Pegasus Medallion Connick Windows
Thoughts, news and comments concerning the art and craft of Connick Stained glass, published periodically by...

The Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation, Ltd., Orin E. Skinner, Founder June, 2003
Directors and Officers
Theresa D.Cederholm    Peter Cormack (Honorary)    Judith G. Edington    Jonathan L.Fairbanks    Elizabeth B. Johnson     Marilyn B. Justice, President

Dismantling Connick Windows
Paul F. Norton

The realization that several stained glass windows by Charles Connick are no longer in the buildings for which they were designed is very disturbing. Unlike oil paintings and prints, that only require front lighting, stained glass windows must have exterior light. Furthermore, the choice of glass for best effect depends upon the direction and intensity of the exterior light source and the distance from which the glass is viewed. Given these limitations it is easily understood that moving windows from one place to another produces serious lighting problems. Unfortunately, there is today a tendency to underestimate the inherent value of windows designed by major stained glass artists. 

Two Connick windows (see photographs on the overleaf) disappeared from Dwight Hall, Mount Holyoke College in 1970. After long faculty discussions over the subjects, cost and position in Dwight, then serving as the Art building, the windows were commissioned and installed in 1940. They occupied the double window above the door facing the west toward College Street. Choices of subjects were "St. George Killing the Dragon" and "St. Francis." Beneath these are figures of Princess Una from The Faerie Queen and St. Clair. The windows were highly admired by all who saw them. After erection of the new Art Building, Dwight became mainly office space, including the area just inside the Connick stained glass. The dark windows did not allow enough light, so they were removed and crated. No plan exists to reinstall them.


Central portion of window symbolizing Plato,  University of Kansas. Plato holds the symbol of restive and rebellious spirits, the horses of the soul.

At the University of Kansas, two Connick windows were installed in the Spooner-Thayer Art Museum in 1937. The themes chosen were "Plato" and "Socrates." Soon the windows became so popular that literally thousands of museum visitors saw and appreciated them. However, the Museum of Anthropology took over Spooner Hall in 1978 and removed the windows. When the University built their new Thayer Art Museum in the 1970's, no plan was made for reinstalling the windows. Instead they went into storage for the next twenty-five years.

Has any damage occurred owing to the removal of these windows from public view? To give an answer one must believe that Connick windows possess qualities of beauty rarely matched by other American stained glass artists. Not only are they very beautiful, but they have depth of meaning derived from Connick's broad acquaintance with literature, history and the arts. He said about a window at Mt. Holyoke: "You will probably notice first the little figure of Princess Una saved from the Dragon, according to Spenser; Sister Clare, the lily, the rose, the trumpeting boy and the singing girl, the two fragments of rainbows suggesting the beauty of great lives, Sister Moon for romance, and Brother Sun for the loveliness of the workaday world."  At both institutions the students and the visiting public have for many years been unable to benefit from seeing windows of such exceptional quality. Each one is designed with richly colored glass appropriate to the lighting conditions and the stories they tell. Is the cost of installation so great that important institutions of higher learning cannot muster the necessary funds?  Rare opportunities to enrich lives should not be lost. 


Central portion of Socrates window at the University of Kansas.  Socrates holds aloft in his right hand the Greek figure of victory and in his left hand the Greek symbol of death.

When a modern Titan of the arts creates windows of such beauty, it is negligent to keep them hidden from public view.

A happy circumstance, recently reported by Professor DeGeorge of the University of Kansas, is that their Connick windows will be reinstalled in the Humanities Building during the Spring of 2003.


Paul F. Norton is retired Professor of the History of Art & Architecture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is

now concentrating on discovering and researching the history of stained glass windows and has recently published the book:

"Rhode Island Stained Glass, an Historical Guide." A recent article in the April 2003 issue of the journal "Nineteenth Century"

(a publication of the Victorian Society) is entitled "The Gorham Manufacturing Company and its American Window

Department." Dr. Norton gave the Orin E. Skinner Annual Lecture on Stained Glass in 1998.


  • The Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation held its eighteenth annual meeting March 31st in Boston. The Reverend Robert Windsor, because of new church responsibilities, resigned as director. We shall miss his helpful insights and general caring for the Connick ideals of stained glass.   Janice Chadbourne, Curator of the Connick Archive, Fine Arts Department, Boston Public Library, reported that 17,007 Connick items were consulted from March 2002 to February 2003.

  • Photographs in this Newsletter are courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library.


"ON A HOT JULY DAY in nineteen hundred and three, a group of about twenty-six men met at the Southern Hotel in Columbus, Ohio to organize the National Ornamental Glass Manufacturers' Association." (Orin E. Skinner, Stained Glass Quarterly summer 1978) This organization of stained glass workers became the Stained Glass Association of American, and as such, the organization will celebrate their one-hundredth anniversary June 17th to June 22nd once again in Columbus, Ohio. The Stained Glass Association, established as a trade organization for the stained glass industry, seeks 'to maintain the highest possible standards for excellence in craftsmanship, integrity and business practices'.  

E. Crosby Willet of the Willet Stained Glass Studios, Philadelphia, will present a major address at the conference on American Stained Glass Studios of the Twentieth Century. This slide lecture will in part be dedicated to the work of the Charles J. Connick Studio. More information about the summer conference is available from the Stained Glass Association, telephone (800) 438-9581.

An abbreviated list of Connick installations in Ohio is as follows: Kenyon College in Gambier, where there is an entire glazing scheme (located in Peirce Hall) of English speaking literary themes from Beowulf to our twentieth-century American authors (see June 1996 Connick Windows); Childrens' Hospital, Cincinnati (see February 1998 Connick Windows); First Congregational Church, Columbus; Christ Church, Glendale; Saint James, Zanesville.

The Connick Foundation wishes all of you a summer filled with light.




Connick Windows

"I want to make beautiful interiors for both churches and souls

I want...[all people] to hear my windows singing..."

Charles J. Connick




Windows symbolizing Saint George (left) and Saint Francis (right) originally installed in the Arts Building of Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts

One definition of Window is "a means of obtaining information". Our newsletter will keep you informed of the Foundation's activities, the Connick
Collection in the Fine Arts Department of the Boston Public Library, and Connick news around the country.

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