Editorial from the Fall 2013 issue of The Stained Glass Quarterly


I write this editorial at the end of a week that began at The Elms Resort and Spa in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, the site of the next Stained Glass Association of America Annual Summer Conference. I spent several days helping to plan events for the Conference but also enjoying views like the ones above. I took my sketch pad with me and spent some time outdoors — sometimes on the pool deck, sometimes in the gazebo (from which the photo above left was taken), and sometimes on the covered porch near the Café at the Elms — drawing and enjoying the relaxing environment that this amazing hotel offers.

I don’t think I can stress strongly enough that this Annual Summer Conference is going to be very different from those of past years. This Conference adopts a new orientation — perhaps I should say, a new atmosphere — made possible by a site like that at the Elms. The hallmark elements of education, information, networking, and fun that are part of all SGAA Conferences will be maintained while a new one is added: relaxation.

To those readers who are artists, I suggest that you bring pencils, pens, pastels, watercolors… whatever it is that you use to create, and be ready to enjoy using them in this wonderful and relaxing atmosphere… or, if I can perhaps coin a new word, artmosphere. But I also suggest that you bring something new… some new medium. Perhaps it could be something you’ve been wanting to try, or perhaps it could be something you’ve been wanting to return to and explore further. Regardless, the Elms is the place to try it.

And for those who are not artists, I suggest you bring a sketch pad, anyway. You are going to find yourself inspired by the grounds of the Elms, and, if you aren’t an artist when you get there, you may find yourself wanting to become one by the time you leave. Besides, even if you can draw only a stick figure, you’ll likely find it is the finest, most inspired stick figure you’ve drawn in a good, long while. And, most importantly, you’ll find drawing it both relaxing and refreshing.

I’m very excited about next summer’s Annual Summer Conference. I hope you’ll start making plans to join us and take advantage of all that an SGAA Annual Summer Conference has to offer. Also, please plan on entering the stained glass panel competition. It will be beautifully displayed in a sunlit hallway outside the Grand Ballroom at the Elms and will be a real opportunity to showcase the beauty of stained glass.


St. Marks UMC, Carmel, Indiana

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church was one of the stops on the Stained Glass Association of America‘s tour of area stained glass at its 104th Annual Summer Conference, held last June in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Annual Summer Conference has been a feature of the SGAA since 1903.

Some of these photographs were published in The Stained Glass Quarterly’s Summer 2013 issue and can be seen in the article covering the Conference [pdf].

Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church, Kokomo, Indiana

These photos are of windows at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Kokomo, Indiana. I took these in June 2013 while on the Stained Glass Association of America’s annual stained glass tour as part of the INDY 2013 conference.

The Annual Summer Conference has been a feature of the SGAA for more than 100 years. Some of these photographs were published in The Stained Glass Quarterly’s conference review article, which is available online as a PDF.

Visit to Kokomo Opalescent Glass — INDY2013

At its Annual Summer Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, in June, 2013, members of the Stained Glass Association of America visited the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company production facility in Kokomo, Indiana. This visit was part of KOG’s 125th Anniversary Celebration.

More photographs from this Conference were published in The Stained Glass Quarterly’s Conference coverage article.

Stained Glass Interview

The text below is from a recent interview I gave on stained glass for a website that features information on taking up the craft as a hobby.


KM: Richard, thanks for joining us from the Stained Glass Association of America. What exactly is the SGAA?

RG: The Stained Glass Association of America is a more-than 100 year old trade association for professional stained, decorative, and architectural art glass artists. We provide education and advocacy for the craft and its practitioners, as well as publish a magazine called The Stained Glass Quarterly, which covers both contemporary and historic stained glass in the United States and around the world.

KM: At Knox Makers, we delve into a Stained Glass 101 workshop in November. Do you have any advice for those looking to get started in stained glass?

SGAA: Don’t spend too much on tools and glass until you cut yourself for the first time. Also, take time to learn the fundamentals of structure. Not every cut that can be made should be made. Stained glass has a certain inherent beauty because of the material from which it is made; however, if structure or technique is lacking then the finished piece will not endure.

KM: There is a growing trend of DIY groups popping up such as Makerspaces and Hackerspaces, where art and technology share common ground in shared spaces and learning environments. How do you see stained glass fitting into these DIY cultures?

