The creative work of designer Frederick Wilson (1858–1932) is synonymous with the religious stained-glass windows and mosaics produced by Tiffany Studios. This innovative English artist emerged as one of the most prolific window designers working in the United States at the turn of the century, producing elegant sketches and watercolors for more than three decades and managing the ecclesiastical department for much of his time at Tiffany Studios.
Wilson’s individual contributions at Tiffany Studios, as well as other firms he worked for throughout his career, come to life through images of the executed windows and mosaics he designed. His personal scrapbooks include watercolors studies, pencil and ink sketches and letters from clients and assistants. These documents provide insight into Wilson’s early education, artistic influences, such as the Pre-Raphaelite and Old Master painters, and the trajectory of his career. What emerges from this examination of Wilson’s work and personal papers is more in-depth understanding of a lesser known artist, his tremendous talent, and the lifetime of dedication he gave to his craft.
Diane C. Wright is the curator of glass and decorative arts at the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio. Previously she held the position of the Carolyn and Richard Barry Curator of Glass at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia. She holds a masters degree in the history of decorative arts from New School University, Parsons the New School for Design with The Smithsonian Associates. In 2013, Wright won an award of excellence from the Victorian Society of New. York for her work as co-curator for the 2012–13 exhibition Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion and its catalogue at the Museum of Biblical Art in New York.