Collections: Decorative Arts: Charles Merrill Memorial Window

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70.3_view3_SL4.jpg 70.3_view2_SL4.jpg 70.3_SL1.jpg

Charles Merrill Memorial Window

By 1900 the achievements in stained glass of Louis C. Tiffany, John La Farge, and the Lamb studio had received international recognition. Building on innovations in opalescent glass and plating, or layering, Walter Cole Brigham added a novel and literal naturalism to his landscape windows by the inclusion of seashells and quartz river stones. Trained as a painter, Brigham christened his artistic invention "Marine Mosaic."

Working in his studio on Shelter Island off the eastern end of Long Island, Brigham crafted Marine Mosaics from 1901 until about 1915. The large evocative window on display was commissioned in 1911 by Abigail Merrill in memory of her husband Charles and installed in the chapel of the Home for Aged Men, 745 Classon Avenue Brooklyn, where it remained until the 1960s, when the building was razed.

Although he was applauded in his own day, Brigham's reputation faded and now he is little known. His Marine Mosaics were, however, a unique and important contribution to the history of stained glass in America.

  • Maker: W. Cole Brigham
  • Medium: Glass, shells, pebbles
  • Dates: ca. 1910
  • Dimensions: 74 3/8 x 78 1/8in. (188.9 x 198.4cm)  (show scale)
  • Markings: no marks
  • Signature: Not signed
  • Inscriptions: no inscriptions
  • Collections:Decorative Arts
  • Museum Location: This item is on view on the 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
  • Accession Number: 70.3
  • Credit Line: Gift of The Roebling Society, Mrs. Frank K. Sanders, Mrs. Hollis K. Thayer and H. Randolph Lever Fund and the Frank L. Babbott Fund
  • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
  • Caption: W. Cole Brigham. Charles Merrill Memorial Window, ca. 1910. Glass, shells, pebbles, 74 3/8 x 78 1/8in. (188.9 x 198.4cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Roebling Society, Mrs. Frank K. Sanders, Mrs. Hollis K. Thayer and H. Randolph Lever Fund and the Frank L. Babbott Fund, 70.3. Creative Commons-BY
  • Image: overall, 70.3_view3_SL4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
  • Record Completeness: Good (69%)
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