Style, Status, and Religion: America’s Pictorial Windows, a 95,000-word electronic text with 480 high-quality downloadable images, discusses the history of monumental stained glass in the United States, especially its patronage; the civic and religious institutions that saw leaded and painted windows as essential to their purpose. This first-of-its-kind overview is addressed to individuals interested in a broad social context as as well as art.

Of particular interest for readers of the Victorian Web are the early chapters that profile the dominance of either imported glass from England or the work of English-trained artists. The reverence for the products of English stained glass studios was a determining factor in stained glass installation in the United States from the 1830s to the 1880s. British immigrants include Donald MacDonald, the first firm to glaze Memorial Hall at Harvard University, Samuel West, who was responsible for town halls as well as multiple churches, and John and George Gibson of Philadelphia, designers of windows in the East and West Wings of the United States Capitol Extension. William Jay Bolton grew up in Bath, designed stained glass influenced by King’s College Chapel, and later entered Holy Orders and returned to England. Much attention is given to the influence of Augustus W. N. Pugin and the Ecclesiological Society. The well-known English firms of Bell & Beckham, Cottier & Co., Clayton & Bell, Burlison & Grylls, and Henry Holiday are included as well as Christopher Dresser’s influence, particularly through his publication Principles of Decorative Design of 1873.

The text is inclusive, fully documented with footnote references and extensive bibliography as well as links to organizations and museums. Almost all of the images are copyright free, property of the author and Michel M. Raguin. Right-clicking on each image opens a larger image in a new window that can be downloaded and further enlarged for scholarly and educational purposes.


Some of the concepts addressed

For further information about any of the issues addressed within the text, please contact the author (v../photos/contrib/

Last modified 24 June 2017