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Jeffrey Rush Higgins Collection on Frederick Wilson

Identifier: MS-0068

Scope and Contents

The Jeffrey Rush Higgins Collection on Frederick Wilson, 1885-1990 is arranged into three series: Series I. Personal Papers, 1885-1990; Series II. Scrapbooks, circa 1892-1932; and Series III. Artwork, 1887-1930.

Series I. Personal Papers, 1885-1990

This series contains correspondence, photographs, ephemera and biographical information. The correspondence includes letters by Frederick Wilson written to his family as well as commission letters, a note from Wilson’s assistants at Tiffany Studios and a letter from Louis C. Tiffany. The photographs are primarily of Frederick Wilson and his family. Items such as newspaper clippings, and church programs and bulletins constitute the ephemera materials. The biographical information makes up the bulk of this series and contains correspondence between two of Frederick Wilson’s grandchildren—Mary Campbell Higgins and Edward Wilson Hewett—discussing genealogical and historical information about their grandfather.

Series II. Scrapbooks, circa 1892-1932

This series consists of two scrapbooks. The first scrapbook was compiled by Frederick Wilson and includes assorted memorabilia such as watercolor studies, pencil and ink drawings, photographs, poems, letters, programs, and newspaper and magazine clippings. Items that were inserted in the front of this scrapbook were removed and housed in a separate box. The second scrapbook contains photographed window design drawings by Frederick Wilson.

Series III. Artwork, 1887-1930

This series contains original artwork by Frederick Wilson such as watercolors and sketches as well as photographs of his design drawings for windows.


  • 1885-1990


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

Frederick Wilson (1858-1932) was born in Dublin, Ireland to Charles and Elizabeth Wilson. He and his six siblings were raised in Liverpool and London and though little is known about Wilson’s early artistic education, it is probable that he received some training from his father who was an artist. Why and how he became a stained glass designer is also unknown, but he lived and worked in England as an artist until he was 34. In 1891 he married Mary Gwladys Morgan and the following year they immigrated to the United States. The couple had three children: Gladys, Sylvia and Beatrice.

After arriving in America, Wilson worked briefly for Alfred Godwin and Company, a stained glass studio in Philadelphia, and in 1893 he began working for the prestigious glass designer Louis Comfort Tiffany at his studios in New York City. The ecclesiastical designs he created were successfully transformed into the opalescent stained glass windows favored by churches at the turn of the century. Out of the team of religious window designers employed by Tiffany, “Wilson emerged as the most gifted, prolific and long-serving.” He was appointed head of the ecclesiastical department at Tiffany Studios in 1899 and continued working for Tiffany until 1923 when he and his family decided to move to Los Angeles, CA. In California, Wilson worked for The Judson Studios, which was one of the most prominent stained glass studios on the West Coast. He remained there until his death in 1932.

Altogether Frederick Wilson created designs for at least six different firms: Heaton, Butler and Bayne in London; Alfred Godwin and Company in Philadelphia; Tiffany Studios in New York City; The Gorham Manufacturing Company, Ecclesiastical Department in Providence, Rhode Island; The Los Angeles Art Glass Company; and The Judson Studios in Los Angeles.

Jeffrey Rush Higgins is a great-grandson of Frederick Wilson.


Duncan, A., Eidelberg, M., & Harris, N. (1989). "Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany." New York: Abrams.

Wright, D. C. (2009). Frederick Wilson: 50 years of stained glass design. "Journal of Glass Studies," 51, 198-214.


9.2 Linear Feet (1 half Hollinger box and 7 flat boxes)

Custodial History

Gift of Jeffrey Rush Higgins, 2011.
Jeffrey Rush Higgins Collection on Frederick Wilson, 1885-1990
A Guide to the Collection
Sandra Glascock
July 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA