This collection consists of chemical formulae developed by Lawrence Saint for use in his stained glass work at the Washington National Cathedral. There are supporting samples, records, and notes.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 976 formulae developed by Lawrence Saint for making stained glass. A shoe box contains 3" x 5" index cards of the formulae. Included are duplicate formulae and some miscellaneous notes. There are also over eight hundred samples of glass for various formulae. Some of the formulae were missing when the collection was donated to the National Museum of American History. These are noted in the container list.
This collection is divided into three series.
Series 1, Formulae, 1927-1933
Series 2, Notes and Records, 1926-1936
Series 3, Glass Samples, 1927-1933
Biographical / Historical:
Lawrence B. Saint was born in Pittsburgh in 1885. The work he did with stained glass, especially filming (the process of making a work of stained glass, old or new, look as if it is from the Middle Ages), influenced glassmakers everywhere. At thirteen, Saint was employed in Goeddel's wallpaper store. While at Goeddel's, Saint made sketches which impressed J. Horace Ruby, a former Goeddel's employee. Saint then began working under Ruby at Ruby Brothers Stained Glass Company. Saint's chores in the studio were to grind paint, trace patterns, sweep the floors, and build fires in the pot-bellied stove. Saint worked in this studio for four years. He saved enough money to put himself through the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
After art school, Saint was employed by the H. F. Petgen Company of Pittsburgh to design a large rose window for the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in East Liberty, Pennsylvania. It was a mosaic of color with symbols of the four evangelists of Christ. During his last year in art school, Saint met his future wife, Katherine Wright. Their honeymoon in Europe provided Saint time to study and copy medieval stained glass. Saint made at least three visits to Europe and collected sample glass from Chartres and other cathedrals.
When Saint returned to the United States he designed and painted windows for eleven years under the direction of Raymond Pitcairn, promoter of medieval arts at Bryn Athyn Cathedral in Pennsylvania. During this period, Saint started to portray figures from life to record the faces of his generation. Between visits to Europe, Saint completed six windows in eleven years. Three were figure windows, three were two small roses, and one was a grisaille window. Grisaille is a style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray, used especially for the representation of relief sculpture, or to simulate one. After his work at Bryn Athyn, Saint worked out of his own stained glass studio.
He then went to work for the Washington National Cathedral as head of its stained glass studio. He designed and executed fourteen windows for the Cathedral: the North Rose Window, nine choir aisle windows, and four others in the north transept aisles. Saint experimented with recapturing the reds, blues, and other vibrant colors achieved by medieval glass makers using formulae based on spectroscopic analyses of scraps of 13th century glass. While working for the Cathedral, a fire broke out in Saint's studio. Many windows and materials were destroyed including a window depicting Moses. Saint's most famous work for the Cathedral was the North Rose Window entitled, "The Last Judgment." This window cost $22,687 and took twelve men to create. Saint made his own glass and applied his own process for filming it. Upon completion, Saint's work was displayed at the Free Library of Philadelphia in 1957 and in other cities. Saint said, 'I trust that my material, made public, will lead others to improve on my work...".
The collection was donated to the National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History) by the Washington National Cathedral, through Richard T. Feller in 1977.
The collection is open for research use. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Clippings and articles about Saint, glass making from expert French glass makers, a glass making machine and his technique and formulas for making stained glass; technical writings by Saint; and drawings and photographs.
Biographical / Historical:
Stained glass artist, etcher and writer; Huntington Valley, PA. Director of the stained glass department at the Washington Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
Lent for microfilming, 1954, by the Free Library of Philadelphia.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Stained glass artists -- Pennsylvania -- Huntington Valley Search this
Glass painting and staining -- United States Search this
1.8 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 2 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material, correspondence, notes, writings, photographs, business and financial records, works of art, and printed material document the career of painter and educator Michael Loew.
REEL N68-94: Biographical material, 1957-1967, includes 5 biographical sketches, a bibliography of Loew's publications, and an artist's statement. Correspondence, 1935-1968, is with colleagues, galleries, and educational institutions. There are one or two letters each from colleagues Josef Albers, Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Johnson, Richard Lahey, George L.K. Morris, and Clifford Odets. Nine letters relate to Loew's work for the U.S. Works Progress Administration and the New York World's Fair. Writings, 1966, consist of several drafts for essay "Is It the Function of the Artist to Communicate with his Audience." A contract, 1938, is between Loew and Willem de Kooning and the New York World's Fair 1939 Inc. Printed material, 1944-1968, consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs. Photographs, 1960-1964, are of Loew and his art works. Notes consist of 2 undated notebooks and a typescript concerning Josef Albers. A scrapbook, 1938-1965, contains 4 photographs of art works, clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs.
REEL 5053: Correspondence, 1944-1990, is with galleries, including the Holland-Goldowsky Gallery, educational institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley, and colleagues including Dorothy Dehner, Burt Hasen, and Aaron Siskind. Correspondence, 1956-1957, with Rockwell Kent concerns the rental of Kent's Monhegan Island cabin. One letter, 1959, includes 3 photographs of Loew, Louis Kahn, Allan Kaprow, and George McNeil. Lecture notes are for an Artists Equity symposium, 1956, and a panel discussion on painting, 1968. Writings, 1968-1979, consist of 3 essays by Loew and tributes written to Sarah Freedman McPherson by Loew and others. Printed material, 1932-1992, consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and a book "The Artist's World" by Fred W. McDarrah. Photographs, 1930-1979, are of Loew, his friends, and his art works. One photograph is of Alfred Jensen, Theodore Schempp, Max Schnitzler, and Loew in Tunis, 1930.
UNMICROFILMED Biographical material incudes curriculum vita, obituaries, and birth announcements of Jonathan Loew, Michael Loew's son. Correspondence is with Willem and Elaine de Kooning. Writings include notes and a transcription of Loew's 1966 MoMA talk Must the Artist Communicate with his Audience, drafts of an article by Loew regarding Joseph Albers NEA and Guggenheim grant applications. Photographs are of Loew, his artwork, and his travels in Mexico as well as a color photograph of Loew and Willem de Kooning in de Kooning's studio taken by Rose Slivka. Artwork includes original off-prints for book covers. Business files relate to the 1939 World's Fair mural commission and include information about gifts of artwork to museums. Financial material includes a sales record book and records of sales with the Marilyn Pearl and Landmark galleries. Also included are literature and directories from the Federation of Modern Painters & Sculptors, exhibition announcements,and newspaper clippings.
Biographical / Historical:
Born in New York City, Michael Loew (1907-1985) studied at the Art Students League from 1926-1929, Academie Scandinave in Paris from 1929-1930, the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art from 1947-1949, and at the Atelier Fernand Leger from 1949-1950. Loew worked as a stained glass artist from 1926 to 1929, and painted murals with Willem de Kooning for the New York World's Fair of 1939. Between 1956 and 1966, he taught painting at the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum, University of California at Berkeley, and at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Material on reel N68-94 lent for microfilming 1968 by Michael Loew; approximately 50 letters and an artists' statement were later received in subsequent donations. Additional papers were donated in 1981-1982 by Loew, and in 1994 and 2008 by his widow, Mildred C. Loew, a portion of which was microfilmed on reel 5053. The photograph of Loew and de Kooning taken by Rose Slivka was donated by Loew's niece, Jackie Cohen, in 2007.
Microfilmed portion must be accessed on film. Use of original papers requires an appointment.