stained glass window repairs
Stained Glass Restoration by the Experts

custom stained glass

The Enlightenment: The Lamb Studios Stained Glass Newsletter

July 2017


Lamb Studios, the oldest continuously operating American stained glass studio, was founded in 1857 in New York City. The founders of the company were Joseph (1833–1898) and Richard Lamb (1832–1909), brothers who were both born in Lewisham, Kent, England. They believed in “Art, not merely for art’s sake, but art as an aid to religion”. Specialists in ecclesiastical art we are blessed to carry on the original focus of the studio and are blessed to have worked on so many beautiful works of art.

Major Accomplishments and Awards

The J & R Lamb Studios has been honored to work on major art projects over the years and honored to receive many awards. Our work can be found in all 50 states, 13 countries, and in such prestigious buildings as the Stanford University Memorial Church, Camp Lejeune Chapel, 1st Presbyterian Church of Orange, TX, Lakewood Cemetery Chapel, Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, Cornell University, Tuskegee University, Columbia University, Wells College, Wellesley College, Brooklyn Museum, Newark Museum, Morse Museum, and Marble Collegiate Church. We won medals at the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition, the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo and the Paris International Exposition in 1900. J & R Lamb Studios, Inc. was chosen by the U.S. government as one of four studios to represent American achievements in stained glass at the Paris International Exposition of 1900. Lamb Studios won 2 gold medals (Our prize-winning window, Religion Enthroned, is at the Brooklyn Museum).

Recently, Lamb Studios received the Washington Building Congress Craftsmanship Award for our window restoration work at Dahlgren Chapel at Georgetown University, a Senate of Maryland Citation for Historic Restoration for the restoration of windows at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, a Bene Award for Art Glass from Ministry and Liturgy, and the Lamb Studios collection of Art and History was acquired by the Library of Congress.


J & R Lamb Studios looks to future with another generation of our family joining the organization. Owners Donald and Donna Samick have hired their son, David Bleckman, to assume the position of Chief Financial Officer at Lamb Studios. David’s vast experience in banking and project management will add to the management of the business as the company looks forward to the next century.


Historic preservation is an important way for us to transmit our understanding of the past to future generations. – National Park Service

Older buildings that have a historic significance, cultural significance, architectural significance, or have a sentimentality to a parish or organization should be preserved, maintained, and restored, so that the original integrity, look, and feel are maintained. When restoring an older building, using the same materials as much as possible is important in maintaining a building’s identity. Sometimes even old tools and techniques are required to accomplish the restoration.

Having a deep knowledge of how a building was originally built and the materials that were used goes a long way in having a successful restoration. It takes expert craftsmen to understand what will need to be done and how to accomplish it so that a building does not lose its original character.
When you are planning your restoration project there are many resources and agencies that have published information and guidance on how to complete a historic preservation project. The New York Landmarks Conservancy published a congregation’s how-to guide for managing repair and restoration. In addition, the National Park Service has issued historic preservation standards and guidelines.

Finding out how much your restoration project will cost and how you will pay for your project are the first items that you will need to tackle. Depending on the scope of work to be done you may need to hire an architect and a construction contractor to calculate the estimated construction costs of the restoration. For stained and leaded glass window restoration estimates it is important to choose an experienced stained glass studio like Lamb Studios to provide an expert conditions report and to offer an Appraiser’s Association of America appraisal. You should be involved in your project and ask questions. Stained glass studios affiliated with the Stained Glass Association of America should be able to assist you, but always ask to see examples of previous restoration work and ask for references. Lastly, ask about guarantees.

Most historic restoration projects will ultimately require many sources of funding but there may be help. Historic landmarks, churches, and buildings, may be eligible for grant money to help pay for the restoration. One resource to find out about grants in your area is


What is ISOThermal Protective Glazing?

When your church undergoes a major stained glass restoration project the term Isothermal Protective Glazing may be introduced by an architect, a consultant, or a stained glass studio. Stained glass windows are designed to last for many decades without any help, but if your church has an investment in expensive / historic stained glass you may want to preserve your windows in the best environment possible. This is where an Isothermal Protective Glazing system may be recommended.

An Isothermal Protective Glazing system will replace the existing window frame that currently holds your stained glass window with a new frame that has an exterior protection of insulated low emittance coated glass and an inner frame for the stained glass. The frame will have vents built into it so that air from inside the building can circulate on both sides of the stained glass window. With equal temperatures on both sides of the stained glass and a separate frame that is not subject to the settling of the building you are able to isolate the stained glass from some of the most damaging elements it may encounter. In addition, the exterior protection glass will protect the stained glass window from wind, water, dust, and debris while offering UV protection.

Is isothermal protective glazing right for your church? This is a very difficult question to answer. Does the value of your windows support the cost and the need of this expensive system? Are there alternative approaches available like retrofitting the original window frame for exterior protection glass and creating internal ventilation? Will a separately framed exterior protection glass with external ventilation afford you the protection you need? What is the immediate need that you can afford? Is it the restoration of the stained glass? Is it the protection of restored stained glass? Can the church afford to undertake both the restoration of the stained glass window and the installation of an isothermal glazing system? Restoration of a failing stained glass window will always be the first step in your project. Once that is complete then you will have to make one of the following choices.

  1. Re-install the restored stained glass into the existing frames.
  2. Re-install the restored stained glass into the existing frames and add externally vented protection glass.
  3. Re-install the restored stained glass into the existing frames, retrofit the existing frame for internal ventilation, and add protection glass.
  4. Re-install the restored stained glass into a new double glazed frame with external ventilation.
  5. Re-install the restored stained glass into a new frame that is specifically designed for double glazing and internal ventilation (isothermal glazing).

To add to the discussion below are some Pros and Cons of spending money on an isothermal glazing system.

  • The stained glass will be made easily accessible if repairs are needed
  • The buildup of heat and moisture will be eliminated
  • The stained glass window will not be subject to stress as the building expands and contracts
  • The stained glass window will be in a more controlled environment
  • The stained glass window will be protected from wind, water, dust, and debris
  • The stained glass window will be protected from an object hitting it from the outside
  • The frames may not match the architecture of an older building
  • The system is very expensive to install and church funds could be used for other programs
  • You may have to resize your stained glass losing parts of the original window
  • Well maintained stained glass windows can last a century without the isothermal protective glazing.
  • The system does not guarantee the protection of the stained glass windows
  • The stained glass windows will always be subject to gravity


In the news:

15 Enchanting Stained Glass Windows From Around The World

Elle Decor

These churches, libraries, museums, and hotels boast some truly extraordinary glasswork. Read the full story

Shared from Apple News

A German art historian has discovered a huge work in stained glass, previously installed in the Stasi (secret police) headquarters in former East Berlin and is staging a pop up exhibition during Art Basel Miami Beach with the intention of selling the work for $21.4 million.


top of In the News

  Like Us on Facebook