RG: Stained glass is very much a hands-on craft and the basics of craft technique haven’t changed a lot in a very long time. There are more electric tools being used today, of course, and there is a wider variety of tools and materials from which to select. The problem in learning stained glass has always been finding training. Many of the craft techniques can be very effectively taught through new technologies that allow more interaction and allow the use of video and animation to teach craft skills.

KM: Many interesting projects seem to be popping up lately where different crafts, skills, sciences, and materials are joined together in unique ways. How do you see stained glass as a craft and as a material fitting in with these type of projects?

RG: There has been some very exciting application made recently of solar panels incorporated into stained glass installations. The fusing of an art that relies on the sun with a green energy technology that provides electricity from sunlight is something that has almost limitless room for exploration. I expect there will be a lot happening on that front over the next several decades. Also, new techniques such as laminating and fusing are becoming more widely used in architectural stained glass, many of which are giving a whole new look to what people can produce in glass.

KM: Alright, so walk me through the history of stained glass. How did it get started, and how has it evolved?

RG: The origin of stained glass as an architectural art is very much obscured by the mist of antiquity. We know that the oldest known fragments of a true stained glass window are about 1500 years old, but this was a developed window. The fragments indicate an already fairly developed craft technique. So, stained glass itself must date back farther even than that.

We know that in first-century Rome, they were glazing building openings with glass. We also know that the glass itself was not very transparent and tended to distort the view quite a bit. It would make sense that stained glass would have developed quickly at this time; the materials and the need were in place. Romans wanted to cover window opening with glass; it was far easier for them to make multiple small pieces of glass and bind them together with lead. From that, it is a very short step to making designs with the colors, textures, and lead, thus giving actual stained glass windows.

The history of stained glass as an art is very interesting and is full of the ebbs and flows that one sees in most any art with an ancient pedigree. The history of stained glass as a craft is somewhat shorter; frankly, not a lot has changed – or, at the very least, has to change – in the way a stained glass window is made. Sure; on the one hand you could make the argument that sheets of art glass today can be cut by computer-controlled water jet, and that’s valid. But, on the other hand, most glass for stained glass is still cut by hand by a skilled craftsperson; it’s glazed into a window using lead, which is traditional, or copper foil, which has been in use for a little more than 100 years; it is waterproofed and reinforced; and it is installed in an opening. It’s all very much a hands-on thing.

Glass cutters today are generally metal or plastic tools with a steel wheel that scores the glass; before the industrial revolution, diamond-tipped styluses were used to score the glass; before that, an iron poker was heated and used to score the glass. Still, you could take a craftsman from a thousand years ago into today’s studio, show him how to use the modern cutter, and he would quickly be up to speed on cutting glass. He’d find today’s plug-in soldering irons and steel wheel cutters incredibly useful, but not all that different from the tools he used in antiquity.

KM: What will be the profile of the stained glass customer in the future?

RG: Look for an expansion of stained glass in private residences as people look for more ways to add art to their homes and to make them more unique. Catholic and mainline Protestant churches will continue to use stained glass in their buildings; there will probably be an expansion in the use of stained glass installed in light boxes in churches instead of in traditional window openings so that the stained glass can be illuminated when desired, but darkened for the use of PowerPoint and similar technologies.

KM: What are some stained glass innovations that can get us excited about the future of stained glass?

RG: Look for more installations combining green energy with stained glass. That’s an area where glass can excel in a way that few other arts can.

KM: Do you see the DIY stained glass community as competition, or an asset?

RG: It’s an entirely different field than the professional studio, and yet many of the people who own studios today and do stained glass professionally started out as hobbyists. It’s a matter of learning the fundamentals of design, fabrication, and art; someone who has the desire and is willing to invest the time can go far.

KM: What are the biggest challenges to the professional stained glass world?

RG: The biggest challenges are also areas that offer huge opportunity. For example: restoration. There are a large number of fantastic windows in North America that are reaching an age and condition at which they need some work. It’s a new field, here, and much of this country is very different than Europe, where stained glass restoration is more established. It calls for discovering new techniques and adapting those that are already in use so that the windows are preserved in a way that makes sense from an art and craft standpoint and to the owners and stewards of the windows in question. They need to be preserved for future generations; it needs to be done in a way that makes sense.

KM: Got any favorite historical stained glass artists and works of art to refer us to?

