Hidden in Plain Sight

Winstead glows with priceless jewels



Treasure-hunters in search of world-class art may not think of Winsted, Connecticut, as a destination. But the parishioners of three churches in this town at the end of Route 8 know better. “It happens on sunny days, when the light reflects off the windows,” says Carol Tomassetti, an administrator at Second Congregational Church of Winsted. “People driving by will stop in to see them.”

It turns out those rubber-neckers are onto something. Inside the towering granite structure are three works by the Art Nouveau giant Louis Comfort Tiffany. The first, a six-by-eight-foot landscape titled “The Falls,” is widely considered a masterpiece. Donated by Ella Boyd in memory of her parents, it has two arched panels, two three-pointed windows, and a circular window with a jeweled crown. It depicts a waterfall, purple-blue mountains, palm trees, and a setting sun. Twenty years ago “The Falls” nearly collapsed when the lead holding it together became corroded.  Fortunately, the church was able to raise funds to restore it, even enlisting the Vienna Boys Choir for a benefit concert in 1994. Says Bob Ensminger, church moderator, “Our church family has been extremely generous.”

A second window, the six-by-eight-foot “Christ with Child,” is likely based on the Gospel verse: “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me.” It was given in memory of Henry Gay (1834-1908) by his family The third piece, a Tiffany mosaic, commemorates deacon Charles Beecher Holmes.

In the 1800s, Tiffany became famous for his ability to transform mixtures of sand, gold, copper, and other materials into opalescent glass. Using a technique called plating to combine layers of glass, he created three-dimensional effects, variegated textures, and a rich palette never before seen in glass works.

According to Nina Gray, independent curator, “Tiffany was the aesthetic genius behind everything his workshop produced.” Henry Adams, professor of art history at Case Western Reserve University, likens Tiffany’s role to that of Walt Disney who “oversaw production, but did not himself draw most of the animations.” Tiffany employed hundreds of workers and commissioned designs from the leading artists of his day. “Many of these designers also produced works on their own or for other studios,” notes Adams.

Across town, at the United Methodist Church, leaded-glass aficionados can see three creations by one of those moonlighting designers, Benjamin Sellers. Says Reverend Al Miller, “Years ago, when I had my first interview, we met in the evening. So I didn’t notice the peacock hues in ‘The Moneychangers’ until the next morning.”

Another window, “The Resurrection,” depicts an angel, Mary Magdalene, and other women at Christ’s tomb. An inscription notes that it commemorates Ensign Jonathan Coe (1742-1824), “founder of Methodism in Winsted.” Fittingly, “Jesus with the Children” is in an alcove where the church formerly held Sunday school.

The origin of the windows at the nearby First Church of Winsted is unclear. “Unfortunately, all our records were destroyed in the 1955 flood,” says Debbi Storrs, financial secretary for the church. However, two pieces—“Gethsemane,” which shows Christ kneeling in prayer as several apostles look on, and a landscape, “The Sower”—have the opalescent hues and folded glass popularized by Tiffany. “Workers would shape semi-molten glass into various textures,” says Gray. “Folded drapery glass is not that common in the work of other studios,” notes Adams. “The presence of glass with a Tiffany look makes it likely that a window is by Tiffany.”

Whatever their provenance, the windows are unquestionably breathtaking. Says Storrs, “When the sun’s out, the medallions around Christ’s head glow.”

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May 2018

The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to present State of Abstraction, an exhibition of contemporary abstract art by Connecticut artists from May 5 - June 16, 2018. Co-Curated...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Hall Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of the new Tapping Reeve Meadow, a public space for learning, relaxation and reflection. Come experience Litchfield’s...

Cost: Free

Where:
Tapping Reeve Meadow
82 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

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Architect and designer, Osvaldo Borsani (1911-1985), was a giant of Italian modern design and co-founder of Tecno. George Champion Modern Shop will celebrate...

Cost: free

Where:
George Champion Modern Shop
442 Main St. South
Woodbury, CT  06798
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Sponsor: George Champion Modern Shop
Telephone: 203-263-8442
Contact Name: George Champion
Website »

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MAY 18 THROUGH 20, 2018 IF YOU’RE INTO BIRDS, THIS IS THE MOST FUN YOU’LL HAVE THIS MAY! For three days, birders of all skill levels will engage in a fun and friendly competition to...

Where:
, CT


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The Loft Gallery will host Washington CT abstract artist, April Crumrine. April’s series of brightly colored paintings will be on view from April 12 through May 20, 2018. An artist’s...

Cost: free

Where:
Loft Gallery at The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
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Sponsor: The Smithy Store
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: Susan
Website »

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Audition Dates: Sunday, May 20th & Monday, May 21st from 6-9pm Audition Location: Arts Center Theatre (located on level 2) Thomaston Opera House 158 Main St. Thomaston,...

Cost: $0

Where:
Thomaston Opera House
158 Main St
Level 2
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Sponsor: Landmark Community Theatre
Telephone: 860-283-8558
Contact Name: Jeffrey Dunn
Website »

More information

Show More...
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The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to present State of Abstraction, an exhibition of contemporary abstract art by Connecticut artists from May 5 - June 16, 2018. Co-Curated...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Hall Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

Architect and designer, Osvaldo Borsani (1911-1985), was a giant of Italian modern design and co-founder of Tecno. George Champion Modern Shop will celebrate...

