History of the Connick Studio

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       After working in Pittsburgh and New York, Charles J. Connick opened his stained glass studio at Nine Harcourt Street, Back Bay, Boston in 1913.  From this time until it closed 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.  Their work reflected a strong interest in symbolism in design and color, and stressed the importance of the relationship between the window's design and its surrounding architecture.  As if with one mind and one pair of hands, the craftsmen in the Connick Studio worked collectively on their windows like the 12th - and 13th - century artisans whose craft inspired them.  Windows created by the Connick Studio can be found in approximately 5,000 churches, schools and hospitals around the world.

        Mr. Connick died in 1945, leaving what he said was "only incidentally a business" to the craftsmen.  For 41 years they continued to receive commissions and design windows in the Connick tradition.  Sadly, they were forced to close the workshop in 1986 because it was impracticable for them to continue; the workers were growing older and the modern high-rises of Copley Square threatened the light source essential to their work.  Shortly after closing, the studio gave its tremendous collection of records, working drawings and related materials to the Boston Public Library.  Selected materials are now available to scholars, historians and researchers from churches and museums throughout the world.  The extensive archive contains glass panels and paintings; cartoons for more than 6,000 commissions; watercolor sketches of stained glass windows; light boxes illuminating glass panels; correspondence, insurance appraisals and financial records; clippings about American stained glass craftsmen and the Connick Associates; photographs, glass plate negatives, color slides and blueprints; brass stencils and copper printing plates; and an extensive reference library.

        Because the collection was stored in the studio for 73 years, it is in urgent need of conservation.  Much of the material is extremely fragile due to storage conditions -- exposure to dust and the vast fluctuations of the temperature and humidity in the workshop -- and due to the acidic nature of paper and the type of glue used.  Hundreds of the drawings are very brittle and unrolling them, even with great care, causes the paper to crack.  The earliest cartoons, those from the first commissions, are in particular danger.  Thus, while some of the items are available for study, others can be handled only by a professional conservator.

        The mission of the Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation, Ltd. is to promote the the true understanding of the glorious medium of color and light and to preserve and perpetuate the Connick tradition of stained glass.  The Foundation works in concert with the Boston Public Library, where the collection is housed, to conserve, maintain and enhance the archive and to assist the public in understanding this art form by providing lectures, publications and films. 

Copyright 1999, The Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation, Ltd.