RG: Many. A good starting point is with Charles Connick and John LaFarge. They’re both Americans, and they aren’t very far apart in the time they were creating stained glass. They’re worlds apart in their approach to it. You can really see in their work some of the differing possibilities in stained glass art. It’s exploring that sort of thing that The Stained Glass Quarterly is all about.

KM: Any closing thoughts?

RG: The coming decades will be very interesting for the art and craft of architectural stained glass. New technologies will continue to make their mark on stained glass, just as they do on every other aspect of our lives. The craft of stained glass – the actual craft techniques used to imagine, design, fabricate, and install – is very solid; new processes will be added, and new tools may change some aspects of the craft, but overall good craft technique is good craft technique.

It is the art of stained glass that is the real frontier. Art is very much a human endeavor. It has to be; after all, its purpose is to serve as a means for the communication of often transcendental ideas between persons and even between generations… sometimes across vast spans of time. To remain relevant, stained glass has to speak to today’s viewer in a language that is accessible to him and also carry that message forward in a way that will say to those who come after us who we were, what we believed, and why it mattered.

Some of what is being done in stained glass today is amazing; there is a very definite language of stained glass and the future of that language depends to a great deal on what was done in the past. And yet the future is wide open.

KM: Alright, we appreciate your time tremendously, Richard. Our website serves our local community and the members of our local ‘space, but our readership is global and we are building relationships with sister ‘spaces around the globe. DIY spaces such as ours are filled with unique varieties of learners and makers of all types, running a gamut of skills, crafts, and materials. This can range from 3D models printed with plastic extruders to electronic inventions, woodwork, metalwork, and beyond. With all this in mind, I have one last request: Issue a simple stained glass DIY challenge to our readers using any theme, any rules, and any materials of your choosing.

RG: The SGAA frequently has competitions or design challenges in conjunction with our annual summer conferences. Our next conference, which will take place in Indianapolis in the summer of 2013, has a competition with an open theme; maximum size for the panel is four square feet, with no dimension to exceed 24 inches. Any construction technique is allowed; however, the competition is also a part of Kokomo Opalescent Glass’s 125th anniversary celebration. All glass products used in the panel must be from Kokomo (www.kog.com).

This competition is open to everyone; if any of your readers are interested in entering the competition, they can find the complete rules and entry forms at the Stained Glass Association of America’s website: www.stainedglass.org.

Coming SGAA Tour in Indianapolis

We are only days away from the Stained Glass Association of America’s Annual Summer Conference and its traditional stained glass tour. Some of the installations we will visit include:


I love the cave-like feel of this chapel and the way it harkens back to the worship practices of ancient Christians.


Another stop on the tour features an entire church full of windows made from Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company’s glass. This church, St. Patrick’s, Kokomo, Indiana, has some absolutely beautiful windows.

Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church, Fargo, North Dakota

by Richard Gross


This article originally appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of The Stained Glass Quarterly. To download an Acrobat [pdf] version of this article in its original format, please click this link.

One of the great things about being editor of this magazine is that, from time to time, I get to venture out of the office and visit some places with amazing stained glass. One of those trips happened in early September, when I got to visit Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church in Fargo, ND.

This was my first time visiting either South or North Dakota, and the drive to Fargo did not disappoint; I passed through some beautiful countryside in South Dakota and arrived in Fargo, just a short distance across the border into North Dakota, after dark. The next morning, I left before sunrise to be at the church in time for their seven o’clock daily Mass. The church was only an exit or two from where I stayed, and when I exited the Interstate and started east toward the church, I saw the silhouette of it immediately in the early light, looking as if it were right in front of me. What I did not immediately realize is that I was still more than a mile away from the church.

To call Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church big is an understatement; it is impressive on a scale not often seen. It is also very beautiful and is the sort of building that disproves the notion that “they don’t build them like that anymore.”

Dedicated in 2010, Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church enjoys a parish population of around 1,600 families. The church makes extensive use of marble and includes murals, bronze work, medallions, and, of course, stained glass. There is new glass by the Conrad Pickel Studio of Vero Beach, Florida, and repurposed stained glass from various studios. The overall liturgical design was by Liturgical Environs, PC, of Phoenix, Arizona, and was overseen by Fr. Brian Bachmeier, Fr. Paul Duchschere, and a committee of parish volunteers.

