Window W3

Christ the Redeemer
(“the Good Shepherd”), Stevens Memorial

This is the third, or southern-most, roundel on the west side. It depicts Christ with a ram over his shoulders. It is called “Christ the Redeemer” by the La Farge Catalogue Raisonné. La Farge also referred to it as the “Good Shepherd” in his account books.

The inscription, which is fully leaded, not painted, reads, around the top of the window, “IN MEMORY OF EDWARD ABIEL STEVENS D.D. / FOR NEARLY 50 YEARS A MISSIONARY TO BURMA / BORN IN GEORGIA JAN 23 1814.” The lower inscription reads, “DIED RANGOON JUNE 19 1886 / AN AMBASSADOR IS SENT AMONG THE HEATHEN / OBAD. 1”.

This window is one of the few of Judson’s about which there is much detail in the La Farge records. Hi account book records a payment for it of $350 on March 2, 1895. The window was installed about a year later, in February, 1896, and the La Farge letterpress book contains three letters and one receipt of payment in that month. The letters, written by La Farge’s son Bancel, who managed the studio, indicate that La Farge had some difficulty getting paid. The first letter was to the window’s donor, Abiel Stevens’ son, in Feb. 7 asking for payment. A second to Rev. Edward Judson on Feb. 13 requests his help because La Farge was in desperate need of the money. A payment for $350.00 came from Judson on Feb. 18, according to La Farge’s accounts; Judson Church’s account book lists the date as Feb. 28. There is a final letter to Stevens fro Bancel La Farge on Feb. 26 asking to him in regard to his account. The Judson ledger indicates that Stevens repaid the church on March 25. The church also records a payment to the Decorative Stained Glass Company on Feb. 28 for $16.30 fo repairing a window, although it is not clear whether this is the Stevens window or another. The La Farge account book lists a final payment for this window on July 19, 1896, when the Decorative Stained Glass Company received $15.00 for “alterations” made after the window’s installation.1

There are three known sketches for this window. One is very different from the window as executed; it shows a Byzantine surround. A second, only 4-1/2” in diameter, shows the window as executed, complete with inscriptions. The third, only 3-1/2” in diameter, is a detail of the medallion.2

© 1995, Julie L. Sloan, used with permission

  1. La Farge record book and letterpress books, La Farge Family Papers, Sterling Library, Yale University; Judson Memorial Cash Journal and Ledger, Nov. 1, 1894 – April 1, 1909, Judson Memorial archives.
  2. The Byzantine-design sketch is in the collection of the Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, Indiana; the other two sketches are in the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Art.
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