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.

Advertisements

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.

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.

A Sampling of Timepieces from the Halim Time and Glass Museum

Halim Time and Glass Museum pic

Halim Time and Glass Museum
Image: halimmuseum.org

A real estate investor for over four decades, Cameel Halim serves as president of CH Ventures LLC. A timepiece collector, Cameel Halim has a collection of over 600 clocks and 200 pocket watches on display at the Halim Time and Glass Museum.

The museum showcases ancient timepieces from different periods in history, most dating prior to 1800. Objects on display include a rare elephant clock from the 17th century, which features a man tied to a tree. Every hour, the man is circled by a lion and a leopard, signifying the “death of the hour.”

Other clocks that stand out include an English skeleton clock enclosed in a glass dome that was shattered during World War II, when the Germans bombed London. The dome has since been glued back together. Another English clock keeps time as a marble zigzags along a track every 30 seconds.

Historic Chicago-Area House Saved from Demolition

 

Cameel Halim

Cameel Halim, a civil engineering graduate of Cairo University, is the president of CH Ventures, LLC, in Wilmette, Illinois, and owner of the Halim Time and Glass Museum in Evanston. Beyond his professional activities, Cameel Halim enjoys engaging with the local community, once saving a local historic home from demolition.

In 2005, a historic Chicago-area home was stripped of windows, appliances, and other vintage fixtures before property developer Antoinette Vigilante put the building up for sale. Vigilante had considered demolishing the building at 157 Kenilworth Avenue, which was designed by renowned Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham, though this possible outcome was met with considerable outcry from preservationists and the local public. Kenilworth has no laws governing the preservation of historical landmarks; however, the town was able to delay demolition for more than half a year.

Mr. Halim ultimately purchased the house for $2.35 million. The sale represented a collaboration between Halim and Vigilante, who sold the property at a considerable loss, and was made possible thanks to the village of Kenilworth, which worked to reimburse Vigilante for between $40,000 and $50,000 in fees. The sale was recognized with a small celebration at the home by citizens and preservationists.

Restoring Kenmore Avenue’s Image

 

Edgewater

Edgewater
Image: Edgewater.org

The owner of the newly-opened Halim Family Museum of Time & Glass in Evanston, Illinois, Cameel Halim employs his real estate experience to save local historic buildings. Alongside working to prevent the destruction of old houses in the Kenilworth area, Cameel Halim has also revitalized old and run-down buildings of little significance, such as common-corridor apartments on Kenmore Avenue in Edgewater.

The Edgewater Community Council became concerned about certain buildings on Kenmore Avenue which were becoming a blight on the neighborhood. These buildings included a particularly problematic series of common-corridor apartments, which have all the apartment doors opening out into a single corridor. Their existence contributed substantially to the area’s slipping reputation.

So far 17 of the 47 common-corridor buildings have changed ownership and been rehabilitated. Low acquisition costs allow the new owners to offer the renovated apartments for reasonably low rents to tenants who have been screened for the likelihood of stability. One of the buildings also serves as the location for an artists-in-residence program headed by Jack O’Callaghan.

These efforts continue to bear fruit in the neighborhood, bringing back its respectability and driving out undesirable elements. The new owners’ success also proves that buildings and neighborhoods in economically challenged areas can gain new life through investment and committed rehabilitation efforts.

The Victorian Cameo Glass Pieces of Thomas Webb & Sons

Halim Family Museum of Time Glass pic

Halim Family Museum of Time Glass
Image: halimmuseum.com

Cameel Halim is an experienced Evanston, Illinois, real estate investment entrepreneur who has been collecting rare timepieces and objet d’art for decades. In 2016, Cameel Halim’s long-held dream of opening a museum featuring his extensive collection is coming to fruition with the Halim Family Museum of Time & Glass. Among the featured pieces at the soon-to-open institution is a Thomas Webb & Sons cameo glass jar from the late 19th century.

One of the most well-established Victorian glasshouses, Thomas Webb & Sons maintained a location in Stourbridge, England. At the studio, the brothers Thomas and George Woodall were particularly known for their production of classically inspired cameo glass. This style of glass came to popularity in the early 19th century, as craftsmen tried to replicate a dark blue color specific to an ancient vase unearthed in a Roman sarcophagus.

It took until the 1870s until a comparable modern cameo glassmaking technique was perfected that incorporated advanced techniques such as acid etching. Today, Thomas Webb cameo glass pieces are highly sought after and known for their rich, vibrant blues, reds, and yellows.