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Gift from the Sea

Angel Art

In 1902, the artist Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) created seven Art Nouveau stained-glass windows depicting angels for a Cincinnati church. The church was founded on the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a scientist, philosopher and theologian who believed that "inwardly, a person is in company with angels, though unaware."

Among those said to have been influenced by Swedenborg's teachings were Carl Jung, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Helen Keller, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and William Butler Yeats.

In 1964, the church that housed the Tiffany angels was demolished to make way for highway construction. The windows were stowed in crates in parishioners' garages and basements until a few years ago when a non-profit organization, In Company with Angels, was formed to preserve and exhibit them. Tiffany's luminous angels with their fiery wings and elegant faces were showcased at FSU's Museum of Fine Arts during February and March as part of the university's 12th annual 7 Days of Opening Nights event. —E.B.


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