Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church

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Stained Glass Windows in the Church

The stained glass windows in the church depict events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. All of them are found in Scripture, except the last two (death and crowning). In the original scheme of the church, the tapestry of the Assumption was in the center behind the altar, forming a triptych from left to right -- Death, Assumption, Crowning. All three of these scenes come from ancient tradition rather than Scripture.

The older windows were crafted in the early 1950's by the Barillet Studios of Paris, and they are the ones closest to the front of the church (sanctuary and transepts, except #10). The windows toward the rear of the church (#10 in the north transept and the nave) were by the Piczek Studios of Los Angeles, and probably date from a bit later, perhaps the 1960's.

Although the work of two different artists working at different times is evident, the sequence of the pictures follows a chronological plan moving counterclockwise around the church from the tabernacle to the baptismal font. At first glance, they may all seem similar. But a more careful study of the images reveals striking differences in style. In the Barillet windows, deliberately distorted features boldly engage the eye in a swirl of activity. Sharp, contrasting forms and colors impel the eye to move about every segment of the image, drawing the viewer into the movement and dynamism of the event. Piczek, by contrast, uses long, flowing lines to evoke an earthy simplicity and at the same time a sense of movement toward transcendence.