The primary worship space is designed around a central plan in which the many decorative and teaching elements and the different areas of the worship space relate to one another: medallions on the floor relate to the stained glass above them; shrines and windows that face each other are linked. The steps of this central plan move around the nave’s center aisle and create a tapestry that weaves together many of the core elements of the fabric of belief important to the Catholic faithful.

The journey begins at the God’s Creation and Baptism window, located in the choir loft opposite the sanctuary. This window unites a symbol representing God, with the themes of creation and baptism in an overall design focused on the goodness of God’s creation and on the goodness of man, created to the likeness and image of God.

Creation and Baptism – This window is by the Conrad Pickel Studio, Vero Beach, Florida, and is installed at Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church, Fargo, North Dakota.

The pinnacle of this window makes reference to the Trinitarian reality of God, the source of both creation and redemption, with a triangle that represents the threeness of persons and a circle to represent the unity of divinity; an eye is incorporated into the design to represent the vision of God who watches over his creation, the Church, the parish family, and each individual. This symbol is encircled by Latin text that translates as “And behold it was very good,” which quotes Genesis 1:31 and is the statement made when God saw the entirety of his creation. Directly below this element is a presentation of the cross, the instrument by which God made salvation possible through his son, Jesus Christ.

The themes presented below in this window speak to both salvation history and to the sacraments. The Creation segment, the left of this window and part of the Salvation History series of windows in the church, illustrates the entirety of creation, with Adam and Eve present as the summit of God’s creative act. They are surrounded by the Garden of Eden before the Fall. This segment reminds the viewer of the consequences of sin while at the same time speaking to the very positive themes of marriage and family. It is crowned by a round segment that illustrates Genesis 3:14-15, “The LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel,’” which prefigures the coming of Christ.

While Creation depicts the beginning of the created world, Baptism depicts the beginning of the individual’s supernatural life. Baptism is the gateway to all of the sacraments, so it is very fitting that it should be shown in this first window, which is positioned directly above the main doors to the nave — the gateways to the church. This segment of the window depicts the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan by John the Baptist; a dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, descends upon Jesus amidst rays of sunlight, thus representing all three Persons of the Holy Trinity. In the foreground of this window, one sees a fish leaping in the water. The stylized Ichthys fish has long been a symbol with deep meaning to the Christian believer; this fish represents that tradition and reminds that the Christian life begins in baptism.

Above the Baptism scene is an icon presenting a traditional symbol of baptism, a shell holding baptismal water and from which three drops fall, symbolizing baptism “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” the traditional and proper formula of baptism.

Dividing the two scenes in this window is a tree. On the Creation side of the window, the tree appears as the Tree of Life, on which grows abundant fruit. On the Baptism side of the window, the tree becomes a weeping willow, symbolizing both Paradise lost and foreshadowing the passion and death of Jesus upon a cross. The Serpent is seen at the base of this tree, entering the Garden of Eden. It is through the temptations of the Serpent that sin entered the world, but it is through the waters of baptism that sin is forgiven. It is a tradition of the Church dating to the early Church Fathers that Adam, the first man, brought sin into the world through a tree and that Christ, the second Adam, overcame sin through the wood of a tree in the Holy Cross.

The second stop in the journey around the nave of Sts. Anne and Joachim Catholic Church is before a window depicting Abraham and his wife Sarah. This window is above the Paternity Shrine and is a part of the church’s Salvation History series.

Abraham and Sarah – This is part of the Salvation History series of windows.

This window shows Abraham and Sarah departing Ur with its pagan shrines for the Promised Land, to which God will lead them. This event is foundational to both the Jewish and Christian faith. In the window, Abraham is pointing to the stars, which reminds us of God’s promise to make his descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. The largest of these stars reminds the viewer of the Star of Bethlehem, which heralded the birth of Jesus and guided the magi to the manger.

At the top of the Abraham and Sarah window is a round medallion depicting a ram being offered to God as a holocaust and reminding the viewer that Abraham was called to sacrifice his son – his only son – Isaac, upon whom fulfillment of God’s promise depended. Abraham’s faith was such that he followed God’s command, trusting in the Lord. Abraham was prevented from offering his son only after he had shown his willingness to follow and obey in complete faith. Abraham’s sacrifice prefigures the sacrifice of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. The three rays present in this medallion again symbolize the Trinitarian nature of God.

Confirmation – This is part of the Sacraments series of windows.

