Last week, a friend (who I met here two years ago) and her husband stopped to spend a week in this area before heading to Mexico for the rest of the winter. We were thrilled to get at least a week together.

One of our many shared interests is visiting new places and practicing our mutual love of photography.

The first place we visited together was the Gelman Stained Glass Museum in San Juan, TX. This beyond-incredible building newly opened in late autumn, 2021,

My feature photo is what greets you when you open the big wooden doors from the foyer.

The extreme serenity, the immensity of the windows and the reflections of the stained glass on the polished granite floor are the first things that take your breath away. For several minutes, I just stood there with my mouth gaping open, trying to process what I was seeing.

If you stretch the photo, you can see the security guard to the right of the far window. This gives you an idea of scale of both the building and the windows.

The window at the end of the corridor is referred to as the Te Deum of the museum, and is considered to be one of Tiffany’s finest works. Other large stained glass pieces have lead (or other metal) horizontal crossbars and are worked in pieces. This large sample doesn’t have those, and the long panes were worked in one piece.

Photos don’t do justice to the experience, but over my next couple of posts, I’ll try to give you at least an idea of what’s there and provide the bit of historical background I’ve learned since visiting.

“Without artists, would this heritage have descended to us? Would the words and deeds – the revelation – have survived the arduous journey into the present without the painters, the mosaic workers, the storytellers, the stone carvers, the poets, the singers, the workers in stained glass?”

Rachel Pastan