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The year 1844 saw the commencement of a set of figurative altar windows for the architect Richard Upjohn’s Trinity Episcopal Church. Upjohn contributed to the design that was probably produced by Thomas F. Hoppin. They were fabricated by Abner Stephenson.

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John La Farge is known as the inventor of the opalescent stained glass window and is the father of the American mural movement in the late nineteenth century. He was regarded as the premier American muralist of his time and an eloquent art critic. La Farge studied painting in France and with William Hunt of Newport, Rhode Island.

La Farge became fascinated with the suggestion of highlights and shadows in irregularly made opalescent glass and how the glass muted bright light and created complimentary tones to adjacent colors. He was intrigued by the potential to render realistic subjects relying on the effects within the glass rather than by painting on glass.


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Virtually every country produced “lady” windows like Eugene Grasset’s often-copied Spring. Executed by Felix Gaudin in 1884, it resembled the ladies on magazine covers and posters. Toward the end of the period some “Dignity of Labor” windows were popular. This is also the era of the large dome and skylight made possible by engineering developments.

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La Farge and Tiffany’s friendship came to a bitter end over the rights to use opalescent glass in windows, which La Farge patented in 1880. Tiffany filed a similar patent in 1881.

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The sinuosity is prevalent in the Belgian and French decorative windows. The work of the Spaniard Joachim Mir is hard to tell from Tiffany’s stained glass. Windows illustrating national legends by Hungarians Sandor Nagy and Miksa Roth seem to be inspired by Morris.

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Their glass experiments resulted in opalescent glass with multiple colors mixed in the same sheet. Under their direction, confetti glass; streamer; ridged; drapery; and thick, faceted glass nuggets and chunks were made at Heidt’s shop. Several glass houses also made great varieties of pressed glass jewels. In 1887, Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company began production; in 1889, they won a gold medal at the Paris World Exposition for their multi-colored window glass.

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Hi! Thanks so much. It’s really as permanent as you want it to be. Ours is holding up beautifully, but if we needed to remove, it would be very easy to do so. Simply pick a corner and peel it. It’s the perfect product really!

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The principal characteristic of the Art Nouveau style is its sinuous line. The principal subject is nature, whether stylized or realistic. The style varies somewhat from country to country. For example, the English did not use much opalescent glass and backgrounds are often light quarries with a silver stained motif in each; their domestic windows are similar to romantic book illustrations. German windows, on the other hand, show more heraldry, landscapes with castles, hunting and tavern scenes.