On its 30th anniversary year, the Deering Estate Foundation is following its mission to preserve and enhance the Deering Estate by unveiling two newly restored pieces of stained-glass on permanent display.
“It’s our perfect project for the year,” said President of the Deering Estate Foundation Becky Roper Matkov.
The stained-glass pieces depict the flight of the Holy family to Egypt while escaping the threat of violence from King Herod. The motif is relatively common in art, with it often being the last narrative in the nativity story. The larger panel is dated 1522 and the smaller panel is believed to pre-medieval.
Inventoried and photographed by Charles Deering back in 1924 at his estate in Spain, the pieces have traveled across oceans and amongst family members until recently where they sat warehoused in poor condition for rediscovery.
After they were found, inspiration struck. It was a group effort of private donors, the 100 Ladies of Deering and the Deering Estate Foundation, to raise around $75,000 for their restoration. For nearly a year, RLA Conservation (Rosa Lowinger) painstakingly restored and brought life back to the fragile stained-glass art.
“These panels are spectacular and they really show the interest of Charles Deering as an art collector,” President of the 100 Ladies of Deering Maria McDonald explained. “He collected art well beyond just paintings and by acquiring these pieces we can tell the story of Charles Deering just a little better.”
Historic Preservation and Curatorial Manager for the Deering Estate Bethany Gray explained, “The smaller panel hung in Charles Deering’s Maricel Estate in Sitges, Spain as well as right here in the Stone House. It is one of four panels in a series. The whereabouts of the other three are unknown.”
Similar pieces were featured in European cathedrals as early as the 5th century, though many were destroyed during the Reformation and World War I. Both hung at various times in the Stone House during Charles Deering’s lifetime.
At the VIP event held October 18, there were many wide eyes and pointing fingers at the display, among them Scott and Yvonne Silver.
“It’s great to come back here after more than a year of being away,” said Scott. “I’ve toured the rooms and this place has really come back to life, especially with the addition of the incredible Flight into Egypt stained-glass.”
You can go see the fully restored stained-glass in the same building they originally hung almost 100 years ago. For hours and information, please contact the Deering Estate at 305-235-1668. They are located at 16701 SW 72nd Avenue in Palmetto Bay.
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