John La Farge – Pioneering American Stained Glass Artist

John La Farge pic

John La Farge
Image: mfa.org

A Chicago, Illinois, real estate executive with a longstanding passion for collecting antique timepieces, Cameel Halim is founder of the Halim Time & Glass Museum. Among the noteworthy Art Nouveau-period works featured at Cameel Halim’s newly opened museum are those by John La Farge, a pioneer of American stained glass.

Forgotten for nearly a century after his death in the early 20th century, La Farge has been rediscovered in recent years for his enduring contribution to the artistry of stained glass. A Boston Globe article brought focus to the major 2015 Boston College exhibit titled John La Farge and the Recovery of the Sacred, which featured 90 works. This included a large-scale, restored triptych created for the Unity Church in Amherst that followed the pattern of the groundbreaking 1883 Trinity Church commission Christ in Majesty.

The Halim Time & Glass Museum features another large-scale La Farge window titled Cornucopia and Wreaths, which was commissioned in the 1880s by Frederick Lathrop Ames, a Boston railroad magnate. The richly hued piece showcases many of the pioneering techniques of the stained glass master, including webbed rippled glass, drapery glass, and confetti glass.

Learn more about the Halim Time & Glass Museum and its collection at HalimMuseum.org.

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Halim Time and Glass Museum Opens

Halim Time and Glass Museum pic

Halim Time and Glass Museum
Image: halimmuseum.org

Chicago-based real estate investor Cameel Halim and his wife have shared a passion for collecting historic timepieces for decades. On September 26, 2017, Cameel Halim and his family opened the Halim Time and Glass Museum to share their collection of fine antiques with the world.

The new museum is located at 1560 Oak Avenue in Chicago and contains a large collection of antique timepieces and expansive floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows from America and Europe. There are over 1,100 clocks and over 30 meticulously restored stained glass windows on display.

The first floor of the museum showcases stained glass works from many American artists, displayed against lit backgrounds to highlight the rich color schemes. Whereas European glass artists traditionally painted on windows, Americans “painted” by coloring the glass itself, creating new colors and effects.

The second floor is dedicated to antique timepieces. The collection includes Egyptian sundials, mechanical timepieces going back to the 1600s, chronometers, automatons, and pocket watches. On display are pieces which were commissioned for Catherine the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte. It is not just history on display, but also culture, tradition, commerce, and science.

To learn more about the museum, please visit halimmuseum.org.

Halim Time and Glass Museum – Spanning the History of Timekeeping

 

Halim Time and Glass Museum pic

Halim Time and Glass Museum
Image: halimmuseum.org

Cameel Halim is a well established Chicago area real estate executive who guides CH Ventures, LLC. With a longstanding passion for timepieces and objects of art, Cameel Halim and his wife recently opened the doors of the Halim Time and Glass Museum.

An October 2017, Daily Northwestern article described the Evanston, Illinois museum as offering a “step back in time,” with its colorful corridors filled with antique stained glass and exquisite clocks. In all, some 1,100 timepieces from locales around the world reside in the collection. The first floor is dedicated to stained glass windows and provides examples of some of the finest pieces from the American school.

The museum’s second floor is home to the diverse array of timepieces that range from those commissioned by Catherine the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte to Egyptian sundials. Also included are timekeeping devices such as automatons, chronometers, pocket watches, and tower clocks. The unique value proposition presented by the museum is that it represents a rare private collection spanning the breadth of the full history of timekeeping, in a way that ties together cultural and economic narratives.

The Career of Artist Mary Tillinghast

 

Mary Tillinghast pic

Mary Tillinghast
Image: phlf.org

The recipient of a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Cairo University, Cameel Halim is a distinguished real estate investor who serves as president of Illinois’ CH Ventures, LLC. Along with his wife and family, Cameel Halim is a passionate timepiece and stained glass collector who recently opened the Halim Time & Glass Museum to display his extensive collection, which includes masterpiece windows from acclaimed American artists including Mary Tillinghast.

Born in 1845, Tillinghast traveled extensively throughout Europe and studied painting in Paris under Emile-Auguste Carolus-Duran, who also taught American painter John Singer Sargent. Tillinghast began making decorative glass window art in 1878 upon forging a partnership with fellow painter and muralist John La Farge. Through seven years of working with La Farge, Tillinghast became an expert in textile design and worked in an executive role with the La Farge Decorative Art Company.

