Stained Glass banner image

Featured Window

Window of the Month
Artist: David Wilson - St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Hartland, Michigan

Click any image to enlarge.





Featured Windows, January 2007

Christ Church Grosse Pointe

Building: Christ Church Grosse Pointe

City: Grosse Pointe Farms

State: Michigan

Salvator Mundi

This window entitled Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) represents the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost as described in the Book of Acts, as well as imagery from the Book of Revelation. In the window's central panel we see a resurrected Christ (top center), holding his side—"shielding the wound in His side, the significance of this being that as saviour of the world, though He be in glory with His Father everlastingly, He is still the Lord who gives His life."1 The symbols of Alpha and Omega are on either side of Christ's head, from the text of Revelation: "I am Alpha and Ome'ga, the beginning and the end."2 To the left of Christ is St. Michael slaying the devil in the form of a dragon and to his right is St. Gabriel with a horn at the gate of heaven. In Revelation the archangel Gabriel (although unnamed) is among the seven angels who blow the horns bringing forth the apocalypse.3 Beneath them is a seated Virgin Mary, flanked by six unidentified apostles. Above their heads are seven small flames, a reference to the cloven flame of the Day of Pentecost, as described in Acts II. In the scripture, after the ascending Christ had directed the apostles through the Holy Ghost and they returned to Jerusalem (Acts 1: 1-12), on the Day of Pentecost the apostles were filled with the power of the Holy Ghost: "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire," enabling them to speak in many languages and spread the word of God to thousands of people.4 The seven flames refer to the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the more commonly used reference to the Seven Gifts in scripture coming from Book of Revelation (5:12) (Blessing, Glory, Wisdom, Thanksgiving, Honor, Power and Might).5 A traditional variation of the Seven Gifts may also be found in Isaiah 11:2.

Salvator Mundi was created for the chancel of Christ (Episcopal) Church of Grosse Pointe Farms, MI in 1935-36 by Clement Heaton (1861-1940). The window was the gift of Mrs. Gustava D. Anderson, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the church. Heaton commenced design on the Pentecost window in August of 1935, but after numerous design changes that took place during the autumn and winter months, the installation of the window had to be deferred until June of 19366 Christ Church Grosse Pointe, built in 1930, was the work of New York architects Mayer, Murray and Phillip of Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Associates. The English Gothic-style building was modeled after the Chapter House at Wells Cathedral, its cloister inspired by that of Canterbury Cathedral, both in England. The exterior of the structure is made of Pennsylvania sandstone, chosen for its iridescence, and the interior is of Indiana gray limestone.7

Heaton was the son of Clement Heaton, Sr., founder of the firm of Heaton, Butler and Bayne of London. Although his father apprenticed him to the London firm of Burlison & Grylls and he assumed a role at Heaton, Butler and Bayne upon his father's death, Robert Jones notes that the younger Heaton was frustrated at his lack of a technical education and that he "left [the] firm to learn other techniques."8 Heaton spent some time abroad, particularly Switzerland,9 before coming to the United States in 1912 at the urging of Ralph Adams Cram10 and eventually settled in West Nyack, NY. Heaton had a fascination for researching history, art and antiquities. Jones notes how as an apprentice he would spend his lunches at the British Museum, a fact Heaton shares himself in a letter to Reverend Francis B. Creamer of Christ Church, with whom Heaton carried on an extensive correspondence during the creation of this window. Heaton makes numerous references to the cathedrals of Europe in his letters to Creamer, as well as to his desire to maintain what he saw as a consistent modern interpretation of Medieval design principles. The correspondence reveals much of the particular working relationship between Heaton and his client. The two men clearly had a friendly correspondence, and Reverend Creamer visited Heaton at his studio in the summer of 1935. But no contracts or official written specifications were drawn up between Heaton and Christ Church, and the correspondence between Creamer and Heaton also reflects a certain amount of professional strain due to Heaton's geographic distance, miscommunication, and delays in the design and execution of the work. Heaton's familiar but occasionally pedantic style, written in an often illegible hand, contrasts with Creamer's businesslike efforts to reassure him and keep him on task while the absence of a contract appears to create some tense exchanges on both sides with regards to matters of money and creative control. Here are some highlights of their correspondence:

8/25/35

Heaton to Creamer:

"After your departure, I prepared a full size shape in white paper for the centre opening for your window… My fingers itch to begin working on the cartoon, and I hope to hear from you soon, that I can do so."11

9/30/35

Heaton to Creamer:

"I have finished the full size drawing since I last wrote you, down to the point where the figure work commences. I have also put up the transparent colored trial piece, so that the morning sunlight comes through it…it looks very well.12

10/4/35

Heaton to Creamer:

"Since I wrote to you this week I have got to the point of designing the clever apostles in the lower parts of the window. As I proceed I become conscious that just because [they] are clever, they fill the space [inconsistently]. More over if they are standing they do not look well, and if sitting do not fill enough space. It so often happens that a scene which is suitable from the subjective point of view does not suit the position it should occupy; one has to find something suitable from both viewpoints…13

10/20/35

Creamer to Heaton:

