The art of stained glass is a handicraft perfected more than eight hundred years ago in France and England. The same methods of fabrication are still practiced today much as they were during the Middle Ages. A stained glass window is a mosaic made up of pieces of colored glass held together by strips of grooved lead (caming), which in turn are reinforced by iron bars securely anchored to the window frame. Features, folds of drapery, ornaments and textures are painted on the glass with a dark pigment which is permanently fused into it by intense heat.
The story behind each of our church’s stained glass windows is excerpted from “The First Three Hundred Years”, edited by Elizabeth W. Clark, from the chapter on stained glass windows written by Merton E. Libby and and Mrs. R. Edgar Benson, Jr.
The North Transept windows were designed by the J&R Lamb Studios in Tenafly, NJ in 1896 when the stone meetinghouse was built. Helen Sickles Hull designed the four chapel windows. Marguerite Gaudin, of the Willet Studios in Philadelphia, designed the remaining meetinghouse windows from 1961-1963, when the meetinghouse was greatly expanded. Ann Willet Kellog and Helene Martin designed the Sunday School windows.
During 2008 and 2009, all the meetinghouse stained glass windows were removed for restoration. The windows were taken apart, all pieces cleaned and all lead caming replaced. The windows were then re-installed with restored support bars and frames. This complex work, performed by Gil Stained Glass Studios of Brooklyn, NY, was completed in February 2009. Click HERE to see the difference the cleaning made!
A lancet is a tall, narrow window set in a lancet arch without tracery. A lancet arch is narrow and pointed like the head of a spear or lance.
A predella is the smaller bottom section of a stained glass window, usually separated from the upper window by a horizontal bar.
(click on each window image to enlarge it and get its description.)