Working out of her Greenwich Village studio, she designed numerous windows for churches, residences, and institutions, some of which earned gold medals at various world’s fairs. Tillinghast’s first major project, Jacob’s Dream, was installed in New York City’s Grace Episcopal Church in 1887. Her other notable windows include Urania and The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which were installed in the Allegheny Observatory and the New York Historical Society, respectively.

Halim Time and Glass Museum Profiled in The New York Times

 

 Halim Time and Glass Museum pic

Halim Time and Glass Museum
Image: nytimes.com

An avid collector of stained glass and timepieces outside of his career as a real estate investor, Cameel Halim unveiled his art collection to the public at the opening of the Halim Time and Glass Museum on September 26, 2017. Cameel Halim’s museum, which is located in Evanston, Illinois, has been profiled in New York Times articles in both 2016 and 2017.

The first article, published on July 7, 2016, focused on several of the stained-glass windows that were set to be displayed at the then yet-to-be-opened museum. The article specifically discussed the process of rescuing and restoring these windows, some of which were so dirty that they were completely obscured. Among the rescued pieces that now belong to the museum are those by John La Farge and George Washington Maher, as well as frequently overlooked designers such as Mary Tillinghast and Frederick Wilson.

In 2017, days after the museum opened, The New York Times published a second article. Titled A Collector’s Dream: Creating Your Own Museum as a Legacy, the article details the motivation for opening a private institution such as the Halim Time and Glass Museum. According to the newspaper, the inspiration for the Evanston museum was to provide a way to display a collection of art that took its founder three decades to develop. By sharing with the public the hundreds of pieces in this collection, Halim and the museum aim to provide a comprehensive overview of three centuries of timepieces and stained glass.

A Historic Kenilworth, Illinois, Home Saved at the Last Hour

Skiff Home pic

Skiff Home
Image: chicago.curbed.com

As head of CH Ventures, LLC, in Chicagoland, Cameel Halim has pursued numerous development projects that involved the value-driven restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings. Cameel Halim was featured in a 2006 Chicago Sun-Times article that focused on his and his daughter Nefrette’s successful efforts to save the Skiff Home on 157 Kenilworth, in a storied northern suburb of Chicago.

The late 19th century prairie-style home was envisioned by Daniel Burnham, a well-known local architect who was director of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and creator of the Chicago Plan. Unfortunately, a wave of knock downs of historic Kenilworth homes was gaining momentum and the Skiff Home was undergoing a pre-demolition sell-off auction organized by a local developer. This involved the sale of moldings, doorknobs, and even staircase banisters.

The residence was saved at the last hour, as pressure from Citizens for Kenilworth caused the developer to reconsider her plans and agree to negotiate the sale of the Arts & Crafts home to Mr. Halim. The sale was a small victory, considering the larger issue in which Kenilworth civic leaders were unwilling to institute the landmark and historic district ordinances set in place by neighborhoods such as Lake Forest, claiming that they impinged on property owners’ rights.

A Groundbreaking Rehabilitation Project on Chicago’s Kenmore Avenue

 

CH Ventures, LLC pic

CH Ventures, LLC
Image: facebook.com

Based in Wilmette, Illinois, Cameel Halim guides CH Ventures, LLC, and maintains a focus on projects that improve Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. A 1982 article in the Chicago Tribune brought focus to Cameel Halim’s unique approach to real estate and his commitment to rehabilitation in areas that suffered from a poor image and were difficult to develop in.

One such thoroughfare was Kenmore Avenue, which runs through the Edgewater and Uptown neighborhoods and had many gang-controlled buildings. Looking beyond the area’s reputation, Mr. Halim personally connected with an Edgewater Community Council member and learned about the efforts that were underway to make the area a better place to live.

Focusing on the integrity of the neighborhood, Mr. Halim’s team undertook a painstaking restoration process that brought the common-corridor buildings back to structural soundness while maintaining historic exteriors. Original bathroom fixtures were kept, while woodwork, landscaping, and parquet floors were replaced and rehabilitated. The newly remodeled apartments were rented out at reasonable rates, which reflected the low price of the original acquisition, not the quality of the units.