In 2001, a Swedenborgian minister found a set of seven magnificent stained-glass windows stored in old crates in a barn in rural Pennsylvania. Their story illuminates a fascinating facet of American art history as well as an important set of spiritual teachings.
In 1902, a Swedenborgian church in Glendale, Ohio, commissioned the seven windows as a gift for their sister church in Cincinnati. Each window depicts an angel that represents one of the seven churches described in the book of Revelation. The windows were designed and created in the studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany, and they reflect not only the rich symbolism found in the Bible, but Tiffany’s hallmark color and brilliance. Tiffany’s love of revealing angels in stained glass shines through in every panel.
After their original home was torn down in 1964, the windows were put into storage, only to be rediscovered and painstakingly restored years later. Now a traveling exhibition, the seven angels have been given a new life as shining examples of Tiffany’s art and as a focus for spiritual reflection and meditation.
Tiffany’s Swedenborgian Angels guides the reader not only through the history of the windows, but the spiritual meaning of each one, weaving Swedenborg’s teachings with the luminous imagery of the angels themselves. If you have seen the exhibition, the book allows you to revisit the windows again any time; if you have not, it is a powerful introduction to a vivid piece of spiritual history.