Contributions to the Connick Foundation are tax-deductible and will help fund the newsletter, films, the annual lecture, the annual tour and other projects to promote the awareness and preservation of the Connick tradition of stained glass. A contribution of $25 or more is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
The Connick Foundation
37 Walden St
Newtonville MA 02460
The 2012 Annual Letter
The Foundation has had a fruitful year, with many welcome opportunities to spread knowledge of Charles Connick’s and his co-workers’ achievements in stained glass, and to share our enjoyment of their remarkable artistry and craftsmanship. It is gratifying to see the growth of a more profound understanding of America’s stained glass history, and with it greater recognition of the part played by Connick and those who worked in the same tradition.
Our annual tour took place in October, and over two days a group of some fifty people visited five churches in the Boston area containing Connick glass. The windows we saw ranged from the 1910s to the final decade of the studio’s history, and we were able to study them in the context of outstanding church architecture by Ralph Adams Cram and Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue. The tour was led by Peter Cormack MBE, FSA, who is currently completing his book Arts & Crafts Stained Glass, which will include a chapter on the USA. We look forward to its publication in 2014.
Earlier in the year, Jeremy Grubman, who organized and catalogued the Connick Foundation Collection at MIT’s Rotch Library, gave an enthusiastic talk about the Connick glass at St. John’s Bowdoin Street, Boston, and St. James’s, Cambridge, the first in a series of more informal talks that we plan to expand in the future. And as President of the Foundation, I was invited to speak about the Connick Studio and its work at Church Street United Methodist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee (which has notable Connick windows), where I was very warmly received, enjoying several days of true Southern hospitality. An opportunity to visit the Smoky Mountains even brought an exciting encounter with a bear. With his glinting eyes he looked like a potential Connick enthusiast: was he perhaps on his way to my lecture (although temporarily stuck in a tree)? If the Foundation organizes a future stained glass tour in Tennessee, of course he’ll be most welcome to attend!
On a related theme… the success of last year’s Connick Medallions calendar has encouraged the Foundation to publish a second calendar, covering part of 2012 and all of 2013. It features a wide range of Animals as depicted in Connick stained glass. If you or your friends love stained glass and animals (domestic and/or wild), the calendar makes a delightful gift.
The highly successful five-month exhibition Glass at MIT: Beauty and Utility, featuring designs and stained glass from the Connick Collection at MIT, was greatly admired and visited by students, stained glass artists, scholars, and general visitors. A gallery talk by stained glass artist-craftsman Roberto Rosa added an illuminating dimension to the exhibition. With permission from the BPL, MIT has now scanned and digitized the Connick Studio’s job files, making them accessible at ‘Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation’ on MIT’s DOME website. Using this resource, which is organized by location, it is now possible to read archival material about the great majority of the studio’s commissions. Our other major partner, Boston Public Library’s Fine Arts Department, continues to support the Connick Foundation’s work with their diligent help in research and assisting a wide range of students, faith organizations and others who are studying Connick stained glass. We are pleased to announce that Fine Arts librarian Kimberly Tenney has been appointed Curator of the Arts Department and oversees the Connick Collection in Fine Arts.
The Connick Foundation’s connection with MIT continued with Peter Houk, director of MIT’s Glass Lab, giving the 2012 Orin E. Skinner lecture. Mr. Houk spoke on several aspects of the MIT Glass Laboratory’s program, emphasizing the role and significance of the Laboratory within the culture of the Institute and explaining how the teaching is undertaken and what the students make. The artist-in-residence program plays an important part, and Mr. Houk showed work by some of the distinguished makers who have taken part, as well as special projects carried out with student involvement. This was a revelation of the contemporary power of glass as a continuously inspiring medium for artists.
Finally, 2013 will be an especially important year for the Foundation, since it will be the Centenary of the opening of Charles Connick’s studio – in April 1913 – at Nine Harcourt Street in Boston’s Back Bay area. The Foundation has set up a Centenary Working Group to plan and implement a program of commemorative events. These will include lectures and tours and, we hope, an exhibition. We also hope to collaborate with other organizations to ensure that the widest possible audience will be able to participate. Please check our web site (cjconnick.org.) for information about these forthcoming events.
Charles Connick’s stained glass is increasingly recognized as one of the supreme achievements in American applied arts. The Foundation’s constant experience is that the art of Connick and his co-workers continues to bring both visual poetry and meaningful beauty to contemporary viewers of their windows. With every year, the Foundation’s work grows in its scope and ambition, and your support is truly invaluable and deeply appreciated. It will enable us to introduce new audiences to the world of ‘Adventures in Light and Color’ embodied in the finest stained glass.
Marilyn B. Justice