These windows are not a single isolated act of creation — they are the culmination of collaboration.
The windows are an evolution of shared ideas, nurtured in Brothers’ communities throughout France during the 19th century. Such ideas sustained the Brothers’ community, carried the weight of the heart and mind, and sought expression through creative release in symbolic representation. Paintings, lithographs, and engravings that reached their peak of beauty are resemblant in these radiant windows.
The windows are the result of a series of works of art going back many years, depicting themes that the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools saw as quintessentially expressing its spiritual identity.
The life and work of Saint John Baptist de La Salle depicted in these windows was originally created for the motherhouse in France by the workshop of Mazuet et fils (and sons), father and son artisans of stained glass windows based in Bayeux, Lower Normandy. Mazuet et fils was founded in 1859 and both father Leon-Louis and son Henri were thought to have been students of the Brothers in the late 1800s. They created these windows in collaboration with the artist and former Brother Alexandre Grellet. Other Mazuet works can be admired in the ancient churches and magnificent cathedrals of France, including Eglise
Notre-Dame et Saint-Marcouf in Basse-Normandie.
According to internationally acclaimed stained glass artist Robert Pinart, who was awarded the inaugural lifetime achievement award from the Staied Glass Association of America, has said these windows are:
“hidden treasures. They must be saved. They must be seen. We do not know of a single glass artist who could produce windows of this refinement today especially on that immense scale…Their legacy is irreplaceable.”
The windows were originally installed at St. Joseph’s Novitiate in Pocantico Hills, NY. The novitiate relocated to Barrytown, NY, in 1930 after the Pocantico Hills property was sold to the Rockefeller estate.