Last Updated: Aug 23, 2018 Views: 440
Thank you for your question! We've developed the checklist below for researching individual church windows that may be helpful in guiding your research.
Checklist for Researching Individual Church Windows
- If the date of the window is known, check old invoices in church records.
- Many windows were done as memorials, so check the church’s book/log/files for memorials.
- There was probably a dedication service, and if you know the dates of installation, you can check old church bulletins.
- There may be a published history of the individual church.
- The windows may have been done in conjunction with major sanctuary renovations. This would be documented in church files, either in the church office, or building committee files. There may also be information in trustee records and/or session minutes.
- Older individual church records may have been archived with the church’s denominational headquarters.
- Local or regional historical societies, and the public library, may have compiled information from newspaper clippings about the church. If the donor of the windows is known, an obituary might hold a clue. Preservation organizations may also have information.
- Sometimes, there are small signatures in corners of windows or logos. Dates can be included in memorial inscriptions.
- Knowledgeable stained glass historians, ornamental glass experts, and conservators use the appearance and construction of the window’s details to help in identifying period of manufacturer, and possible firm:
- The type of glass used (mouth blown antique, machine made, or opalescent);
- Style of design, drawing and glass painting;
- Texture of the glass painting (smooth or rough stipple), the use of items such as pearls or peacock feathers for wings, strong lines or soft lines, etc. Major artists and well known professional studios often have individual styles. However, many windows (whether stenciled, gauge or catalog art glass) will not be attributable to one specific firm.
- A local stained glass studio may also be able to assist, because the artists might be familiar with similar windows in the area.
(Points 8-10 appeared on the listserv H-Stained-Glass@h-net.msu.edu, contributed by Roy Coomber and Neal Vogel, 16 August 2009.)
The checklist should serve as a good starting point for your research if you have not already exhausted the mentioned possibilities.
- Raguin, Virginia Chieffo. Style, Status, and Religion; America’s Pictorial Windows 1840-1950.
- Coleman, Caryl. “A comparative study of European and American church glass.” House Beautiful 3, no. 5 (April 1898): 143-149. (LInk to article in Google Books.)
- Goodhue, Henry E. "Church windows in America." Architectural Review 12 (Sept. 1905): 196-199. (LInk to article in Google Books.)
- Goodhue, Henry E. "Stained glass." Handicraft, v. 2, no. 4, July 1903, pp. 77-95. (Link to article in HathiTrust.)
- Henry, Kirk. "The art industries of America - III: Stained-glass work." Bulletin and record, Art news section. Brush and Pencil 15, no. 5 (May 1905): 99-112. (LInk to article in Google Books.)
- Henry, Kirk. “American art industries III: Stained glass work” Brush and Pencil 7, no. 3 (Dec. 1900): 149-162. (LInk to article in Google Books.)
- Robie, Virginia. “Church decorations by Frederic C. Bartlett." House Beautiful 17, no. 1 (Dec. 1904): 8-10. Notes: Windows by Burne-Jones and William Morris. (LInk to article in Google Books.)
- Tilden, Henry C. "Pictorial art in glass; an aid to appreciation." Brush and Pencil 18, no. 4 (Oct. 1906): 154-166. (LInk to article in Google Books.)
- "Discovering the Whitefriars Collection," Rakow Library Featured Project. (More than 2,000 items in the Whitefriars Stained Glass Cartoon collection have individual records in the Rakow Library catalog.)
- Stained Glass Association of America, http://stainedglass.org/
Selected Books, Chapters, and Articles
Duncan, Alastair. Tiffany Windows. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1980. Notes: A partial list of Tiffany windows, by state through 1911. Location: Stacks NK5198.T5 D91.
Farnsworth, Jean M. “An American Bias For Foreign Stained Glass.” Nineteenth Century 17, no. 2 (September 1, 1997): 15–21.
Frelinghuysen, Alice Cooney. "A new renaissance: Stained glass in the Aesthetic Period. In In Pursuit of Beauty (pp. 176-196). New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. Location: Stacks N6510.5.E25.M59.
Fyson, Nance Lui. Decorative Glass of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries: A Source Book. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles, 1996. Location: Stacks NK5309 .F99.
Lloyd, John Gilbert. Stained Glass in America. Jenkintown, Pa.: Foundation Books, 1963. Location: Secured Stacks NK5312 .L79.
MacDowell, Betty. “American Women Stained Glass Artists: 1870s to 1930s, Their World and Their Windows.” Thesis (Ph. D.)--Michigan State University, 1986. Notes: Index of women stained glass artists and designers active during this period. Location: Stacks NK5312 .M13x.
Raguin, Virginia Chieffo. Glory in Glass: Stained Glass in the United States: Origins, Variety, and Preservation. New York: American Bible Society, 1998. Notes: Exhibit catalogue. Location: Stacks NK5312 .R14.
Sewter Charles A. The Stained Glass of William Morris and His Circle. 2 vols. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1974. Location: Stacks NK5398.M8 .S52.
Sowers, Robert. The Language of Stained Glass. Forest Grove, OR: Timber Press, 1981. Location: Stacks NK5304 .S73s.
Sowers, Robert. The Lost Art: A Survey of One Thousand Years of Stained Glass. New York: G. Wittenborn, 1954. Location: Secured Stacks NK5304 .S73.
Stained Glass in the United States. Mount Vernon, NY: Stained Glass Magazine, [1949-1953]. Notes: Photocopies of a listing published in Stained Glass Magazine from 1949-1953. Arranged by state, and then by city. Location: Stacks, Periodicals N6450 .N71.
Borrowing Library Materials
If you wish to borrow copies of library items, please contact your local library. The Rakow Research Library will lend designated books from its collection and will send copies of articles requested by other libraries. Your library can request items through the OCLC WorldShare Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system or by direct request through email at email@example.com. For more information, please see our ILL policies and procedures.
Please let us know if there is anything specific that we could assist you in finding.