Stained Glass for Saint Tikhon Monastery

Stained Glass for Saint Tikhon Monastery

Saint Tikhon Monastery is the oldest Orthodox Monastery in America. The main church was built in 1905. The original stained glass windows were lost to various expansions and renovations, and the windows installed in the 1980s were unsatisfactory due to their low quality and dark blue color.

The abbot wished to replace all 34 windows with a new set to allow brighter warmer light into the church. Given that stained glass is a western tradition, with few precedents in Orthodox history, it was not obvious how the new windows should be designed.

We decided to use blown-glass rondels, which occur in stone-lattice windows in Byzantine churches, and to set them within translucent art glass. The windows reference Byzantine and Slavic patterns, but the materiality is Victorian-American, consistent with the vintage and original style of the building. The transparent rondels admit sparkling clear light, while the translucent glass gives a warm amber glow. The installation of the new windows has seen a spectacular transformation of the church, giving it a far more liturgical character than it ever had before. 

Andrew Gould and assistant Tom Podhrazsky drew full-scale templates for all the windows, and personally selected the glass, much of which was custom made to our specifications. The windows were made by Castle Studio Stained Glass.

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