St. Paul’s Church is graced throughout the sanctuary with remarkable stained glass windows. The clear highlight are the Tiffany windows at the foot of the nave and in the apse, dating from the church’s construction. The church is also graced with additional windows dating from the 1950s and 1960s, from the Connick Company and the Willet Glass Studio. Clicking on this link will take you to a five minute video on the windows.
The Tiffany windows are the highlight of St. Paul’s Church's stained glass windows. They date from the construction of the church in 1902, and are true, classic Art Nouveau windows, that are probably priceless today. The windows are beautiful and unusual. They depict landscapes and flowers, have no human images, and tell no “story.” The plant life depicted could be native to Nantucket.
There are five smaller windows over the altar and a large “Water of Life” window at the foot of the nave. The “Water of Life” window depicts a stream flowing into an almost riotous growth of plants, is crowned with a dove, and is dedicated to Jonathan French, Caroline French’s father, in whose name she dedicated the church. The altar windows are dedicated to deceased members of her family. The only life shown in these windows are a dove, a blue bird, and a butterfly.
It is a curious fact that, at the time the side aisle Connick windows were done, it was recommended that the Tiffany windows, then out of date, be replaced. We can thank the wisdom of the vestry that refused to accept this recommendation.
The Connick Company was commissioned in the early 1950s to create 16 windows for the sides of the north and south aisles and one larger window for the Narthex. Today, of the original 16 windows, 12 line the aisles and four are in the recent addition. They depict images from the life of Christ, from the Annunciation to the Resurrection, and several, as appropriate for an island, involve images that include water. The window in the narthex depicts St. Paul on his voyage to Rome.
In the late 1960s, the Willet Glass Studio was asked to design windows for the dormers of the church. The resulting 12 small clerestory "I Am" windows, while difficult to read from the ground, are charming and impart a message about Christ in our life through phrases such as "I am the Bread of Life" and " I am the Messiah."
Around the same time, Willet designed and installed the chapel windows that are in a more contemporary style and done in the Dalle de Verre manner, which uses materials such as epoxy, rather than metal, to separate the glass pieces. The chapel windows depict a landscape with animals, including fish in the sea and birds in the sky.
Click Here to see our Self Guided Tour of St. Paul’s Church's windows.