Architectural Stained Glass is an environmental art form. As light floods the interior of a synagogue,
the inner space is transformed into a mystical source of joy, peace and
Stained Glass Quarterly
article dated Fall 1989
In style, the six architectural stained glass windows in the Tifereth Israel chapel exist as independent works of art while inter-relating with one another to create one complete and unified environmental composition existing in harmony with the architecture.
Although collectively these stained glass windows embody one comprehensive idea, they each individually symbolize one of the six orders of the Mishna (a principal rabbinic code edited about 200 C.E.) The purely abstract compositional theme of the lead and glass is interwoven with symbolic content in the form of paint, which has been applied directly on the glass and fired into its surface. The special character of the line work is thus achieved by interlacing lead and paint. The lead line is a pure design element. The paint delineates symbolism. The total effect is that of a labyrinth. The symbolism was intentionally rendered subtly. In this way, the symbolic imagery was merged with the abstract. Therefore, understanding the hidden meaning contained within each of these stained glass windows demands a length of time devoted to study, both of the windows and their source of inspiration. Meaning will be perceived on a variety of levels; historical, social, intellectual, intuitional, aesthetic and spiritual.
These windows were designed by Curt Doll and fabricated at Franklin Art Glass Studios in Columbus Ohio along with a seventh window which resides in the Historical Alcove adjacent to the chapel where the Six Orders of the Mishna are installed.
This site has a page by page description of the cultural and spiritual content of each of these seven windows in the text beneath each window on its individual page. Click on the icons below and explore a part of the Jewish heritage these works of art evoke. Or start reading the article at the beginning here. A link is beneath the text on each page which will take you to the next window with the segment of the article describing the symbolic meaning of that particular window in the series.
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