Taking a Closer Look at the Fine Art of Stained Glass Windows


Wandering through an outdoor art show in Denver the other day, I enjoyed seeing the pastels, the mixed media and the oil paintings. Then, unexpectedly, in one booth I came across a lovely, detailed stained glass window that had been installed into an old wooden frame. It took me by surprise, and I stopped to admire it.

And just like my favorite paintings, I found that the more I looked at it, the more beautiful it became. The more I studied it, the more amazed I was by the workmanship and talent involved. And the more I admired it, the more I lusted for it!

Stained Glass Fine Art

Stained Glass Art FormsI must admit that I’ve always thought stained glass was pretty, and some pieces even gorgeous, but I never really stopped and looked at it in the same way that I’ve looked at other “fine art” such as the masters’ paintings hanging in museums. Although I myself am an artist, and have the greatest respect for other artists and all kinds of art expressions, I am embarrassed now to admit that I seem to have taken stained glass for granted! Have you?

Since I’ve been working for Scottish Stained Glass, the largest custom stained glass studio of its kind in the country, I’ve developed a new appreciation for this ancient art form that dates back to medieval times. The design, talent and craftsmanship that goes into making a “painting” out of tiny pieces of colored glass held together by equally tiny strips of metal is truly extraordinary!

The design must fit into a specified set of dimensions—that of the window frame—and yet must be balanced, composed, and use a color palate that complements the existing décor. In fact, stained glass windows or doors are a double threat, because they provide functional beauty that enhances your home not just visually but in its actual value as well.

Imagine the skill and precise attention to detail that must be followed to cut those tiny pieces of glass into the precise shapes that form the precise pattern, and have the entire thing come together as one seamless whole, a finished, polished and sophisticated piece of art!

Stained Glass Artists

Some of the artists who’ve worked in stained glass are quite famous, including the Scottish water colorist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and the famed California duo of Greene and Greene. They saw stained glass windows not as a separate art form, but as an organic and vital part of the overall design and aesthetic value of the buildings they designed.

Are you a casual admirer of stained glass, or have you ever stopped and really taken a close look at a stained glass window the same way you might look at an oil painting done by a master? Stained glass window designs run the gamut from floral to geometric to abstract. Indeed, just as with any art form, the only limit is the imagination, talent and skill of the artist!

Intrigued? Want to hear more? Please contact us about having this beautiful art form added to your fine art collection in the form of stained glass windows or doors in your home!

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