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Window of the Month
Artist: David Wilson - St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Hartland, Michigan

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Window

Building Name: Christ Church Cranbrook

Studio Name: Powell (James) & Sons (Whitefriars)

City: Bloomfield Hills

Window Shape: 6 (gothic arched, over 2 vertical sections)

Date of Window: 1927

Subject/Title of Window: Women’s Window

Brief Description of Subject: This window is in a quasi-Gothic Revival style with a strong Pre-Raphaelite influence. The window was executed in painted antique glass. Its colors-- yellow, red, green, blue and purple-- are not typical Gothic colors and suggest the Pre-Raphaelite influence of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, with whom Powell was acquainted. Full-length figures of 60 actual women are shown in 16 panels, each panel portraying a different area of service, skill or art. Most of the figures can be identified from renown portraits of photographs by their attributes. These areas are personalized by women symbolic of the subject of the panel. The women portrayed represent a long period of time and a wide range of interests. They include Motherhood, Christ’s associates, early missionaries, early Saints, those active in religious orders,American Church missionaries, education, nurses, musicians, artists, poets, novelists, sovereigns, liberators, suffrage workers and actresses These areas are personalized by women symbolic of the subject of the panel. This window shows, chronologically, the enlargement of the field and the development of the work of women in the Christian world during the growth of Christian religion. You see the beginning in the first window _ “Motherhood” - Jesus as a baby with his Mother. Then the next step “Christ Associates” - women who were with Jesus. On the the “Early Missionaries” - women who were with Paul. Followed by “Early Saints” - women who died for Christianity. After that “Religious Orders” were founded. Then growth through the “Christian Missionaries-American”, and on to the more modern contributions and enlargement of the field of endeavor by women. There are 60 women portrayed, and many of them are English (14 out of 34). From left to right, starting at the upper left: Dedicated to Womankind in the inscription at the base - “Her children rise up and call her blessed and her works praise her in the gates.” 1. Motherhood: Hannah, mother of Samuel, the great religious leader, in green robe; Monica, mother of St. Augustine, in a red headdress; Mary and the baby Jesus; Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, with her son John the Baptist with his cross (figures show the age difference between the second cousins, Jesus and John). 2. Christ’s Associates: Mary, mother of James the Apostle; Mary, mother of Mark the evangelist; Mary Magdalene, (Magdalene meaning “of the province of Magadala”), reformed by Christ the most noted among the women followers of Jesus; Martha, the elder sister of Lazarus, with keys and a salver; and the Poor Woman who put her mite in the Temple treasury, with her simple black gown and the bag holding her few coins. 3. Early Missionaries; Priscilla, who helped Paul in Greece; Lydia, in the background who housed Paul in Galatin (Turkey); Dorcas, in the foreground, benevolent woman of Joppa, or Jaffa, Palestine as we know it, whom Paul raised from the dead; Phebe, at the right, giving alms and bread to a poor child in Ceuchrea in Greece. 4. Early Saints: Perpetua, on left; Felicatas on right in simpler garb, her slave, they were slain together in the arena at Carthage because of their Christian work; St. Agnes, in center, “The Virgin Saint”, martyred when 13 years old. She was born a Christian. The perfect, Sempronius of Rome, wished Agnes to marry his son, on her refusal condemned her to be outraged before her execution, but her honor was “miraculously preserved.” She is the patron saint of young girls. Her symbol is the lamb. 5. Active in Religious Orders: St. Teresa, (Spanish 1515-82), founder of the Teresians or Barefoot Carmelites; Catherine of Sienna (Italian 1347-80) a member of the tertiary (lower) order of Dominicans, who helped the needy; St. Hilda, (English, 614-82) at right in her robes as founder and Abbess of Whitby, famous for her wisdom, carries a facsimile of the Abbey in her arms, also has a crown and a staff to show her eminence and wisdom; St. Clare, founded the Poor Clares at Assissi in the 13th century, shown kneeling glorifying God. The following are more modern groups and each of these pictures is an actual portrait. 6. American Church Missionaries: Mary S. Francis (1847-1937), on left pictured with a cross, worked in South Dakota for 30 years; Julia C. Emery (1876-1916), in the background, Secretary of the Woman’s Auxiliary of the Board of Missions; Deaconess Bertha Sabine (1844-1931), the deaconess collar and jabot, missionary to Alaska; Anne C. Farthing (1863-1910), kneeling figure at feet, sister of a Bishop of Montreal, in Alaskan field, book signifies teaching. The angels in the cross at the top of this panel and the angels with the book on the following Education panel, signify the spreading of knowledge by these women in their chosen fields, church and college. 