The Untold Story of Stained Glass in Salt Lake City: Past, Present & Future

salt lake city stained glass through time

The Brigham City Third Ward, the Temple Square Tabernacle, the Cathedral of the Madeline – these are just some of the many examples of buildings with beautiful stained glass windows in Salt Lake City. Stained glass has long been incorporated into religious buildings all throughout Salt Lake City and the rest of the world.

For someone standing beneath a magnificent work such as the stained glass in Sainte Chapelle, they may wonder how someone could create something so beautiful, so intricate. But what they fail to realize is that these wondrous works are actually the result the evolution of the art itself. Today’s stained glass is much more than it seems to be at face value. More than just art, it’s a product of ancient techniques combined with modern advancements and ideas brought forth from the passage of time.

The Origins of Stained Glass in Churches, Synagogues, and Temples

Long before artists created stained glass windows, colored glass was used to create small beads for jewelry and for decorating pottery. This was a practice that was common during Ancient Egyptian and Roman times. The first time that something like stained glass windows came into existence, stained glass was actually not used at all. Instead, thin pieces of alabaster were set into wooden frames to create a stained glass like effect.

Historians estimate that it was during the 7th century that the first real church stained glass windows were made. Fragments of old colored glass were discovered at Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, indicating the first presence of stained glass. However, by the 8th century, the stained glass trend was in full swing. Churches all over Europe, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia had begun to incorporate stained glass into windows in chapel rooms, prayer rooms, sanctuaries, and other various places. During the Middle Ages, stained glass reached a new height in Europe and took on the role of religious education, whereby portraits and scenes in stained glass were used to teach the illiterate about the Bible.

The Use of Stained Glass Today and in the Future

Today, the use of stained glass continues to play an important role in architecture, though it is no longer restricted to a religious setting. Of course, many churches choose to carry on the tradition of adding stained glass to their building, but the practice has become more common for homeowners and commercial building owners as well.

Luxury homes, high end hotels, restaurants, libraries, and other public buildings are just some of the many places where stained glass can now be found. Additionally, homeowners have found stained glass beneficial for its ability to create privacy and use it as a substitute for blinds and curtains.

church stained glass salt lake city

Where the future of stained glass lies is yet to be determined, but history provides a strong indication that it will continue to evolve. Some things, however much they may change, never go out of style. And stained glass may likely well be one of them. After all, it has been around for over 1,000 years.

Continue the Tradition

You too can be a part of continuing the tradition of this ancient form of art by bringing a stained glass window into your home, church, or business. Call the experts at Scottish Stained Glass to receive an estimate on stained glass in Salt Lake City or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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