Behind the Scenes Tour: Tiffany, Tiffany, Tiffany: St. Mark’s Church

There are few places where you can stand in the middle of a room and almost everything you see is made or decorated by Tiffany:  glass, paint, finishes, etc.  St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on St. Paul Street, with its entire interior designed by the Tiffany Company of New York, is one of them.  Please join our host, Reverend Dale Dusman, for a tour and a bit of Tiffany overload at this hidden Baltimore gem and us.

Tour Information

St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church | 1900 St. Paul Street, Baltimore MD 21218 (corner of St. Paul St. & North Ave.)
Saturday, January 28, 2012 | 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
$10 for members | $20 for non-members
RSVP for the tour today!

In the 1890’s, the St. Mark’s congregation engaged architect Joseph Evans Sperry (who would later go on to design Baltimore’s Bromo Seltzer Tower, among other buildings) to help them build a new church.  Sperry came up with a Romanesque design that is known for its heavy stones, arched doors and windows, and short columns.  Romanesque design comes from central and western Europe, where many of St. Mark’s congregants also traced their lineages.  (An Estonian congregation called EELK Baltimore Markuse Kogudus continues to use St. Mark’s for worship each month.)  In 1898 the church was completed, and since then has been one of Baltimore’s outstanding examples of Romanesque architecture.  On the inside, St. Mark’s engaged the Tiffany Glass Decorating Company, under the direction of artist Rene de Quelen (Tiffany’s head artist), to come up with a plan that was equally fitting to the grand architecture.  De Quelen used a Byzantine approach, with deep colors, lots of jewels, and many mosaics.  Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of Tiffany’s founder and then head of the company, had studied art in Paris and had spent time in Spain and North Africa where he learned about this approach to decorating.  The interior boasts Tiffany windows and Rubio marble inlaid with mother of pearl for the altar, pulpit, and lectern.  Our host for the tour is Reverend Dale Dusman of St. Mark’s.  Although Reverend Dusman’s calling is the church, he has steeped himself in the history of St. Mark’s and its architecture.  Please join us on this All-Things-Tiffany tour.  We are sure you will never drive or walk past the 1900 block of St. Paul Street the same way again.

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