Louis Comfort Tiffany
1937; Glass; Architectural Feature, Stained Glass
Central Campus; Second floor, north side of Newberry Hall (Kelsey Museum)
Gift of brothers E. Crofton Fox (U-M student 1871–73) and Charles Fox (U-M class of 1875) of Grand Rapids, in memory of their father, Reverend Charles Fox (1815–1854), and two of their four brothers, William H. Fox (1850–1887, U-M class of 1873) and George T. Fox (1848–1877, U-M class of 1871). The Fox brothers made their gift to the Students’ Christian Association for their new building, Newberry Hall. The window was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and executed by the Tiffany Glass Company of New York circa 1888–1889. It was installed in the north wall of what was the auditorium of Newberry Hall in 1890. The window measures 8′ wide by 16′ tall, and is surrounded by an oak frame. Unlike Tiffany’s more well-known works which depicted figures or landscape scenes, the Fox memorial window features an abstract geometric design, common for Tiffany’s earliest works. The window utilizes many kinds of glass, including roundels, and chunks or nuggets, as well as a large range of colors from rich claret and deep sapphire, to greens, golds and lighter shades of pinks, yellows, and blues. The abstract design incorporates not only geometric forms, but also floral and vegetable motifs, such as the green pods around the perimeter, and the pedal-like forms at the bottom which embrace the panels naming the honorees. Reverend Charles Fox was the first professor of agriculture at the University of Michigan, appointed in June 1854, but sadly he died the following month before ever having taught a class, and the program in agriculture died with him. Rev. Fox is further memorialized on the Professors’ Monument. In 1920, the university leased Newberry Hall, and in 1937 acquired the building, with the beautiful stained glass window, as a gift from the SCA. Since 1928 Newberry Hall has been the home of the archaeological collections of the university, known as the Kelsey Museum. Note: the window is located in a secure area; contact the Kelsey Museum in advance to view.