Stained Glass in Catholic Philadelphia
Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2002
Book ID: 39
474 pages + preface, bibliography, and index | 13 x 9 inches | 880 color images
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Stained Glass in Catholic Philadelphia tells the remarkable story of the thousands of stained-glass windows made in America, England, France, and Germany in the more than 400 churches, chapels, and institutions in the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Since 1997 more than 450 sites have been visited to document their windows by photographing them. This process has resulted in the creation of a photo archive of over 50,000 images. Using this archive as a foundation, a team of scholars from a variety of institutions and with specialties in medieval studies, architectural and social history, Christian iconography, decorative and liturgical arts, the craft, creative reuse, and historic preservation of stained glass was assembled to study these windows. The result is this profusely illustrated book of original research that makes accessible a significant and highly visible, but neglected, aspect of our ecclesial, national, and regional cultural heritage.
Jean Farnsworth, ed., Carmen R. Croce, ed., and Joseph F. Chorpenning, O.S.F.S., ed.
Selected by Choice (American Library Association) for its 40th Annual Academic Outstanding Title List
Recipient of Catholic Press Association Award (2003) and Independent Publisher Book Award (2003)
"In the range of ideas and depth of context, this is an invaluable and model study of religious stained-glass windows in the US — a subject needing research — as revealed by the thorough study of Catholic Philadelphia. […] Beautifully illustrated, short, clearly written essays delve into diverse subjects. […] The well-documented section on studios and selected artists is especially valuable because many of these makers supplied stained-glass windows throughout the nation. […] Valuable for museum, art history, and religious/theological libraries. Summing Up: Essential."
Jesse Poesch, Choice
"[A] lavish coffee table art book filled from cover to cover with superbly presented stained-glass windows from Catholic churches throughout the great city of Philadelphia. […] a unique and recommended contribution to American Art History collections."
The Midwest Book Review
"Thanks to a mighty effort carried out by the publisher. […] The book is an extraordinary encyclopedia, treating its subject with intellectual thoroughness and an eminently readable text. Simultaneously, it is an exquisite example of fine publication production. […] On an ecumenical level, non-Catholics will also be infinitely enriched by everything the book has to offer. […] Artists, architects, students, and concerned connoisseurs will surely want a copy of the book for all the valuable information and unparalleled pleasure it provides. In addition, in my opinion, no community or institutional library should consider itself an adequate resource without a copy or two on hand, both for general reference use and for the pursuit of whole hearted personal satisfaction by its constituents."
Burton Wasserman, Art Matters
"The book is a unique achievement. Its execution is magnificent. Bravo!"
Rodger Van Allen, American Catholic Studies
"This is a weighty book in every sense of the term. […] [I]t is a feast for the eye and an intellectual banquet as well. […] The scholarly apparatus for each chapter is formidable. Readers who wish to pursue the subject of stained glass have all the clues necessary to penetrate the labyrinth of history, theology, and spirituality that lies beneath the stained glass of Philadelphia's churches. […] This is a scholarly work that I am sure will take its place as a classic in the special niche of studies devoted to the Church in Philadelphia."
Thomas J. McManus, Catholic Historical Review
"There are extensive endnotes; in fact, the endnotes are not to be missed as they apply another level of understanding to the text. […] The one case study was particularly interesting, as the pre-Vatican II 1950 windows at St. Francis of Assisi, Norristown illustrate the Book of Revelations, which at the time demonstrated the nation's anxiety with post-World War II Communism and the coming of the Atomic era. […] [This book] with incredible photography makes this a 'must have' publication for every stained-glassophile and historian, regardless if one is Catholic and lives in Philadelphia, or not."
Barbara E. Krueger, Quarterly of the Stained Glass Association of America
"Stained Glass in Catholic Philadelphia [is] a scholarly and lavishly illustrated book of original research that makes a significant but neglected aspect of ecclesial, national, and regional cultural patrimony accessible to a wide audience. Numerous Catholic churches have been built in this country in the past forty years, but very few can boast of stained-glass windows of the quality set out in this volume."
R. Kevin Seasoltz, Worship