Stained Glass - Table of Contents

Harry E. Goodhue
By Bill Parke
Unitarian Universalist Church Historian, Buffalo, New York

Detail, Isaiah Window, Unitarian Universalist Church

Harry E. Goodhue (1873-1918), who designed the stained glass windows in our sanctuary [Unitarian Universalist Church], is known as one of three stained glass craftsmen to revive the art and craft of medieval glass-making during the last decade of the 19th Century and the first decade of the 20th. His work, along with that of Otto Heinigke and William Willet, was the foundation of the Modern Gothic stained glass masterpieces created in the United States after 1910.

Harry Eldredge Goodhue was born in 1873 in Pomfret, CT, the second of four sons; his older brother was Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, a partner in the famous architectural firm of Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson. After attending the Holderness School in Plymouth, NH, he went to Cambridge, MA in 1892, joining the Boston Art Students' Association at age 19. He began to design glass for his brother's firm, traveled to Europe to view medieval stained glass, and in 1902 created a landmark window for the firm's Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Newport, RI: The Brown Memorial window. It was the first American window made of antique glass in accordance with techniques refined in the 13th Century.

Goodhue opened his own shop at 23 Church Street, in Cambridge, MA in 1903. He preferred hand-blown antique glass to the popular opalescent or "American" glass of the time, writing in 1903, "Why should we be afraid of pure color? The men of the 12th, 13th, and 14th Centuries were not. (With) the old glass: the light comes through, but not the sun, to fill the church with gorgeous rays - to almost echo the window upon the floor."

His ideas were further advanced in an International Studio article in 1904, in which he was introduced as "the designer of some of the best church windows in the United States."

Between 1903 and 1918 Goodhue provided antique glass windows for over 70 buildings in 21 states and Canada. He did at least three commissions in Buffalo:

On December 11, 1918, Goodhue died at his home in Cambridge, MA at age 45. He was buried among family members in the Old North Cemetery in Pomfret, CT.

Harry Goodhue's studio in Cambridge trained many stained glass designers, including Walter G. Ball, Wilbur Burnham, and Wright Goodhue, Harry's son.

After his father's death in 1918, Wright Goodhue had a short but brilliant career designing and executing windows for over thirty churches. He died tragically of suicide at the age of twenty-six.

- All Saints Parish

See also: 

Old Testament Window, Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation

Harry Goodhue's Bookplate for Amy Sackler, C. 1901-02 (Source)

Photos and their arrangement © 2009 Chuck LaChiusa
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