Above the neighboring Maternity Shrine and a part of the Sacraments series of windows is a depiction of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which calls to mind the sacrament of Confirmation. Just as the call of Abraham was the origin of the People of God, so, too, are the events of Pentecost the beginning of the age of the Church and the New Covenant in Christ with the people of God. Present in this window are the Virgin Mary and the Beloved Disciple among the apostles each crowned by a tongue of fire representative of the Holy Spirit. God’s presence is shown in both the rays shining down from above and in the wind depicted in the window.

At the top of this window is a medallion that presents the descending Holy Spirit in the form of a dove over twin images of the Trinity, a triangle and three interlocking circles, which have been combined to form a single frame for the dove. This window, as do all in the Sacraments series, incorporates the chi rho symbol, which is an ancient christogram made from the first two letters of the Greek “cristos” (Christós, Christ) that calls to mind both the cross and Crucifixion and celebrates Jesus’ status as the Anointed One.

Moses and the Exodus – This is part of the Salvation History series of windows.

The next windows in the journey are above the Examination of Conscience Shrine and the Shrine of Nations. In the first, above the Examination of Conscience Shrine, is Moses and the Exodus, part of the Salvation History series. Moses is depicted holding the Ten Commandments, which are key today in many traditions of the practice of examination of conscience for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Moses is leading the Hebrews through the desert and to the Promised Land. In the lower right of the window, depicted in the distance, are Egypt and the pyramids, which represent the slavery the Hebrews left behind. Also shown are many of the Israelites collecting the manna that they ate on their journey, and which as bread given from heaven prefigures the Holy Eucharist. Shown in the foreground to the bottom left of the window is a quail, which the Lord sent when the Israelites began to complain about eating only the manna.

Two of the figures presented, seen behind and to the right of Moses, remind the viewer of Joseph and Mary, who fled to Egypt and were then called from there, after the birth of Jesus.

At the top of this window is a cross entwined by a snake. This symbol calls to mind both the serpent in the Garden of Eden and its defeat through the cross as well as the copper serpent that Moses was instructed to make that healed those who looked upon it and who had been bitten by a serpent (Numbers 21:9). The Gospel of John unites these two symbols when it states “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15)

The corresponding window in the Sacraments series is the Holy Eucharist window. In this window, Jesus is depicted following the post-Crucifixion journey to Emmaus with two disciples, to whom he explains the Scriptures and all that relates to the Christ. A scroll shown in the lower right of the window represents the Sacred Scriptures.

Holy Eucharist – This is part of the Sacraments series of windows.

The Scriptures report that the two disciples fail to recognize the Risen Lord until he breaks bread, which has always been understood in its context of the Breaking of the Bread at Mass. The window depicts the exact moment Christ vanished from sight, which is shown in the slight translucency of Christ in the window. The chalice and the bread are themselves encircled in a gloriole that reflects the nimbus encircling Christ’s head. This represents the Catholic understanding that, according to the words of Christ himself, the bread and wine become transfigured into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ at the consecration.

The next stop in the journey brings us to the window above the west confessionals. This window is an obvious fit for the Sacrament of Reconciliation as it depicts the woman guilty of grave sin washing the feet of the Lord with her tears in the home of the Pharisee. Her genuine repentance and humility is a striking contrast to the arrogance and hard-heartedness of the Pharisee. It is the woman, whose sins are forgiven, and Christ whose heads are crowned by nimbuses while the gossiping, judgmental, self-righteous Pharisees are not.

At the top of this window is a medallion representing Peter, the first pope, who was given the Keys of Heaven and the power to bind and loose, from which derives the power to forgive sins in the person of Christ in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

King David – This is part of the Salvation History series of windows.

Paired with this window is one in the Salvation History series presenting King David, who has realized how gravely he has offended the Lord through the death of Uriah and in his adultery with Bathsheba. This window presents symbols of wealth in the gold and jewels, of power in the king’s scepter, of violence in the bloody sword, and of lust in the black cat. The crown in David’s hand, recently removed from his head, is symbolic of David’s repentance and his recognition of his sinfulness and his unworthiness to rule as king, while the rays of sunlight are symbolic of God’s mercy and forgiveness. The harp represents King David’s love of music and calls to mind that tradition holds that many of the earliest psalms were composed by David.

