Academy of Fine Arts adopts church's stained glass
Friday, May 7th, 2010
A set of religious stained glass from a church in Germantown have found a new home in a downtown museum. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts has adopted devotional windows made 100 years ago for an Episcopalian church. The survival of the windows had been at stake.
The Academy of Fine Arts got two windows from St. Peter's Church in Germantown, one by the famous Louis Comfort Tiffany. But more interest is being paid to the window by local artist Violet Oakley. That window depicts two sets of virgins with oil lamps. They are awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom at a wedding party.
“The foolish virgins have squandered their oil and just used it up,” says curator Anna Marley. “So they have no more light. The wise virgins are the ones who bide their time and wait for the arrival of Christ.”
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The Academy bought the windows from Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. The Diocese wanted to get rid of them because the church they were installed in had been closed for over four years, and in danger of vandalism.
Reverend Christine Ritter says there are still more windows inside the church.
“One of our first bishops, Bishop William White, is one of the stained glass windows by Violet Oakley,” says Ritter. “We would very much like to have that removed, and have that on display in our chapel at our main office.”
The church is currently trying to sell the deconsecrated church. But because it is a registered historic landmark, Ritter says it's difficult to get permission to remove the windows.