Spencer Baird Nichols (No. 1)

Spencer Nichols is probably best known as a designer of church windows and murals for Tiffany Studios. After his retirement from Tiffany he began easel painting around 1917 and found it challenging to transition from commercial to fine art. He moved to Bronxville at about the same time as his brother, Hobart, but relocated to Kent, Connecticut, in 1922 after his 10-year-old son Mather died of typhoid. Spencer returned to Bronxville for a brief period after a fire destroyed his Kent home and a large portion of his artistic output.

Flowers in a Vase is a robust work, more expressionist or modern in feel than those of his Bronxville artist-neighbors. His colors are bright and luminescent, reminiscent of the jewel-like tones of the stained glass windows that he designed for Tiffany Studios. Helen Nichols, the artist’s wife, was an avid gardener — the peonies in the painting may well have been cultivated by her in Kent where the painting was executed.

SPENCER BAIRD NICHOLS (1875-1950) Flowers in a Vase, after 1922, oil on board, 24 x 38 inches
SPENCER BAIRD NICHOLS (1875-1950) Flowers in a Vase, after 1922, oil on board, 24 x 38 inches
About the author

The Bronxville Historical Conservancy was established in 1998 to further the understanding and appreciation of the history and current life of the Village of Bronxville, New York. The Conservancy furthers its mission through the presentation of programs, publications, lectures, and special events that foster an awareness of the Village’s architectural, artistic, and cultural heritage and lends its support for projects designed to strengthen and preserve those legacies.