Last Updated: Oct 02, 2016 Views: 313
According to Chicago Stained Glass by Erne and Florence Frueh, the Kinsella company was in business from 1872-1931 and was one of the larger firms producing stained glass in Chicago at the time, employing some 50 people.
The buildings with Kinsella windows listed in Frueh's book include:
St. James Lutheran Church 2048 North Fremont Street
St. John Berchmans Church 2519 West Logan Boulevard
St. James Chapel Quigley Prepartory Seminary North 631 North Rush st
Seminary Chapel St. Mary of the Lake Seminary Mundelein, Illnois
The St James window is particularly noted by Frueh as "of exceptional technical and artistic merit" particularly the Gethsemane window.
There was an exhibit in the mid 2000s focused on John J. Kinsella and the keynote speaker for the opening was listed as David V. Wendell of Bolingbrook. I'm wondering, if you need more info on Kinsella, if he or the sponsoring institution for the exhibit would be good resources for you. I am copying the text of an article on the exhibit, which was duplicated on the stained glass listserv:
From the Chicago Herald News
"Historian David V. Wendell of Bolingbrook will deliver the keynote
address in opening ceremonies for the dedication of a new exhibit
honoring internationally renowned Lockport stained glass artist John
The exhibition, titled "Cathedrals of Color: The Stained Glass of John J.
Kinsella Studios," will open to the public during a special sneak preview at 7
p.m Thursday April 19, 2007, in Community Hall of the DesPlaines
Valley Public Library, 121 East 8th St., Lockport.
The stained glass of local artist John J. Kinsella, such as the one
above, will be on exhibit beginning Thursday at the Des Plaines
Kinsella was raised on a farm between Lockport and Joliet, and at the age of
21, established his own studios in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood. He
helped to pioneer the "Favrile" style of glass invented by John LaFarge and
L.C. Tiffany and his works, considered equal to the great masters' landmarks,
decorate many Chicago and southwest suburbs' cathedrals.
More than 200 images depicting stories of the Old and New Testaments
are seen in the photographic essay that chronicles Kinsella Studios'
most outstanding and award winning glass canvasses. Among these are
The Memorial Window at St. Dennis Catholic Church in Lockport, God's
Promise at St. John Berchmanns in Logan Square, and the world famous
Lancet Windows of St. James Chapel in Chicago.
The St. James windows alone required six years to be installed and
are composed of fifteen individual lancets that stand nine feet wide
by forty feet tall. The early 20th century hand painted masterpieces
replicate those at St. Chappelle, the Reliquary in Paris which holds
the crown of thorns worn by Jesus at the cross.
Wendell has spent more than a year researching Kinsella and his
studio's legacy. After discovering the firm's prolific artwork was
largely forgotten, he began photographing both the imposing, and the
more intimate, details that characterized the company's inimitable
"Cathedrals of Color" will remain on display through Memorial Day weekend.
The lecture and admission to the exhibit is free."
I would definitely contact the DesPlaines Valley Public Library, since they must have information, at least on the exhibit which will be of interest to you.
The Smith Museum of Stained Glass on the Navy Pier in Chicago, also has a representative sample of Kinsella glass. The label on the piece reads:
Designed and fabricated by Thomas J. Kinsella (1872-1931), John J. Kinsella & Kinsella Studio,
Chicago. From an unidentified location.
36" H x 49" W SM 407
The small, mosaic technique of glass leading became a standard for Kinsella Studio from the
early 1920s to the 1930s. The emblem, a portion of a larger window, depicts a bishop, a king, and
a knight before an arch. The King is Louis IX, St. Louis identified by his emblem, the Crown of
Thorns. Louis was born in 1214 in Poissy, France and died on a Crusade in Tunis in 1270.
Becoming Louis IX at age twelve, he married Margaret of Provence seven years later. They had
eleven children. Today, Louis IX is remembered for his devotion to relics related of Jesus,
particularly the Crown of Thorns, which along with other relics he purchased in the early 1240s
from a Byzantine Emperor and for which he built St. Chapelle, a chapel in the heart of Paris. The
chapel was consecrated in 1248.
Th John J. Kinsella Company, a Chicago based firm, was a specialist in ecclesiastic stained
glass. Their most important works are the windows for the St. James Chapel of Quigley
Preparatory Seminary, and the church of St. John Berchmans, 2517 W. Logan Boulevard, both in
Let me know if this information doesn't answer your question adequately and I can do some further digging.