We encounter stained glass often — but how deeply do we understand it?

a tour of exceptional 20th-century ohio stained glass

led by peter cormack m.b.e. f.s.a.

Come explore the artistry and intent behind some of Ohio’s best stained glass, focusing on American master Charles J. Connick (1875-1945). Led by Peter Cormack M.B.E., F.S.A.(one of England’s foremost experts on stained glass and former keeper of the William Morris Gallery), the tour takes in exceptional Connick windows at First Congregational Church in Columbus and Peirce Hall at Kenyon College.

Medallion representing Romeo and Juliet in the “Shakespeare” window Peirce Hall — Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio PHOTO BY C. DONELLY

Thursday May 21

Meet at First Congregational Church — 444 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio

  • 9.30-11.30       First Congregational — lecture by Peter Cormack and tour of windows
  • 11.30-12.45     Travel on your own to Kenyon College, Gambier
  • 12.45-1.45       Lunch at the Kenyon Inn
  • 2.00-3.30         Peirce Hall — tour of windows

Art historian, writer and occasional stained glass artist Peter Cormack m.b.e., f.s.a. is an Honorary Director of the Connick Foundation. His book on Christopher Whall’s stained glass, Aglow with Brave Resplendent Color, was copublished by the Foundation and Boston Public Library in 1999. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and is the Society’s Honorary Curator of Kelmscott Manor, William Morris’s country home.

Charles Connick devoted his lifetime to persuading people that stained glass could be as potent a cultural and spiritual experience in 20th-century America as it had been in medieval Europe. This illustrated lecture will examine the formative impact on Connick’s work of the Arts & Crafts Movement, of inter-war Modernism, and of the Modern Gothic architecture of Ralph Adams Cram and his school. Firmly committed to a regenerated handicraft tradition, Connick welcomed innovation and experimentation in design and technique among his co-workers, and his Boston workshop, founded in 1912. In churches and other buildings throughout the U.S.A., Connick articulated a new and lively vocabulary of the ancient craft of stained glass, synthesising modern expression and the best historic traditions.

This tour celebrates the rich heritage of Charles Connick’s stained glass in the state of Ohio. Peter Cormack will lead a tour of the stained glass windows in First Congregational Church in Columbus, where windows by Connick and his studio (1931, 1937 and 1966) can be seen in the context of work by his contemporaries Nicola D’Ascenzo (of Philadelphia) and O liver Smith (of Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania). This will be followed by a tour of Charles Connick’s spectacular series of windows at Kenyon College, Gambier. Made in 1929, Connick’s richly-coloured panels in the College’s Peirce Hall illustrate characters from American and European literature; another of the College’s windows by Connick depicts the life of Philander Chase, pioneer Bishop of Ohio and Illinois.

Parking at First Congregational Church in located directly behind the Church. Take Ninth north from E. Broad (between the church and the Columbus Museum of Art). It can also be reached from Gay Street: the entrance drive is 40 feet east of the red “ART” sign of the Columbus College of Art and Design and beside the Canzani Center.

Sponsored by the Charles J. Connick Foundation in conjunction with Columbus Landmarks Foundation, the Hawk Galleries, Kenyon College, First Congregational Church, and the Ohio Council of Churches.

the charles j. connick stained glass foundation

After working in Pittsburgh and New York, Charles J. Connick (1875-1945) opened his Boston stained glass studio in 1912. From then until its closing in 1986, the Connick Studio designed impressive windows for churches, cathedrals, libraries and chapels here and abroad. Using pure, intense color and strong linear design, this guild of artists led the revival of the medieval style of stained glass craftsmanship. Connick’s work reflected a strong interest in symbolism in design and color. The Boston workshop closed in 1986, partly due to advancing age of studio partners and partly due to the loss of light (essential to their work) from encroaching high-rise construction. The Connick Stained Glass Foundation was founded to preserve the artistic records, correspondence and designs of more than 5,000 commissions, and to promote Connick’s belief that stained glass was as culturally and spiritually relevant to modern America as it had been in medieval Europe. This Ohio tour is one of many planned for cities across the country where significant numbers of Connick windows may be viewed.