Skip to main content
John La Farge Stained Glass

Grace Church

Memorial Window for Lizzie Shinn

Memorial Window for Lizzie Shinn, 1894

Grace Church
76 Eldredge Street
Newton MA 02458


Grace Church in Newton, MA is an impressive English Gothic structure with a tall tower at one corner of the church. It was the first stone church in Newton.[1] The interior  has a tall nave with side aisles, with prominent timber beams above the polished granite columns. The designer was Alexander R. Esty, a noted church architect based in Framingham, MA, who built many other churches in the area.

The La Farge window in Grace is a memorial to Lizzie Shinn, who died of tuberculosis in 1892 at age twenty six. She was the daughter of the rector, Rev. George Wolfe Shinn who served Grace Church for thirty one years. The window was dedicated in 1894, and depicts a full length figure of a woman with a halo looking up toward heaven. She is dressed in classical robes. An inscription above her reads “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Below her feet is a panel with the inscription “The gift of friends. In loving memory of Lizzie Shinn, who entered paradise Oct. 13, 1892.” The woman is surrounded by plates of opalescent and variegated blue glass, suggesting a heavenly sky. The face of the woman is that of La Farge’s studio assistant and mistress, Mary Whitney, who appears in many of his windows.





[1] Don Kennedy, “History Minute 6,” Accessed June 10, 2015.