anniversary Directory Committee, together with a summary of our church history, click here.

These are just a sample. There are more to see. Take time to see if your spirit begins to soar!   

New York Times (May 4, 1979) wrote: "Some of Tiffany's favorite windows are in the Second Reformed Church in Hackensack,... Tiffany frequently visited there with clients in tow, using  the visit to help them select appropriate design for their purposes." For each installation, the design was customized as the client requested and reworked to fit the window's opening size and shape requirements. Colors were coordinated to harmonize with the surroundings in each location.

Tiffany strove to eliminate the use of enamel paints on his windows. Look at how the glass alone expresses textures. Processes were developed  for the fabrication of each effect by the designers and craftsmen at the Tiffany Studios. 

Tiffany was fascinated by the ancient iridescent glass that the archaeologists were unearthing. He experimented with weathering and firing conditions to try and recreate those effects. He tried glazing and aging glass in an acid-charged atmosphere. Tiffany obtained patents for his opalescent techniques in 1880. The Museum of Modern Art in NYC wrote,"Favrile: a name he (Tiffany) derived from Old English fabrile meaning, belonging to a craftsman or his craft. By selecting the name Favrile, he honored the skilled craftsmen who strove to perfect their craft."

The Annunciation*

Notice how all the lines radiate from the Angel. This Angel has appeared to tell Mary that she is with Child. Look at the beautiful classical drapery of the Angel's robes. The glass is full of color in the folds. Lead lines follow the contours. There are lilies surrounding Mary. Note how the Angel's glowing form sheds light over Mary and illuminates her upper body.

The Good Shepherd*

Please look carefully at the grain in the wooden staff, the bark of the tree, the rich colors in the folds of the garments, as well as the thickness variations of the drapery  glass. Remember every piece of glass was planned for and created to be used in that specific place in this particular window. There is no lead separating the sky and mountain. This helps the Mt. recede into the distance.

Christ, the Teacher on the Shores of Galilee

This pastoral scene benefits from the late afternoon light. The warm reddish light often prevalent at sunset enriches the opalescent glass  of the sky. These colors are repeated in the reflection on the water. The texture of the tree bark can be observed.  The leaves have texture and depth, with sunlight shimmering off the tree leaves. The distant trees are of yet a different glass with less detail than the foreground. These effects are created within  the Favrile Glass by the Tiffany Studios. Enamel paints are used only in the face, hands and feet. 

Jesus, Blessing the Little Children

This window is glorious toward the end of the day. When the sun is lower in the western sky and its warm colored light energizes the scene, all the pieces of Favrile glass that contain shades of peach, rose, lavender, purple and red are enriched by the light and those colors become more brilliant than they are in  the morning light. The brilliant sky is symbolic of heavenly grandeur.

The Three Mary's at the Tomb*

Observe how the angel radiates light that illuminates the scene. The artist captures effect of the light on the hair of the women. Artists strive to achieve this look on canvas with a brush and a variety of paints. Here there has been no application of paint.  The streaks of color within the glass give the appearance of strands of hair.  This utilization of Tiffany glass is particularly beautiful  on the kneeling women. Note the plated glass effects. Plating is a method of building layers to modulate the light coming through to achieve special effects and colors. A large piece of glass was layered over the top of leaded pieces that make up part of the rocks. Used here, the plating helps to diminish the importance of the rocks in the design.  The viewer instead focuses on the figures. A metal bar was designed to conform to the head of the angel, thus providing the necessary structural support and enhancing the overall design. Imagine how a straight support bar crossing the angel's head would have interfered with the beauty of 

Christ's Farewell Interview with His Disciples*

According to Linda Papanicolaou, who visited our church while researching J. Gordon Guthrie, "Guthrie left the employ of the Tiffany Studios after an argument with Tiffany." He went to work for Duffner & Kimberly Co. which had been contracted to install this memorial. It is easily distinguished from the Tiffany windows by the gold borders. But, there are many similarities, as well (perhaps due to Guthrie's experiences at the Tiffany Studios). Notice the drapery glass, the limited use of enamel painting and the plated (layered) areas. This window is referred to as Ambassador of Christ in the Consistory minutes (Sept. 17, 1908).

Christ, Knocking at the Door*

Our hearts need to be opened  to let Jesus enter. The lantern Jesus carries is symbolic of His being the Light of the World. This lantern radiates its light on  the darkest day! 

This was a very popular theme of the period and Tiffany Studios installed many windows similar  to this one. The studios utilized this basic design  concept and customized it for other churches. A variation  was the addition  of a crown to Jesus' head. Colors would have been coordinated to harmonize with the surroundings in each location.


News clipping from the dedication in 1953 stated: the window was "an interpretation of (the painting) 'Christ Praying in the Garden". Notice the moon and the stars in the Gethsemene window. They have no lead surrounding them! Lead lines in this location would not have given as pleasing an effect as this. The technique used to create the moon and stars is called acid etching of flashed glass.When  flashed glass is fabricated, a thin layer of color is fused to the surface of another piece of colored or clear glass (in this case, blue and white). The piece of flashed glass is masked to protect the ares not to be etched (the blue sky). Hydrofluoric acid is applied to remove one of the layers of the flashed glass and reveal the remaining color (the white of the moon).

(*Photos by Dennis Wilcox)

Return to Home Page

Site Meter