It’s not often stained glass makes an appearance in the ‘charts’ but this year Peter Cormack has a hit on his hands as his up-coming publication features in Christie’s list of the best art books to look out for in 2024. It is the first comprehensive account of Charles J. Connick, America’s most innovative and influential stained glass artist working in the first half of the twentieth century

When Charles J. Connick (1875–1945) began his stained glass career in Pittsburgh in the 1890s, America’s fascination with the newly invented “opalescent” windows of Tiffany and La Farge meant that the original traditions of the art form were almost forgotten. Connick made it his life’s mission to reassert the values of the medieval craft, successfully persuading twentieth-century Americans that these could inspire powerfully expressive modern glass as well as thrilling new imagery.

This book presents the dynamic trajectory of Connick’s artistic development. Refuting any notion of Connick as a revivalist, Peter Cormack examines the diverse cultural influences that shaped Connick’s art, including his creative interaction with European stained glass and his friendship with poets such as Robert Frost. Richly illustrated and based on decades of research, it analyzes Connick’s work in the context of the Arts and Crafts and “Modern Gothic” movements in architecture and the applied arts, showcasing stained glass works found throughout some of the most spectacular buildings in the United States, including New York’s St. John the Divine Cathedral and San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. His fruitful collaborations with Ralph Adams Cram, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, Maginnis & Walsh, and other leading architects are also documented in detail.

The book is due to be published on 14th May 2024 and available to pre-order from Yale University Press