J&R Lamb Studios––Excellence Through Experience
Stained glass has a storied tradition of providing illumination, education, and inspiration. While “colored glass” objects date to the Egyptian and Roman eras, the stained glass that we are familiar with today traces its origins to the Middle Ages, specifically in the tenth century French and Gothic periods. During this time, churches and cathedrals throughout the European continent began to install stained glass displays often accented with biblical depictions of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, the apostles, and patron saints to convey “Heaven on earth” and provide a visual interpretation of the scripture for those who were unable to read the Bible.
While most stained glass is found in places of worship, not all stained glass applications are ecclesiastical in nature. Stained glass design has gradually and steadily been assimilated into other settings such as government facilities, universities, museums, well-known hotels & restaurants, and residential dwellings. The inspirational beauty of stained glass in the United States traces its history to the construction of some of the oldest churches in the country. Although stained glass was primarily constructed by individual artisans, studios began to emerge as the demand for stained glass increased with the rapid growth of the nation and its religious foundation. J&R Lamb Studios has been an instrumental part of that development.
Founded in 1857 by brothers Joseph (1833–1898) and Richard Lamb (1836–1909) in NYC, J&R Lamb Studios is the oldest continuously operating stained glass company in the United States owned by two different multigenerational families over the course of its 165 plus years: The Lamb and The Samick/Bleckman families. Donald Samick bought the company from the Lamb family in 1970 after working as an artist at their Tenafly, NJ studio for several years.
Donald has dedicated his entire career to stained glass, with more than 50 years of experience in the business as a craftsman, designer, and studio owner. His writings have been published in Faith and Form, Modern Liturgy, Stained Glass, and Your Church. He has lectured at The American Glass Guild, The Library of Congress, The New York Metropolitan Glass Club, The Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA), Adelphi University, Rutgers University, as well as numerous churches, synagogues, and civic organizations. He is a member of the American Glass Guild, Art Glass Forum–NY, and SGAA; he is a past member of the Appraisers Association of America. From 1996 until 2021, Donald and his talented artistic wife Donna Bleckman Samick, owned and operated the studio together.
In 2003, the studio was humbled and honored that the Library of Congress in Washington, DC acquired the company’s original design archives to preserve for future generations. In 2021, with Donna’s passing and Donald’s retirement, David Bleckman (Donna’s son and Donald’s stepson) and his wife Kathryn Bleckman purchased Lamb Studios.
Today, J&R Lamb Studios continues that history of commitment to excellence with experienced and dedicated ownership, skilled and tenured staff, and world-renowned commissioned stained glass artists who create incomparable works of art. Whether a project is traditional, modern, religious, or secular, J&R Lamb Studios works directly with our clients to help them achieve their vision from the initial consultation to the unveiling of a new or restored stained glass window. This personal attention to every detail results in magnificent and unique windows that will last a lifetime.
Even though the longevity of a studio is an important attribute, we realize the harm in complacency by relying on our reputation alone. As J&R Lamb Studios demonstrated during The Great Depression (under the leadership of the Lamb family), it is the ability to adapt to the changing times that has helped foster a plan for the future. It is that same determined work ethic and vision that has made us remain relevant for more than 165 years and will help us to continue to thrive regardless of trends or fads. J&R Lamb Studios has completed more than 15,000 new stained glass windows and 9,000 restorations in its history. We are proud of our legacy and thank you for your ongoing trust and loyalty.
David & Kathryn Bleckman
Owners of J&R Lamb Studios, Inc.
J&R LAMB STUDIOS LOCATION TIMELINE
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (1857–1934)
TENAFLY, NEW JERSEY (1934–1970)
NORTHVALE, NEW JERSEY (1970–1979)
SPRING VALLEY, NEW YORK (1979–1982)
PHILMONT, NEW YORK (1982–1997)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NEW YORK (1998–1999)
RIDGEWOOD, NEW JERSEY (1999–2001)
CLIFTON, NEW JERSEY (2002–2007)
WYCKOFF, NEW JERSEY (2007–2012)
MIDLAND PARK, NEW JERSEY (2012–PRESENT)