Louis Comfort Tiffany was a master of stained glass, and as one of the most prolific designers of the 19th century, his work was displayed all over the world, including throughout the state of Pennsylvania. While I first became enamored of his art by visiting Pittsburgh churches, it’s also always a pleasure to stumble upon examples in more out-of-the-way places, such as in the town square in
Chambersburg, PA, at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, or inside Nemacolin Resort in Farmington, PA. Here are some of my favorite unexpected spots to find Tiffany’s remarkable artwork.
Central Presbyterian Church, Chambersburg, PA
On a recent trip to Chambersburg, PA, I was surprised to learn that the Central Presbyterian Church on the Chambersburg Square holds a number of windows created by Tiffany Studios. Though the majority of buildings in Chambersburg were destroyed during the Civil War, the church today stands as a symbol of the resiliency of the town. While the most striking sight within the church is the Ascension window, which stands 25 feet high, there are numerous other Tiffany windows; not all are designed by the master glassmaker, however, so look for his signature along the bottom of the windows.
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA
There are many stunning works of art in the Westmoreland, most notably the 56” x 84” Lynch Tiffany Window, made of fine leaded and plated glass. The window was first installed in the home of Thomas Lynch in 1905, and is designed from a period photo of Lynch’s grandfather’s sheep farm in Ballyduff, County Waterford, Ireland. The window was later moved into a home in Somerset County, where it remained for 56 years before the home’s new owners put it up for auction.
Nemacolin Resort, Farmington, PA
The art collection at Nemacolin Resort is well worth a visit, even if you’re not staying overnight in Chateau Lafayette, where much of it is housed. The collection contains more than 1,000 pieces, including a nine-part Tiffany window in the atrium, a three-part Tiffany wisteria window in the conference center, and numerous floor and table lamps in the study. You can tour the collection on your own, or take a guided tour Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. You can also reserve an Indoor Curator’s Tour for $30 for a more in-depth look. If you’d prefer to do something hands-on, the resort even offers a Totally Tiffany class, where you can make a vinyl window cling that mimics Tiffany’s style.
There are a crazy amount of Tiffany windows in the ‘Burgh, and you can see many of them by taking a self-guided walking tour of area churches. Calvary Methodist Church on the North Side, for example, has three of the 10 largest Tiffany windows in the world—part of 189 Tiffany windows in the church made by the up-and-coming designer, which were installed in 1895. Some of the windows feature precious metals, including silver and gold, and their beauty truly shines through as the result of a recent restoration project.
Two other Tiffany attractions on the North Side include the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, which has three Tiffany windows in a triptych, and the Pittsburgh Children's Museum which has a 12-foot-high Tiffany Window.
One of my favorite places downtown to find Tiffany’s work is at the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh on Sixth Avenue. Tucked among towering skyscrapers, the stone church, which has been in the heart of downtown for almost 250 years, features 13 windows designed by the master, as well as 253 other leaded and stained glass windows. While you’re at the church, take a walk around the graveyard as well—it’s a fascinating place full of local history.
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