Walter Cole Brigham and marine mosaics

Mary Clerkin Higgins

Abstract

The artist Walter Cole Brigham (1870-1941) developed a unique method for fabricating stained glass windows and objects de art using a technique quite unlike the traditional lead-came or copper-foil techniques, where some type of metal provides the structural support for the glass. Brigham’s method relied on the ability of his proprietary lead-putty mixture to hold shells, rocks, glass chunks, fragments of glass bottles, flat glass, and other materials imbedded in it to a transparent plate glass support. The putty network of a large window in the collection of The Brooklyn Museum of Art had weakened considerably over the years necessitating the development of a consolidation treatment using Acryloid B-72. As part of the treatment EDS analysis of certain materials was undertaken.

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