At the top of this window is a medallion with three symbols of divine kingship. The foremost is the crown of the king beset with three jewels that remind of the Trinitarian nature of God. Behind this are a crosier and the horn of anointing.

Prophet Isaiah (detail) — This window represents the entire prophetic tradition of Israel and is part of the Salvation History series.

Nearing the end of the journey, one finds two windows united by the theme of Fortitude, which is represented by a nearby medallion. The first window in this pair is in the Salvation History series and presents the Prophet Isaiah, representative of the entire tradition of prophets. In this window, Isaiah is rejecting a pagan idol as he kneels before an altar. A seraphim with bright, pied wings comes forth “having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.’ And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ And he said, ‘Go, and say to this people: ‘Hear and hear, but do not understand; see and see, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.’ Then I said, ‘How long, O Lord?’ And he said: ‘Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without men, and the land is utterly desolate, and the Lord removes men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains standing when it is felled.’ The holy seed is its stump.” (Isaiah 6:6-13)

Anointing of the Sick – This window is part of the Sacraments series of windows.

Corresponding to this window is a window from the Sacraments series that represents the Anointing of the Sick, the sacrament that asks God for physical and spiritual healing. One of the main and recurring miracles performed by Christ was the healing of the sick; the window presents figures representative of people of all ages, races, and backgrounds coming to the Lord for healing and forgiveness. The window depicts Christ healing a lame man while many others also seek healing. Crowning this window is a medallion presenting a chrismaria containing the Oil of the Sick. The Holy Oils are made from scented olive oil, and so the chrismaria is entwined with an olive branch bearing fruit.

Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony – This window is part of the Sacraments series of windows.

A large window presents both the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. This window is crowned by a medallion showing the Sacred Heart encircled by the words “Deus Caritas Est” (God is Love) at the top and “In Imago Dei” (in the image of God) at the bottom. The first is a reference to the nature of God, that of superabundant love, while the second is a theological statement of the nature of humans, who are created to the likeness and image of God. Smaller medallions represent (on the left) the Sacrament of Holy Orders, which is depicted by a book of Holy Scripture and by a chalice and host, which symbolize the two primary parts of the Mass: The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist; while (on the right) the clasped hands of a husband and wife being blessed represents the nature of marriage as ordained by God and indissoluble.

The Holy Orders section of this window depicts Christ, who came not to be served but to serve, washing the feet of his disciples on the night before he was crucified. The Beloved Disciple holds Christ’s outer robes while Peter is having his feet washed as the other apostles look on. On the table, three candles symbolic of the holy Trinity burn. Corresponding to this window in the Salvation History series is the Nativity window.

The Holy Matrimony section of this window illustrates the Wedding Feast at Cana. The bride and groom are center in the window, and Christ is turning the water into wine, his first public miracle, as the Blessed Virgin Mary looks on. Also present are two doves, symbolic of the union of marriage. Present at the Lord’s feet and under the table at which the bride and groom sit is a dog, which reminds the viewer of Matthew 15:27.

The final window in the nave is part of the Salvation History series and looks forward to the Second Coming while also commemorating the Nativity of Our Lord. This window relates to the Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony window in that the birth of Jesus represents the coming of God into the world for our salvation; Jesus hands on the responsibility of spreading the Kingdom of God to all of his followers, but in a very special way he hands it on to those in Holy Orders because those in Holy Orders are sent forth to teach and to serve.

Second Coming and Nativity of Our Lord – These are both part of the Salvation History series of windows.

The Second Coming window depicts Christ the King returning in majesty; the globe shown in the window is an illustration of the main building of Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church, while, in the bottom right corner, we see Satan being cast out forever. Present are the trumpets of Revelation, as well as the scroll. The rays of light represent the Divine Majesty, just as do the descending rays from the Star of Bethlehem in the Nativity window.

In addition to the windows described above, there are three smaller Conrad Pickel Studio windows near the baptismal font and two in the Paternity Shrine. These 16 windows were designed by the studio’s head designer, Lyn Durham. In addition to the Conrad Pickel Studio windows are additional windows throughout the church that were put back into service at Sts. Anne and Joachim after being acquired from Catholic churches that have closed. Worthy of special mention are the five windows of the Magnificat Chapel.

The five windows of the Magnificat Chapel illustrate the five Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation of the Child Jesus at the Temple, and the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. These windows dating from the 1920s are by Otto F. Andrle Stained Glass and Art Company; they were originally installed at St. Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church, Buffalo, New York, which closed in 1993.