Cost: free

Where:
George Champion Modern Shop
442 Main St. South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: George Champion Modern Shop
Telephone: 203-263-8442
Contact Name: George Champion
Website »

More information

Audition Dates: Sunday, May 20th & Monday, May 21st from 6-9pm Audition Location: Arts Center Theatre (located on level 2) Thomaston Opera House 158 Main St. Thomaston,...

Cost: $0

Where:
Thomaston Opera House
158 Main St
Level 2
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Sponsor: Landmark Community Theatre
Telephone: 860-283-8558
Contact Name: Jeffrey Dunn
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to present State of Abstraction, an exhibition of contemporary abstract art by Connecticut artists from May 5 - June 16, 2018. Co-Curated...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Hall Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

Architect and designer, Osvaldo Borsani (1911-1985), was a giant of Italian modern design and co-founder of Tecno. George Champion Modern Shop will celebrate...

Cost: free

Where:
George Champion Modern Shop
442 Main St. South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: George Champion Modern Shop
Telephone: 203-263-8442
Contact Name: George Champion
Website »

More information

Coinciding with Memorial Day the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame will deliver a multimedia presentation entitled Women & War celebrating some of the state’s notable...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to present State of Abstraction, an exhibition of contemporary abstract art by Connecticut artists from May 5 - June 16, 2018. Co-Curated...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Hall Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

Architect and designer, Osvaldo Borsani (1911-1985), was a giant of Italian modern design and co-founder of Tecno. George Champion Modern Shop will celebrate...

Cost: free

Where:
George Champion Modern Shop
442 Main St. South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: George Champion Modern Shop
Telephone: 203-263-8442
Contact Name: George Champion
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to present State of Abstraction, an exhibition of contemporary abstract art by Connecticut artists from May 5 - June 16, 2018. Co-Curated...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Hall Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

Architect and designer, Osvaldo Borsani (1911-1985), was a giant of Italian modern design and co-founder of Tecno. George Champion Modern Shop will celebrate...

Cost: free

Where:
George Champion Modern Shop
442 Main St. South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: George Champion Modern Shop
Telephone: 203-263-8442
Contact Name: George Champion
Website »

More information

Peter and the Starcatcher is a play based on the 2004 novel Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, adapted for the stage by Rick Elice. The play provides a backstory for the...

Cost: $20 admission; $15 for seniors; $10 for kids

Where:
Western CT State University
Visual Performing Arts Center
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Show More...
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The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to present State of Abstraction, an exhibition of contemporary abstract art by Connecticut artists from May 5 - June 16, 2018. Co-Curated...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Hall Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

Architect and designer, Osvaldo Borsani (1911-1985), was a giant of Italian modern design and co-founder of Tecno. George Champion Modern Shop will celebrate...

Cost: free

Where:
George Champion Modern Shop
442 Main St. South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: George Champion Modern Shop
Telephone: 203-263-8442
Contact Name: George Champion
Website »

More information

Peter and the Starcatcher is a play based on the 2004 novel Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, adapted for the stage by Rick Elice. The play provides a backstory for the...

Cost: $20 admission; $15 for seniors; $10 for kids

Where:
Western CT State University
Visual Performing Arts Center
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Website »

More information

Are you just dying to get some dirt under your fingernails this season? Come to Back 40 Farm for Friday Field Days and help us out with weeding, transplanting, hoeing, harvesting, and more! Who:...

Where:
Back 40 Farm
Washington Depot, CT


Website »

More information

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Join the Litchfield Historical Society for a Saturday walking tour on May 26 at 10 a.m. Explore some of the sites related to the famous Beecher family, residents of Litchfield from 1810 to 1826....

Cost: Free for members; $5 non-members

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Litchfield Historical Society
Website »

More information

The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to present State of Abstraction, an exhibition of contemporary abstract art by Connecticut artists from May 5 - June 16, 2018. Co-Curated...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Hall Plaza
P.O. Box 173
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Washington Art Association & Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-2878
Contact Name: Barbara von Schreiber
Website »

More information

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

The first Litchfield County Zine Fest (and the first zine fest in Connecticut) is coming to Kent, CT! The fest is a free, all-ages, public arts event where self-publishers of all stripes will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kent Community House
93 North Main Street
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Website »

More information

Architect and designer, Osvaldo Borsani (1911-1985), was a giant of Italian modern design and co-founder of Tecno. George Champion Modern Shop will celebrate...

Cost: free

Where:
George Champion Modern Shop
442 Main St. South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: George Champion Modern Shop
Telephone: 203-263-8442
Contact Name: George Champion
Website »

More information

Peter and the Starcatcher is a play based on the 2004 novel Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, adapted for the stage by Rick Elice. The play provides a backstory for the...

Cost: $20 admission; $15 for seniors; $10 for kids

Where:
Western CT State University
Visual Performing Arts Center
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Website »

More information

The Loft Gallery will open an exhibit of fine paintings by Carol Brightman Johnson. Ms. Johnson's show opens on Saturday, May 26 and run through Sunday, July 8, and will feature...

Cost: free

Where:
Loft Gallery at The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: Loft Gallery at The Smithy
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: Susan
Website »

More information

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