The Stained Glass Window

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the use of stained glass in windows, from churches to private homes, grew rapidly in popularity. American architects and glass workers traveled to Europe, studied medieval windows and the creations of Rouault, Chagall, Albers and other European painters. Soon, Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan incorporated stained glass into their new ground-breaking architectural designs. Private glass studios in the United States created lamps, vases and windows for private homes, churches and civic buildings. This practice extended into the Art Deco Era of the 1920s and didn’t recede until the Depression and World War II. Today, we often find old stained glass windows from this period in antique stores and flea markets. Now and then, one may spot a window still in place in a home built during the heyday of U.S. architectural stained glass. Today, contemporary glass workers design and create for private residences, commercial and civic buildings throughout the country.

Somewhat recently a family heirloom popped up on the horizon bringing with it great memories. It is a stained glass window that lived in a family home of 2 generations ago. I remember sitting at the dining room table in this home as the sun shone through the glass causing streaks of color to dance on the white tablecloth much like a spinning prism. It was fascinating. The colors were as warm as the sun unleashing a child’s imagination. Visions of faeres and butterflies floated about in those multi-colored reflections creating an atmosphere of warmth and safety.

The oldest family member of this 3rd generation had different memories:  It was a beautiful window, hand-made and quite old, I think. When the light was just right, it would cast colors on the crystal kept in a glass case in the dining room.

The color reflections were something everyone remembered.

The introductory paragraph to this post was written by a family member who also took this photo. We all have so many memories coming from this one, beautiful heirloom. It is amazing what good, fun memories emerge from one very old thing that was an everyday part of life at the time. It has been lovingly restored to its original detail down to the dark green frame and hangs again in a home that loves it.

I thought you would enjoy seeing this restored beauty that was probably made around 1915. So from our family at to yours, envision the magic of the sun-created colors.

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