La Farge (1835–1910),
one of the most innovative and versatile American artists of the nineteenth
century, achieved renown as a painter in oils and watercolors, as a magazine
and book illustrator, as a muralist and designer of stained-glass windows,
and as an author of articles and books on art and travel. A quintessential
"Renaissance man" of the American Renaissance, he responded to and
encouraged the eclectic tastes and interests of his sophisticated patrons.
Born in New York City, NY, March 31, 1835, he discovered Newport and its
"Paradise." He died in Providence, RI, November 14, 1910.
Farge, discoverer of a new stained glass technology, patented the opalescent
glass manufacturing process in 1880. By mixing bits of various materials into
the molten glass, La Farge was able to produce unique visual effects. Through
the use of opalescent, ripple and confetti glass in these windows the
distinctive genius of John La Farge shines through. Glass jewels add to the
artistic effects. Some of the glass used in these windows was experimental in
nature. His artistic skills seem to single-handedly revived the art of
stain-glass design in America and abroad, most notably, Venice, Italy.
addition to his new glass designs, La Farge used heavy plating and lead lines
of various widths as well as very sophisticated mitering. These techniques
give a depth and a three-dimensional aspect to the windows that other artists
could not achieve. In 1880, he was hired to decorate this church, then under
the pastorship of The Reverend Henry van Dyke.
to follow: a gallery of select images of murals and opalescent glass that
makes this building one of only two remaining buildings left with full
interiors designed and decorated by La Farge.
the La Farge Restoration
Fund is working to
raise funds to restore the magnificent interior of the church. Hidden inside
a beautiful brownstone church, is Newport's greatest jewel of the Victorian
era. Please call to make arrangements for a visit.
you would like to make a donation to the Fund, please contact the La Farge Restoration Fund
for further information.
more information about La Farge, please visit Julie
L. Sloan's website or contact Karen