Stained glass liturgical art has been a mainstay of Oakbrook-Esser (O-E) for many years. O-E is also the "go to" designer for Frank Lloyd Wright style windows, accessories and more.
As explained to me, there aren’t too many bread and butter studios of this type still in operation within the continental USA.
Mostly, styles changed.
Old was out and new was in. Twentieth century influences quickly developed and quickly faded, keeping the art markets guessing.
Many workshops of this type were not able to weather the changes and folded.
Thankfully, the pendulum has swung back somewhat.
The 21st century hailed in a time for reflection.
Patrons have new found respect for historical craftsmanship and the art that resulted. Clients of all sorts are finally coming to terms with the fact that mass produced items, although more economical, do not fit the need in every circumstance.
A quality product is considered desirable and worth paying for.
It reflects an investment in the future.
Aging churches and other venues are seeking out places like O-E because they 'know how" to restore valuable art glass windows and are also able to re-create new windows and glass items of future significance.
I took a series of photographs detailing the workshop as it exists today.
O-E is a traditional shop where a group of artisans work very hard to complete an order in the time honored way.
Clients will find a museum-like showroom upon entry into the business studios:
Showroom / Gallery selections. Click below to enlarge:
Behind the show room doors, clients will walk into an expansive production area (left).
The only ambience is its historical collection of glass and wooden, custom-built storage spaces, art windows and outdoor views; all quite wonderful.
O-E, although a working studio, is a true “museum” of sorts. You will find historical glass panels that might not be found elsewhere.
Below is a very, very short video demo of my recent visit with Paul Jentz who has been mentoring with the very colorful and adept Johannes Minten.
click left photos to enlarge:
The Church doesn’t have the money it had in the past.In fact, Roman Catholics are the wealthiest group of Christians in the country today. We have more CEO’s and civic leaders than any other religious group. We have never been wealthier, yet we generally are building the most inexpensive church buildings in our history. This myth reflects the priorities of American giving; from 1968 to 1995 the portion of personal income members gave to the Church dropped 21 percent.
We should be willing to spend more on the house of God than on the most expensive houses in town and build at a square footage cost comparable with or exceeding civic buildings. There are many stories of great philanthropy in recent years. Many parishes, in order to build a worthy and beautiful church, have taken the time to raise substantial budgets or have chosen to build in phases.
Notes, Art, Photography CMJENTZ ©2013-2018
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Christine M. (CM) Jentz.
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