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Religious Stained Glass
FLLW Art Glass

Most people today recognize Frank Lloyd Wright as one of America’s greatest architects.  Many people do not know that Frank Lloyd Wright was also one of our nations most prolific stained glass designers. From the late 1880’s to the mid 1920’s a time when the popularity of stained glass reached it’s peak in America, he designed over 150 houses that featured leaded glass in every window opening.
Oakbrook Esser Studios has been involved in historical glass restoration of original Wright windows, including those in the Coonley Playhouse in Riverside, IL, the Unity Temple in Oak Park, IL, the Bradley House in Kankakee, IL and, most recently, the Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, NY. These projects have given the craftsmen of the studio the opportunity to study Mr. Wright’s work and to develop expertise in the materials and techniques he used.
Frank Lloyd Wright® Darwin Martin House
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House Complex designed and built in 1903-1905 in Buffalo NY; ranks as one of Wright’s most important works in America. The Martin House was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986, the highest designation that can be accorded to a structure by the federal government. In 1992, the Martin House Restoration Corporation (MHRC) organization was formed for the extensive restoration of this magnificent house to its former glory.

The leaded glass at the Martin Estate is among the richest ever designed by Wright. There were originally 394 distinct pieces of art glass in the five buildings of the Martin House complex. Wright wrote about the importance of leaded-glass windows in his Prairie houses, acknowledging their role as both decorative and architectural, often referring to the leaded windows as light-screens.

Of the 15 primary art glass patterns in the Martin House complex; the most famous of these windows is the "Tree of Life", which has up to 750 pieces of glass in it. The individual pieces of clear and iridized colored glass in the windows are surrounded by metal strips of special brass caming, which are then soldered together and fitted into metal frames.

In 1997, Oakbrook Esser Studios was honored to be commissioned by the MHRC to study, restore and preserve original Martin House windows and reproduce as many as 30 of these exquisite panels designed by Wright. These windows were meticulously handcrafted much the same way that Linden Glass Co. of Chicago, produced the original windows at the turn of the century. 

The authentic reproductions by Oakbrook Esser Studios as well as approximately 40 original Martin House windows, doors and skylights were the focus of an important traveling exhibition, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: WINDOWS OF THE DARWIN D. MARTIN HOUSE. The exhibition was organized by the MHRC and the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo NY.  The show started at the Burchfield- Penney Art Center and traveled to the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. and the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida. Eventually they will be returned to their place in the restored Martin House.Oakbrook Esser Studios is currently collaborating with the MHRC on plans for the next phase of restoration.

In 1988, Oakbrook Esser Studios was commissioned by the owners of the Coonley Playhouse to reproduce all of the home's art glass which had been previously sold at auction. Working together with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and The National Center for the Study of Frank Lloyd Wright. Our craftsmen were able to create exact replicas of each of the thirty-nine art glass windows using original the documentation from the early 1900's.

Read more about the Windows of the Darwin D. Martin House.

OAKBROOK-ESSER STUDIOS Frank Lloyd Wright®  Art Glass  

The Frank Lloyd Wright® name, likeness, associated publicity rights, the Frank Lloyd Wright® mark and variations thereof, are all property of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ. All drawings and designs of Mr. Wright protected under copyright. ©2007 FL Wright Fdn.


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129 E. Wisconsin Ave Oconomowoc, WI 53066

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