Beauty in the Most Unexpected Places

Today I was walking around West Baltimore with a reporter from WAMU, a NPR affiliate in DC.  I was showing him around, talking about housing policy and a million other topics…when we turned a corner…and happened upon these homes:

Mosaic House 1

Mosaic House 1

Mosaic House 2

Mosaic House 2

Each home is covered in literally thousands of pieces of stained glass and mirror.  From the sidewalk to the roof, including the windows and doors. At first it struck me as odd — why would someone stick glass and mirror all over two rowhomes?

But then on closer examination, I saw that not only did someone do this — but that each piece was cut and intentionally placed.

Detail of cut glass and mirror

Detail of cut glass and mirror

More detail of the mosaic

More detail of the mosaic

This had to have taken an incredible amount of time — and patience.  Thanks to Julie Scharper at the Sun, the mystery of the mosaic houses was quickly solved.  They’re the work of a local artist, Loring Cornish, whose work is shown at the American Visionary Art Museum here in Baltimore. Baltimore Brew profiled Mr. Cornish and his work in 2010.

One of the things I love about Baltimore is the fact that no matter where you are in the city, you can turn a corner and see something random.  Perhaps of incredible beauty. It’s another indication that this is indeed a city worth fighting for. Thank you, Mr. Cornish!



  1. William J Earley

    There is an artist who does this kid of work in a shop next to the bar ‘Horse You came in On’ in Fell’s point. I wonder if this is the same guy? His house maybe?

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