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Grace Presbyterian Church


Grace Presbyterian Church


Location Details

PHONE: 724-548-5609
ADDRESS: 150 North Jefferson Street
Kittanning, PA 16201
HOURS: Phone ahead for tour or attend sevice: Sun, 11am (summer); Sun, 10am (winter)


From our 21st-century perspective, stained-glass windows do not generally reflect a political agenda. But in the 19th century, some windows — as well as furniture and architecture — came to symbolize the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Responding to the Industrial Revolution, specifically to the poor working conditions in the factories and the poor quality of goods they mass-produced, this crusade began in England.

By the late 1800s, it had spread across Europe and the Atlantic, where eventually Americans such as Louis Comfort Tiffany, Gustav Stickley, and Frank Lloyd Wright picked up the gauntlet. Adhering to the tenets of the Arts and Crafts Movement — hands-on attention to detail and pride in accomplishment — these gentlemen advanced the philosophy that a true craftsperson is nothing more, and nothing less, than an artist.

That philosophy shines through the stained-glass windows of Kittanning’s Grace Presbyterian Church. Since 1911, when this Jefferson Street church first opened its doors, five original Tiffany works have graced the building. The most striking is the Jane Ross Reynolds memorial window, Faith.

Showing a woman holding the Scriptures in her arms and looking up to the “crown of glory,” the window’s “depth of color, general form and beautiful and wonderful iridescent effects are entirely dependent upon the Tiffany favrile and luster glass, in conjunction with the latest methods of ‘plating,’” proclaimed the Kittanning Daily Leader Times.

This type of ecclesiastical art was a Tiffany trademark and a good source of revenue for the company. Often the windows were tributes to departed family members. And, thanks to the area’s booming steel and coal industries of the early 1900s, Grace Presbyterian boasted its share of parishioners who could afford Tiffany’s work.

But art glass was never simply about status. For the church, it was about love — love of community and love of God. And for Tiffany, perhaps it was about pride. After all, according to Grace Presbyterian’s records, “Mr. Tiffany came here from New York to inspect the windows himself.”

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