"Michael is much to my liking and Gabriel also, but I would suggest that the horn be placed either in the hand or under the arm rather than against the mouth. The wings I hope can be done in some color other than red…" "I saw no inconsistency in transmitting Mrs. Anderson's wish for the Blessed Virgin's head to be copied from the Sistine Madonna. However, I want you to do with this particular figure that which you feel is of the best taste and proper art…"

"…I fully realize your labor and time expended in preparing the second design, but we must be guided by the taste of the woman who is giving the window. I regret the delay and inconvenience that our coming to a decision has caused you, but feel that in the end we have come to the best conclusion…"14

10/28/1935

Heaton to Creamer:

"I send you this informal letter to make you acquainted with the position as I see it. At the outset you gave me certain instructions, which I followed in two colored designs, one of which you have and the [other]…I have here. I then made a third one to meet the requirements of Mr. Anderson, and in order to do so thoroughly and we identified the grisaille full size, and then made the transparency, which you have…You can well imagine this … considerable labour—in fact since I first saw you in July in New York I have been working at it. And as I see it now all this … being virtually swept away by fresh requirements! What am I to do about [it]?15

11/35

Heaton to Creamer:

"The elimination of the fourth figure makes all the difference! Not only was there too much, but the four figures provided for no central figure, a side by side, made simply a row. Looking at my first sketch, I think the B.M.V. [sic] alone would be sufficient in the central panel also, to give variety."16

11/23/35

Creamer to Heaton:

"After your detailed explanation, I understand that such a procedure would be difficult. However, it is unfortunate that you suggested doing this, in your own words and at your own suggestion, to the Committee which met with you last fall at the Detroit Club and in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, and also to myself. You not only told us that this could be done, but that you would do it, and drew a plan of the frame work in which you showed me how the transparency might be properly hung and placed. Needless to say, this is very disappointing, and I trust that there will be no further necessity to contradict other statements concerning the window that you made to the Andersons, the Committee and myself on your last visit."

"This is the second irregularity that I have noticed in our dealings, the first being that after my mentioning the sum of $3,500.00 for the design, manufacture and installation of the window, in the presence of my brother at your house in West Nyack and concurred in by you, you write me that it will be necessary for us to build the scaffolding at our own expense. This was the first surprise that lead me to regret that we did not have every detail of the arrangement put down in writing and attested to by you."

"I have already been approached for the gift of two additional stained glass windows, and on first thought would give you primary consideration for the contract, but if such is to be the case we must proceed on a more definite and consistent basis."17

12/2/35

Heaton to Creamer:

"It occurs to me that you have never understood this idea, and that you have inferred that the whole window can be made from a transparency, and that a drawing on thick paper is not the fundamental thing that it really is. If so, this is a pure misunderstanding and which has been maintained because we are working at a considerable distance. I find the transparency of value and I use it as a test and that the more, as it is so easy to put up in my own studio…When I was at Detroit it is true I had the idea of putting up a part of the window in the church [in transparency], but then I reflected it could not be seen properly with the present glass in place, nor did I see how it could be fixed against the stone, so I abandoned the idea, but you have gone on with the idea thinking the whole window could be done in that way."

"…Sincerely yours [unsigned] Member of the American Artists Professional League"18

3/16/36

Creamer to Heaton:

"please correct '1936' to read '1935' inasmuch as the Fifth Anniversary of the Chapel was marked December 14, 1935. Of course, we will not dedicate the window until Whitsunday, 1936, but I do want the year of our anniversary inscribed on this window."19

4/22/36

Creamer to Heaton:

"I believe St. Catherine has the blue tunic, and it is under St. Catherine that Margaret Jackson Gardner should be inscribed, and under St. Cecelia [sic], Carolyn Holmes McFeely."20

6/8/36

Secretary to Heaton:

"As we have had had no word from you regarding the window for the Baptistery, Mr. Creamer has made arrangements with the Detroit Stained Glass Company to have them install a window, so you need not design one for this purpose."21

6/12/36

Heaton to Creamer: "Windows are considered 'pictures' and as we hang up pictures anywhere, anyhow, all idea of unity has also gone. I went into a church in Brooklyn a few days ago, and found in the same church all sorts of windows-hitting as many notes in the wall…Seeing how often this is the case, I take it this is the general modern attitude."

"Now I do not take this view. I return to the ancient ideals of decoration, and even a small window I consider should be in harmony with the others around it."

"This, I believe, is not the American idea; everything must be done quickly, and everything sacrificed to speed?"

"…It is the Detroit Stained Glass Works who set the windows. In seeing the Director about this, I saw he could not draw a line."22

St. Cecilia and St. Catherine

Heaton also created this saint window (detail) for Christ Church. If no undocumented revisions took place since Reverend Creamer's letter of April 22, 1936, it appears that the intended inscriptions have been reversed. The two men corresponded regularly between the summer of 1935 and the installation of the window in June of 1936, with Heaton occasionally writing to Creamer on a daily basis. He also completed at least one pair of standing saint windows (St. Cecilia/St. Catherine are mentioned in correspondence above and there is another saint window that may be Heaton's, not mentioned in the letters) apparently around the same time, although they are the subject of far less concern between the two men and the donor Mrs. Anderson, who also made design suggestions via Reverend Creamer. Evidently, Heaton was involved in a job in New Jersey at the time of the installation, which prevented him from submitting a drawing for the proposed Baptistery window, as referred to in the letter from Reverend Creamer's secretary of 6/8/36. Heaton did eventually travel back to Detroit to see the Baptistery, but the correspondence of the two men ends shortly thereafter.

Other windows in Christ Church, Grosse Pointe were done by the Willet Studios of Philadelphia and Connick Studios of Boston, and another has been attributed to the Detroit Stained Glass Works.23

Photos by Michael DeFillipi.

Notes:

  1. Stuart, Donna Valley. "Christ Church Grosse Pointe" (Booklet). Grosse Pointe Farms, MI: Christ Church Grosse Pointe, 1968, p. 8. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080.
  2. Rev. 21.6. The Holy Bible, King James Version. (New York: American Bible Society: 1999). Published May 2000 by Bartleby.com; © Copyright Bartleby.com, Inc. See also Rev. 1:8: "I am Alpha and Ome'ga, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" and Rev 22.13: "I am Alpha and Ome'ga, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."
  3. Rev. 8-9. The Holy Bible, King James Version. (New York: American Bible Society: 1999). Published May 2000 by Bartleby.com; © Copyright Bartleby.com, Inc.
  4. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place./ And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting./ And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them./ And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance./ And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven./ Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language." Acts II:1-6 The Holy Bible, King James Version. (New York: American Bible Society: 1999). Published May 2000 by Bartleby.com; © Copyright Bartleby.com, Inc.
  5. Webber, Frederick Roth. Church Symbolism; An Explanation of the More Important Symbols of the Old and New Testament, the Primitive, the Mediaeval, and the Modern Church. Cleveland: J. H. Jansen, 1927; reprint, Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1971, pp. 149-150.
  6. Heaton, Clement J., Quellet-Soguel, Nicole and Tschopp, Walter. Clement Heaton: 1861-1940: Londres, Neuchâtel, New York. Hauterive, Switzerland: G. Attinger, 1996, p. 71.
  7. Tutag, Nola with Lucy Hamilton. Discovering Stained Glass in Detroit. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987, p. 51.
  8. Jones, Robert O. Biographical Index of Historic American Stained Glass Workers. Kansas City, MO: Stained Glass Association of America, 2002, p. 53.
  9. Clement Heaton to Reverend Francis Creamer, 14 August 1935. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  10. Jones, p. 53.
  11. Clement Heaton to Reverend Francis Creamer, 25 August 1935. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  12. Clement Heaton to Reverend Francis Creamer, 30 September 1935. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  13. Clement Heaton to Reverend Francis Creamer, 4 October 1935. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  14. Reverend Francis Creamer to Clement Heaton, 20 October 1935. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  15. Clement Heaton to Reverend Francis Creamer, 28 October 1935. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  16. Clement Heaton to Reverend Francis Creamer, November 1935. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  17. This discussion came about because of Heaton's need to push back delivery of the window. He had mentioned use of a transparency, which he used himself for the purposes of testing colors in light, but the church Committee members and Reverend Creamer misinterpreted it that Heaton intended to created a full size transparency rendering of the window to use in the window opening until the actual window was to be completed. When Heaton indicated that it would be impossible for him to simultaneously create a cartoon, window and a temporary full size transparency, this exchange about what exactly he had promised to do followed. Reverend Francis Creamer to Clement Heaton, 23 November 1935. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  18. Clement Heaton to Reverend Francis Creamer, 2 December 1935. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  19. It does not appear that Heaton made this change (unless a decision was made to keep the date and it is not documented), as the completed inscription does in fact read 1936. Reverend Francis Creamer to Clement Heaton, 16 March 1936. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  20. Reverend Francis Creamer to Clement Heaton, 22 April 1936. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  21. Secretary, Christ Church, to Clement Heaton, 8 June 1936. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  22. Clement Heaton to Reverend Francis Creamer, 12 June 1936. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.
  23. Tutag, p. 51. Tutag makes additional reference to a De Raniere Studios of Detroit, but we have yet to find documentation on a studio of this name. There is reference in Creamer's and Heaton's correspondence that Detroit Stained Glass Works may likely have been involved in some of Heaton's window installation, and that they have been chosen as well to produce a children's window for the baptistery (see letter to Heaton 6/8/36). According to Tutag, De Raniere Studios both executed and installed Heaton's Pentecost window and may have executed the design of his double-lancet saint windows. However, Heaton's correspondence with Creamer makes specific reference to the windows being completed in his own studio in West Nyack and being packed for shipping in May of 1936. Clement Heaton to Reverend Francis Creamer, 27 May, 1936. Michigan Stained Glass Census file 93.0080, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan. Courtesy of Christ Church Grosse Pointe Archives.

  24. Bibliography: Show Bibliography

    (MSGC 1993.0080)

    Text by Michele Beltran, Michigan Stained Glass Census, January , 2007.