American Stained Glass

As you likely well know, stained glass is a very old form of art dating back over a thousand years. The stained glass in our country obviously not quite that old but does have a history nearly as long as the European settlers to the US.  Here at Church Stained Glass Restoration, we take great pride in our own rich history for over 25 years here in the US and wanted to enlighten our readers with a brief history of American stained glass.

Church Stained Glass:  The Beginning Of Stained Glass In The US

Although glass making was first set up in Jamestown in 1607– the industry did not stick.  However, the first record of church stained glass is much later is not surprisingly a reference to an unpaid invoice for stained glass on a local chapel.  It is not surprising since church stained glass has long played a role in stained glass proliferation. The first reference to church stained glass is a complaint written by an enterprising stained glass artist named Duyckingh requesting a payment of 2.5 beavers as payment for church stained glass he had installed. However, it would be quite a while from here before stained glass on churches and homes took hold in  America due to declining trends and the expense of glass in the new world

Innovations In Church And Home Stained Glass In The US

It is around 1857 with the establishment of J&R Lamb Studios in New York City that we really see stained glass catch hold..  This was the first major decorative arts studio in the United States and for quite a few years they produced the majority of the ecclesiastical stained glass.

From here on we see stained glass in the US grow and a real push towards innovation with renowned American craftsman like:

John La Farge (1835–1910): He Invented opalescent glass and received a U.S. patent for it in 1880

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933): He Received a number of patents for variations of the opalescent process and is rumored to have invented the copper foil method as an alternative to lead.  This can be seen extensively in Tiffany windows, lamps and other decorations.

Charles J. Connick (1875-1945):  Founded his Boston studio in 1913 and was heavily influenced by his study of medieval stained glass in Europe. Connick created hundreds of windows throughout the USA, including major glazing schemes at Princeton University Chapel and at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Memorial Chapel.

All of these artists and many more led to the creation of many beautiful stained glass cathedrals, churches and a lot of the home stained glass we see here in the United States today.  For more information on stained glass for your home or church or for stained glass restoration contact us at Church Stained Glass Restoration today.