Allow us to be your guide to stained glass history and stained glass museums. We have gathered here a collection of links to various museums that have stained glass exhibits, and to websites with articles on the history of glass in general, and the history of stained glass in particular. We will continue to add to this page as we discover new sites.
These articles make interesting reading and add to the stained glass artist’s appreciation of this fascinating medium.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art – This privately funded museum “houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) including Tiffany jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass windows, lamps, and the chapel interior he designed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.”
The Ely Stained Glass Museum – Ely Cathedral, Ely, England. Established in the 1970s to rescue and preserve stained glass, the Ely Stained Glass Museum houses a national collection of British stained glass.
The Victoria & Albert Museum – View online the Sacred Silver and Stained Glass gallery of England’s renowned Victoria & Albert Museum.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – The Louis Comfort Tiffany exhibit includes stained glass windows and drawings for stained glass windows.
The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows – located at Navy Pier in Chicago, Ill. the Smith Museum is a permanent display of 150 stained glass windows including works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (13 windows) and John LaFarge, as well as Chicago artists Ed Paschke and Roger Brown.
The Chrysler Museum of Art – View their Tiffany collection. More windows should be coming soon.
The Corning Museum of Glass – “The Corning Museum of Glass is where the world—from serious scholars to those simply interested in discovering—turns to learn more about the art, history, craft, or technology of this incredible material. Spend some time at our Museum, and we guarantee you’ll learn to see glass in a whole new light.”
History of Stained Glass:
Preservation Brief 33: Historic Stained Glass – a publication of the U.S. National Park Service. This is an excellent essay with fascinating information on the identification, photographing, care, and restoration of historic stained glass. Includes historical information on stained glass art, glass manufacturing, came types, and more.
Art History with Michelli – Fascinating and extensive, this site amounts to an art history course with online materials complete with links to examples.
The History of Stained Glass – Thomas Flanagan’s website has articles on the history of stained glass organized into: Early Glass, Gothic Era, The Renaissance, Gothic Revival, Tiffany & LaFarge, and Contemporary
A Brief History of Stained Glass – The Stained Glass Museum, Ely Cathedral, Ely, England with illustrative examples.
The Obscure Beginnings of Stained Glass – by Mezalick Design Studio, LLC. A lengthy, detailed, and informative article from the first glass to modern stained glass around the world.
Introductory History of Stained Glass – Shannon Fitzgerald of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee wrote this essay discussing stained glass from its origins through the nineteenth century.
Contemporary Issues of Stained Glass- Anna B. Pagnucci of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee wrote this essay on stained glass covering the advent of Art Nouveau through the 1990s.
Pre-Raphaelite Stained Glass – The Collector Cafe has a brief article on ecclesiastical Pre-Raphaelite stained glass.
Trial By Fire: Contemporary Glass – Florida State University hosts a series of articles including : a Brief History of Glass, Glossary of Terms, Glassmaking Techniques, Important Historical Glass Artists, The Studio Glass Movement, Contemporary Glass Artists, Marc Chagall, etc.
Stained Glass, A Brief History – The Store Finder hosts this article from the Art Glass Association
Stained Glass Manufacturers – Company Histories:
A Brief History of Spectrum Glass – This article describes the evolution of Spectrum Glass Company, from a single “miniature, handmade furnace and roll machine, held together with strapping tape and bailing wire” in an empty warehouse in Seattle in 1974 to the company “where most of the stained glass in the world originates.”
History of Bullseye Glass Company- Located in Portland, Oregon, Bullseye Glass Co. was started by three glassblowers in 1974.
Armstrong Glass Company – Armstrong Glass Company, located in Kennesaw, Georgia, was founded in 1977.
Wissmach Glass Company – Read about the history of Wissmach Glass Company from 1904 to today. Wissmach is located in Paden City, WV.
Youghiogheny Glass – Youghiogheny Glass was founded in 1976 in Connellsville, PA. View photos and click on the “Kilns” link to see glass being made.