A Brief History Of Stained Glass In the US


Stained Glass in America

As you likely well know, stained glass is an ancient art form dating back thousands of years. The stained glass here in the US obviously does not have the same length of history but a glorious one none-the-less. Here at Scottish Stained Glass, we take great pride in our increasingly lengthy tenure as stained glass artisans here in Colorado Springs and in many other cities across the country and therefore wanted to enlighten our readers with a brief history of stained glass right here in the United States Of America

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

Glassmaking was initially established in America in Jamestown in 1607 and much like stained glass in Europe, stained glass on churches accounted for a large part of the stained glass proliferation.  Therefore, here in the United States, one of the earliest mentions of stained glass was, not surprisingly, in reference to an unpaid invoice for stained glass on a local chapel. Here we see a written complaint 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 until stained glass on churches and home really took off in America due to trends and the expense of glass in the new world

Innovations In Church And Home Stained Glass In The US

We really see stained glass take off in the US in 1857 with the establishment of J&R Lamb Studios in New York City.  This was the first major decorative arts studio in the United States and for many years they produced the majority of the ecclesiastical stained glass.

From this point on is where we see stained glass in the US grow and a real push towards innovation with Notable American craftsman like:

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

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933): Received several patents for variations of  the opalescent process and probably 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 myriad of beautiful stained glass cathedrals, churches and much of the home stained glass we see here in the United States today.  For more information on stained glass for your Colorado Springs home or church contact Scottish Stained Glass today.

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