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Featured Window

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

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Featured Windows, July-August 2012

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

Building: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish

City: Wyandotte

State: Michigan

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Wyandotte, MI. Built 1915. Harry Rill, architect. Photo courtesy of Peter C. Elias.

Left: Annunciation, Munich Stained Glass Studio, Chicago, IL 1915. Right: Nativity, Munich Stained Glass Studio, Chicago, IL 1915.

The featured stained glass windows of Our Lady of Mount Carmel illustrate biblical scenes that comprise of a centralized figures set amongst a detailed background painted in accurate perspective. The windows of Our Lady of Mount Carmel exhibit vibrant colors and skilled artisanship within the soft subtle facial expressions of the scene’s figures.

Left: Detail of Mary in the Annunciation window, Munich Stained Glass Studio, Chicago, IL 1915. This is an example of the Munich glass style that is present within all the windows of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Right: A detail image of the American glass style found within the Annunciation window. These images demonstrate the two different stained glass techniques and styles that are utilized throughout all the windows of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

In 1899, under the patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Polish immigrants began establishing the oldest Polish church of Wyandotte, Michigan (Our Lady of Mount Carmel , 2012). The church, completed under the artistic vision and design of architect Harry Rill, exhibits eighteen stained glass windows designed and purchased in 1915 through The Munich Studio of Chicago, Illinois for a total of $1,575.00 (Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church Munich Studios Stained Glass, 2002; Our Lady of Mount Carmel). Founded in 1903 by artist Max Guler (Drehobl Art Glass Co. History), The Munich Studio produced exceptional stained glass windows that invoked Italian Renaissance romantic figurative and perspective paintings in large centralized scenes, heavily influenced by the Munich stained glass style of Franz Mayer of Germany. Unique to Our Lady of Mount Carmel church’s windows is the separate and distinct stylistic approaches within each stained glass window. The central biblical scenes are approached with the Munich style utilizing imported antique glass and Renaissance flair while the boarding panels are completed in the American style of colored opalescent glass (Church, 2002).

Left: St. Cecilia with Organ, Munich Stained Glass Studio, Chicago, IL 1915. Right: St. Kazimierz Finds Inspiration, Munich Stained Glass Studio, Chicago, IL 1915.

An examination of the windows in May of 2001, by restoration expert Neal Vogel, concluded 90% of the original glass is present and with routine maintenance and minor restoration, the stained glass windows can last another one hundred years (Church, 2002). Through an extensive photography project that coincided with the window examination of 2001, two windows located in the choir loft hidden by the 1958 installation of a church organ and by yellowed and fogged Plexiglas storm windows added during the restoration process of 1970, were revealed. Although still hidden from the church audience, the church now has possession of high-resolution photographic images of these windows that highlight the work of Munich Studios that depict the lives of the patron saints of St. Cecilia and St. Kazimierz.

All photos are courtesy of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and photographer, Steve Karr, unless otherwise noted.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is registered (MSGC 1994.0141).


Bibliography: Show Bibliography

(MSGC 1994.0141)

Text by Layna Williams, Michigan Stained Glass Census, July , 2012.