7. Education: Maria Mitchell, (American, 1818-89), astronomy and Vassar professor; Alice Freeman Palmer, (American 1855-1902), President of Wellesley College (presenting the young woman with the apple of knowledge and widom); Mary Lyon (American, 1797-1849), who founded Mt. Holyhoke College in 1836. 8. Nurses: Dr. Mary E. Glenton, (1862-1923), a missionary to Alaska, China and the negroes of North Carolina; Florence Nightingale (English, 1820-1910), founder of scientific nursing, portrayed with a basket of signifying her philanthropic activities; Clara Barton (American, 1821-1912), in the background, President of the American Red Cross from 1881-1940; Edith Louisa Cavell (English, 1872-1915), English woman executed in WWI (1915) for aiding the escape of prisoners of war. Founded a nursing school in Belgium, and it would seem that she is seen carrying a lamp which we associate with Florence Nightingale for in founding that school she was carrying on the Nightingale ideal. 9. Musicians: Liza Lehman (English, 1862-1918) with an open music book, English soprano, concert signer and composer, wrote “In a Persian Garden”; St. Cecilia, martyred in Sicily in 176, Patron of music, pictured singing because of her fervor in signing in praise to an of God; Cecile Chamanade, (French, 1857-1944) composer and pianist, pictured with what appears to be a key board of possibly a musical score. 10. Artists: Vigee Lebrun, (French, 1755-1842) portrait painter, with typifying paint brush; Rosa Broneur, (French, 1822-99) painter of animals, well known, shown with a beloved horse; Mary Cassatt, (American, 1855-1926) painter and pastellist; Maria Ann Kaufman, (English, 1741-1807), linguist, painter and singer (in the background), a good friend of Sir Joshua Reynolds whom she painted, and who also painted her. It was Sir Joshua who named her “Miss Angel” or “Angelica”. 11. Poets: Amy Lovell, (American, 1874-1925); Elizabeth Barrett Browning, (English, 1806-61) in a green gown; Emily Dickinson, (American, 1830-86); Christina Rosetti, (English, 1830-94); Emily Jane Bronte (English, 1818-48), with a blue mantle or cloak. 12. Novelists: Jane Austen, (English, 1775-1817); Mary Anne Evans Cross (English, 1819-80), in the background, known to us as George Eliot; Charlotte Bronte (English, 1816-55) with pen poised being watched by; Louisa May Alcott, (American, 1832-88). 13. Sovereigns (notice about, the angels with the crown of those who rule): Elizabeth I (English, 1533-1603), on the left with her identifying neck ruff, characteristic of 16th and 17th centuries; Isabella (Spain, 1451-1504), presenting to the kneeling Columbus her jewels to finance his trip to the New World; the beloved Victoria, (English, 1819-1901), with her scepter and orb, the round gilt and jeweled sphere. 14. Liberators: Lucretia Coffin Mott, (American, 1793-1880), activities against slavery and for women’s rights; Joan D’Arc, (French, 1412-1431), with her sword and banner signifying her military leadership, note the clear shade of gold in her boots; Harriet Beecher Stowe, (American, 1811-96) protecting hand on the shoulder of a slave boy, Uncle Tom not seen, but surely her thoughts are of him and his race. 15. Suffrage Workers: Dolly Madison (American, 1768-1849); Susan Brownwell Anthony (American, 1820-1906), ruby colored mantle, known for her work for co-education, temperance, anti-slavery and suffrage; Anna Howard Shaw, (English-American, 1847-1919), born in England, raise in US, Pastor of Methodist Episcopal in Massachusetts. She was the first woman to be ordained by the Methodist Protestant Church, though denied ordination in the Methodist Episcopal Church because of her sex. President of the Woman’s Suffrage Association from 1904-1915, just previous to Carrie Chapman Catt. Eliazabeth Cady Stanton, (American, 1815-1902), on right, who with Lucretia Mott called the first suffrage convention. Possibly the red book she holds lists attendance at the convention or its by-laws. 16. Actresses (angels are in the upper panel holding the masques which are symbols of the theater): Sarah Siddons, (English, 1755-1831); Sarah Bernhardt, (French, 1845-1923); Mary Anderson, (American, 1859-1940) in the background; Elley Terry, (English, 1848-1928), red robed. Outstanding Shakesperian actress, holding a graceful scroll which might be the symbol of being named Dame Grand Cross of the British Empire by King George in 1925, a signal honor. The United States showed its appreciation of her magnificent acting during nine theatrical tours of this country.

Inscriptions: Biblical quotation at base of window: “Her children rise up and call her blessed, and her works praiser her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:28, 31)


Condition of Window: Good

Height: 19'6"

Width: 8' (each panel)

Type of Glass and Technique: Antique or Cathedral Glass, Lead Came

Women's Window
Women's Window
Motherhood
Motherhood
Christ's Associates
Christ's Associates
Early Saints
Early Saints
Active in Religious Orders
Active in Religious Orders
Poets
Poets
Sovereigns
Sovereigns
Liberators
Liberators
Actresses
Actresses
The Word of God
The Word of God
Lancet 2
Lancet 2

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