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Featured Window

Window of the Month
Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

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Featured Windows, August-September 2015

Inserts for door, designed and constructed by Guido Goldkuhle

Traverse City, Michigan

All stained glass is not found in churches!  These “Featured Windows” are windows found in doors, designed and fabricated by Guido Goldkuhle of Traverse City, Michigan.  Guido came to this profession through his family, especially his late father Dieter Goldkuhle (1938-2011).   The doors Guido has designed use clear and/or white glass to provide light at the entry to a home. Clear bevels, textured roundels, and textured glass add interest to the inserts.  The stained glass is fabricated with lead came, and inserted between two piece of tempered glass to provide protection when opening and closing the door.

Guido’s father, Dieter Goldkuhle, was born in Germany and his father was in a business that provided glass to furniture companies.  Dieter was encouraged to follow his father in a similar profession, but when he was in his late teens, he became entranced by colored glass and how the “rays” would enhance the environment.  After a long apprenticeship in stained glass and much experience, he came to the United States in 1962 to work with ecclesiastical stained glass.  Dieter worked in New York City for a few years, and then the call of the Washington National Cathedral enticed him to move to Reston, Virginia to start his own stained glass studio.

As many well-known stained glass designers do not fabricate their own work, Dieter’s extensive background provided the impetus for him to fabricate and/or install the work of many of the glass designers/artists designing stained glass windows for the National Cathedral.  While working in his studio, his two sons, Guido and Andrew, were encouraged to assist Dad. 

Both sons were encouraged to get a college education which did not involve this kind of work….both went into marketing type businesses, but at some point they realized their real calling was in their father’s profession.  Andrew now has a stained glass studio in northern Virginia and Guido’s studio is in Traverse City, Michigan.  An interesting situation has evolved…..the two brothers are currently working on the stained glass in buildings their father was involved with for many years, the Washington National Cathedral (especially since the August 2011 earthquake) and cleaning and conservation at the Duke University Chapel in Durham, North Carolina.

About a year ago, many sections of stained glass windows from Duke University Chapel were removed and taken to Traverse City for cleaning, conservation and restoration.  This will be a multi-year project and due to number and size of the windows, Guido’s brother Andrew and two other stained glass firms will also be working on some of Duke’s windows.  (The following article accessed 7/25/2016).  

Their father Dieter began repairs and restoration work on these windows back in 1993.  The stained glass windows at the Duke University Chapel were designed and painted by artists employed by the G. Owen Bonawit firm of New York and installed in the middle 1930’s;  they have the look of medieval stained glass windows.    Closer to home, the Bonawit firm also designed the stained glass windows at Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester, MI and a few windows at Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, MI.

Guido Goldkuhle along with his brother Andrew are, in a sense, completing the repairs which were being undertaken by their father, until he took ill.  And as juxtaposition to that work, Guido designs contemporary stained glass panels….. for doors…. or…. they can be installed in front of a window as an autonomous work of art!

Text by Barbara Krueger, Michigan Stained Glass Census, August , 2015.