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rendering Samaritan Woman Old First Reformed Church
Head of Christ: Tiffany Studios

This image comes from an illustration of the original Tiffany window at the time of its dedication. This may have been the designer's original art or a rendering of the newly installed window. The image was reproduced in The History of the Dutch Reformed Church of Breucklen…* published at the time of the building's dedication.

Link to History of the First Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Breuckelen, now known as The First Reformed Church of Brooklyn, 1654 to 1896 online




729 Carroll St
@ 7th Av
718 638 8300
Reformed Church | Park Slope, Brooklyn

Samaritan Woman_Stained Glass_Tiffany_Old First Reformed Church_Brooklynspsp
Christ and the Woman of Samaria
was designed and executed by the Tiffany Studios. The window depicts the encounter at Jacob’s Well between Jesus and the woman of Samaria, in John 4. In the upper left hand corner is the city of Samaria. Around the restored face of Christ, the green and yellow opalescent glass suggests a halo. The woman’s head is uncovered, which is more Victorian than Biblical, but it allows us to see her face. The tree above Jesus is a typical Tiffany touch. The longish inscription reads, "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
— John 4:13-14

Enjoy the typography in the memorial window panes, shown below, a wonderful example of Arts and Crafts lettering.

Restoration (ca 1998)

the Samaritan Woman before restoration Old First Reformed ChurchspThis window was selected as the first to be restored because of its significance as a work of Tiffany and for the variety of stained glass styles found in the work. Its overall appearance was darkened as a result of the clouded lexan; there was soot on the window surfaces and inside, within the glass layers. Worse, the face of Jesus was wiped away by a well-meaning, however overly zealous parishioner who wanted to clean the window but who misguidedly washed the paint from the face! Sad but alas, a true story.

The St. Ann's craftspeople who restored this window transported the entire panel back to their studio where it was completely disassembled, cleaned, reassembled and releaded. We are asked about the difference in the face of Christ as compared to other faces in the windows. At the time of the restoration, a young artist was employed to render the face, thus finishing the restoration. The artist gained experience and we consider it a very satisfactory solution until such a time as funds might be raised to do justice to the original work. To the right is displayed a portion of the artist's drawing which shows the original expression of Christ's face and flow of his hair.

Upon reinstallation, protective state-of-the-art glazing was added outside, with ventilation to allow for circulation, all of which will increase the longevity of the new lead cames, saving and protecting the window from pollution and dirt.

Kissam / Ryerson Family Window
The window was commissioned by George Kissam’s wife, Ms. Phebe Ryerson Kissam, who, it has been conjectured, was the model for the Samaritan woman. Phebe was the daughter of Henry and Phebe (De Bevoise) Ryerson and granddaughter of Jacob and Helen (Schenck) Ryerson, one of Brooklyn’s old Dutch families. The Ryerson name is perhaps more recognizable to people today as Ryse or Reis. The family was connected with the church for many generations previous to Jacob.

At the time of his death in 1889, George Kissam was one of the oldest members of the church; he had been a member for over fifty years having served many of those years as an elder and as president of the Consistory. He was serving on the Building Committee for the church at the time of his passing.

Kissam and Ryerson Memorial Window_Tiffany Studios_Old FIrst Reformed Church_Brooklyn

If you are interested in learning more about the Ryerson and Kissam families of Old First, browse the History of the First Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Breuckelen, now known as The First Reformed Church of Brooklyn, 1654 to 1896, put out by the Consistory of Old First in 1896, which is searchable online through Google Books. Also found is The Kissam Family in America from 1624 to 1825 by Edward Kissam, 1892.

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