A First-Of-Its-Kind: A Stained Glass Window Depicting A Dark-Skinned Christ

Students work on a mosaic tile project with professor Virginia Raguin.

The Boston Globe | Associated Press | Fox News | BET | Artnet | The Providence Journal

One of the earliest public examples of Jesus Christ portrayed as a person of color was rediscovered recently in a renovated Rhode Island church, stirring up questions about race, the state’s role in the slave trade, and gender equality in 19th-century New England.

Virginia Raguin, an emerita professor of humanities in the visual arts department at Holy Cross, and an expert on the history of stained-glass art, told the Associated Press in a recent interview that she believes the skin tones in the nearly 150-year-old stained-glass church window to be original and deliberate. 

According to Raguin, the window, commissioned in 1877, could be the first of its kind. “It should stand as a landmark in American culture,” Raguin told The Boston Globe.

Relevant Coverage:

The Providence Journal, Apr. 1

Artnet, Apr. 10

The Boston Globe, May 6

Associated Press, May 14 (also ran in New York Post, Los Angeles Times and Fortune)

Fox News, May 15

BET, May 17