David Maitland Armstrong and Helen Maitland Armstrong
Types of glass:
Extensive painting including faces, hands, feet, feathers, and clothing
Up to 3 Layers
This window most likely dates from late in Mr. Armstrong’s career when his daughter, Helen, became more heavily involved in the design and production of their windows. He was known for his use of plating. He included up to seven layers of glass in a window to deepen colors and produce shading. In much the same way, he used washes of color in his watercolors.
In 1890, Helen Armstrong joined her father’s business to paint faces, hands, and feet on his windows. She became known for her skilled painting of clothing, flesh, and other details. In this window, she painted the angel’s garments giving them a lush appearance.
A unique feature of this window is the extensive amount of enamel painting on cathedral glass. This type of painting needed to be “fired” so the enamel would adhere to the glass. Heat tends to destroy the effects seen in opalescent glass. Therefore, enamel painting was most often done on cathedral glass.
The artists used both European and American techniques in this window. Plating is an American technique, while the extensive use of painting is a European technique.
This window is painted on the front and back layers.
The wings are painted and have an iridescent coating, giving them an
Notice how the orb representing the world is brought to the forefront using opalescent glass. The hands recede because they are a layer behind.
Biblical Story of the Window
Images from the story of creation fill this window. An angel gently holds an orb that represents the world. The design above the dove depicts the seven days of creation. And a semi-circle of stars borders the top of the panel. The angel’s banner also underscores the theme of the window. It says in Latin, “Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord,” which is the first line of a canticle from the Bible.
The Armstrongs' Creation is on view in the Stained Glass Masters Exhibit on the first floor of the Halim Museum.