History of Stained Glass Art

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    What is stained glass?

    • Stained glass is created by adding metallic salts during the creation of ordinary glass. Stained glass can also be made by painting glass with translucent paint and then firing the glass in a kiln to set the color.

    Where was it first developed?

    • Colored glass has been made for millennia, starting with the Romans and the Egyptians, who often used it for drinkware. Stained glass reached its greatest artistic height during the Medieval period, when it was used throughout Europe to decorate cathedral windows with biblical scenes.

    Stained glass as a religious tool

    • During the Medieval period, most sermons were given in Latin, which the common man could not understand. In addition, most Europeans were illiterate. Therefore, the stained glass windows that illustrated Biblical scenes were important educational tools.

    Famous churches with stained glass art

    • Some of the most beautiful works of stained glass art in churches are found in Europe. These include Chartres Catherdral in France, Canterbury Cathedral in England and Ulm Cathedral in Germany.

    Trade Guild

    • The Stained Glass Association of America is an organization that is over a century old. Its mission is to make sure that the art of producing stained glass never dies out.

    Tiffany Glass

    • Tiffany glass was developed by John La Farge and made popular by Louis Comfort Tiffany in an array of goods from Tiffany lamps to American churches during the early 20th century.

    Modern applications for stained glass

    • Stained glass is a common sight in modern churches, although the glass is rarely done by hand any more. Stained glass is also used in bars, home decorations such as "light catchers" and sculptures.

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