Peony Windows and Patent Wars: Thoughts on an Artist Who Revolutionized Stained Glass

March 31 is the birthday of an American pioneer, long overshadowed by a more entrepreneurial rival

Works found in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Nelson-Atkins and Smithsonian American Art Museum. Photos by author.
Joaquín Sorolla’s portrait of Tiffany, 1911. Courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America, New York
Self-portrait of La Farge, 1859, Metropolitan Museum, image in public domain.
Peonies Blown in the Wind, 1880. Metropolitan Museum of Art, image in public domain.
Photo by author.
Photo of Smithsonian’s Peacock and Peonies by author. Met’s work by Tani Bunchō, image is in public domain.
Peonies Blowing in the Wind, 1889. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Photo by author.
La Farge’s patent for “Colored-Glass Window”
Joaquín Sorolla’s portrait of Tiffany, 1911. Courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America, New York
Helping Angel Window Panel, 1890, Detroit Institute of Arts. Fish, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Photo credit: author.
The Adams Memorial by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Image from Wikipedia
La Farge’s Avenue to the Temple of Iyeyasa, Nikko. Walters Museum, Baltimore. Image is in public domain.
La Farge’s Siva Dance: Triptych of Seated Single Figures, 1890–1891, Art Institute of Chicago. Image is in public domain.

Journalist fascinated by art, food, architecture, justice, politics, history and business. Has visited museums on six continents, eaten in more than 60 nations.

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