For your consideration, two works in stained glass and epoxy by the noted Californian artist Leone McNeil Zimmer (1916-2014). The two ecclesiastical works feature religious personages and are most probably studies for larger stained glass pieces that Zimmer created for the Mendocino Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church, or Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Bragg, California. They are noteworthy for their color depth and lyrical qualities. Both are in good vintage condition with no missing or cracked glass and measure 25cm x 11cm, 17.5cm x 11cm (see photos). Wonderful décor accents and easily displayed on stands and window frames.
“Leone McNeil was born in National City, California, and grew up in Los Angeles. She earned a bachelor of education degree as an art major at the University of California, Los Angeles, raised a family, and then in her 40s went back to school, earning a second bachelor's degree and in 1965 a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Otis College of Art and Design. In 1975, she divorced her first husband, Robert McNeil, and moved to Mendocino; in 1991, she married widowed Mendocino artist Warren George Zimmer, who died in 1999. She died on April 26, 2014. McNeil's MFA project was in fused glass, but she later moved to leaded stained glass work as well as using epoxy to join the pieces of glass in her works. She also created art using pastels, acrylic paint, and watercolors, as well as some sculpture. McNeil is best known for her stained glass work in churches. She has provided glass panels for the Mendocino Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Bragg, California, St. David's Episcopal Church of Ashburn, Virginia, and the Hoag Memorial Hospital Chapel in Newport Beach, California”.
Leone designed all of the Mendocino Presbyterian Church’s stained glass. The symbolism in each piece is weighted with the Spirituality of the biblical stories and coordinated with aesthetics that empower their presence as well as being pleasing to the eye.
In 1969 LEONE MCNEIL was fortunate to be able to sit in at the trial of Sirhan B. Sirhan, who murdered Robert F. Kennedy as he was leaving the Ambassador Hotel after winning the California Democratic Primary nomination in June of 1968. She may have had the benefit of being the sister-in-law of Albert Lee Stephens, a Federal Judge, which enabled her to gain access as a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal. The important thing is that she took her sketchbook. Her moving illustrations from the trial will be on exhibit at the Mendocino Art Center, June 7-14.
Just four years earlier, in 1965, Leone had earned her MFA from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. This was a perfect opportunity to practice portrait painting. As the trial progressed she honed her ability to grab expressions with a few lines and to define moods with light and shadow.
Six years after the trial, she moved to Mendocino, into the house directly across from the Mendocino Art Center. The paintings and sketches went into a drawer. They sat there for 40 years while she developed a career in stained glass. During that time she created the windows for Mendocino Presbyterian Church, two others in Fort Bragg, and one in Virginia. She also did commissioned work for residences in the area.
In 1991, she married Warren Zimmer and found joy again in watercolors. Leone and Warren shared many fun trips painting, and at home, took portrait classes together. This showing of the courtroom illustrations from the trial represents a full circle. Leone died in April 2014 at the age of 97.
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