Stained Glass Through Time in Kansas City: A Thousand Year Old History Brought to Light

kansas city stained glass through time

Did you know that Kansas City is home to some of the most beautiful stained glass windows in the world? Works produced by famous artists like Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Comfort Tiffany can be found in historic churches, old restaurants and hotels, and even older homes in Kansas City. Stained glass is indeed an essential part of Kansas City’s architectural history.

But what is the true story of these works and where did they come from? This is a question that can only be answered with an explanation of stained glass itself and its history, past, present, and future.

The Origins of Stained Glass in Churches, Synagogues and Temples

The reason that we see stained glass most prevalently in Kansas City churches of all buildings is because that’s where stained glass windows gained their true momentum and popularity. The use of stained glass can be dated back over a thousand years when ancient societies used colored glass to create beads and artwork. However, it wasn’t until stained glass found a new home in early Christian churches that it became truly recognized for its unique beauty.

The first church stained glass windows were actually more along the lines of “stained glass like”. Thin pieces of alabaster were set into wood frames to produce a stained glass like effect. This concept was later replicated but slightly altered by using actual colored glass to produce the same aesthetic effect. Before long, churches all across Europe were being created with stained glass windows. This trend spread to the Middle East and Southwest Asia. By the Middle Ages, stained glass had evolved greatly. Cathedrals fashioned in the Gothic style held colossal stained glass windows that displayed entire Biblical scenes and portraits.

he Use of Stained Glass Today and in the Future

Before long, architects began noticing that stained glass could be beneficial in other ways too. These architects began using stained glass windows in certain areas of the buildings they were designing as a way to control light and create privacy. Stained glass was found to be particularly useful for areas like entryways, kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Commercial buildings could also benefit too. Stained glass became an alluring addition to hotels, restaurants, and other commercial establishments.

prairie stained glass kitchen cabinets kansas city

Today, many of the world’s older stained glass windows have begun to age and show signs of deterioration. Fortunately, there are now methods for preserving and restoring this antique stained glass so it can be enjoyed by future generations. Technology has allowed today’s stained glass to evolve greatly. Where the future of stained glass lies is hard to predict, but if history has shown us anything, it’s that this ancient form of art is likely to stick around for a while longer.

Learn More About Stained Glass

If you would like to learn more about the history of stained glass in Kansas City or are interested in obtaining a stained glass window for your home, office, or commercial building, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to assist you and provide you with the information you need.

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