Annunciation — from the Otto F. Andrle windows of the Magnificat Chapel.

Otto Andrle operated his stained glass studio for 16 years after a career as a vaudeville musician and theater actor. Andrle frequently worked his signature elements of a hat and cane into the design of a set of windows, and these can be easily spotted in the Magnificat Chapel windows.

Andrle frequently worked his signature elements of a hat and cane into the design of a set of windows, and these can be easily spotted in the Magnificat Chapel windows.

Nativity — from the Otto F. Andrle windows of the Magnificat Chapel.


Orignal Photographs many of which did not appear in the article:

The 103rd Annual Summer Conference of the Stained Glass Association of America

Kansas City 2012

by Richard Gross

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of The Stained Glass Quarterly. To download an Acrobat [pdf] version of the printed article, please click this link.

The 103rd Annual Summer Conference of the Stained Glass Association of America was a homecoming for the organization, being held in part on the campus of the SGAA Headquarters and Stained Glass School. The event opened with two days of pre-Conference classes,  with two painting workshops held in classroom space at the Stained Glass School, a design and a surface laminating class held in meeting rooms in the official Conference hotel, and a sand etching class held at Kathy Barnard’s studio in downtown Kansas City (see photos, page 110 and 111).

Conference presentations began with Fred Shea giving an in-depth look at wood frames and the many issues they face. Jon Rarick of Reusché and Company of T.W.S., Inc., described the company’s line of enamels for glass painting; this was followed by a presentation by Philippe Valery on St. Just Glass.

The First General Assembly saw lively discussion on the possibility of creating a Restoration Consultant certification or accreditation; it was decided to form a committee to further investigate this possibility and that the committee would report its findings and recommend a course of action in one year.

The evening’s Welcome Reception and Banquet, sponsored by Wissmach Glass Company, was highlighted by a keynote address by Kathy Barnard entitled “The Art of Glass.” She presented some truly amazing work and some wonderful insights on the possibilities of glass art.

Conference presentations hit a snag on Tuesday morning when the scheduled presenter for Facebook Marketing did not arrive. We found out later that day that he had been in a car accident on his way to the presentation when he called from the hospital to apologize for his absence. Member Laura Parham stepped in and described her efforts to advance the Stained Glass Association of America’s Facebook page, as well as successful online marketing in general.

Rolf Achilles, curator of the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, spoke on the topic of Midwestern stained glass; artists C.Z. Lawrence and James Piercey talked on the topic of design comparison. The day’s presentations concluded with the SGAA’s Restoration Committee presenting the new Standards and Guidelines for the Preservation of Stained (and Leaded) Glass Windows. The entire publication has been reworked from the ground up to better suit the needs of today’s restoration projects, based on the latest understanding and developments in the field.

Members at the Second General Assembly voted to hold the 2014 Conference at the Elms Hotel and Spa in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. The 2014 Conference will be created as an artist’s retreat, with small-class workshops and seminars throughout the event.

The SGAA Casino Night was a new feature at this summer’s conference. The event featured casino-style gaming tables, including Craps, Roulette, Blackjack, and Texas Hold ’Em, all of which were run by SGAA members for SGAA members. The evening was designed to be a fun social event (see photos, page 112 – 115) as well as to raise money for Association projects. Chips won were redeemed for raffle tickets for some great prizes, highlighted by crates of glass donated by S.A. Bendheim and martini and wine glass sets, with glasses custom etched by Kathy Barnard.

On Wednesday, members boarded busses for the short ride from the Conference hotel to the SGAA Headquarters/Stained Glass School campus for “The Art of Glass,” an open house to which the public was invited. The purpose of this event was to introduce the crafts of stained, decorative, and architectural art glass to the local community of which we are now a part. As the SGAA Stained Glass School projects continue forward, it will be important to partner with the local community, which will ultimately benefit everyone involved (see photos, page 116-117).

Major League Improv provided a lively opening to the Annual Awards Banquet (photos opposite page). Congratulations go to Steve Sussman and Dennis Roberts, both newly elected members of the Board of Directors (photo above) and to Jennifer Banbury, who was awarded the 2012 President’s Award for her longtime (and continuing) service as the Association’s Recording Secretary.

Next year’s Annual Summer Conference will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana.