Featured Windows, February 2003
Beverly Hills United Methodist Church Window
Building: Beverly Hills United Methodist Church
City: Beverly Hills
Christ as the Good Shepherd window.
Original watercolor sketch of window.
This nine by fourteen-foot window at Beverly Hills United Methodist Church dominates the wall behind the altar of the oval-shaped building. The stylized figure depicts Christ as the Good Shepherd, holding a shepherd's staff and clad in a colorful robe. Designed by Detroit architect Harold H. Fisher, the church was completed in 1964. Its stained glass window, given by Walter R. Kouba, was designed by Helene Rother and Associates of Detroit and was fabricated in France.
The preliminary watercolor sketch for this window was donated by Helene Rother to the Michigan State University Museum for its collection of artifacts related to the Michigan Stained Glass Census. In addition to sketches and full-scale cartoons for windows, the collection includes brass and paper stencils, tools, glass samples, painted glass, pattern books, studio ledgers, and historic photographs. All of these materials help to document the history of the stained glass industry in Michigan.
Helene Rother (1908-1999) was a French designer of jewelry and fashion accessories who fled Nazi-occupied France with her seven-year-old daughter Ina in 1942. She was the first woman to work as an automotive designer when she joined the interior styling staff of General Motors in Detroit in 1943. Four years later she opened her own design studio in the Fisher Building, where she specialized in designs for automotive interiors, furniture and stained glass windows. She spent her later years at her horse farm near Metamora, Michigan.
Beverly Hills United Methodist Church was registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census by Kay Hilfinger of Beverly Hills.
Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, February , 2003.