IC stained glass on display at the art museum

A USArt team is preparing a stained glass window at the LCMS International Center for a move to the Saint Louis Art Museum. The window, a representation of St. Mark’s, will be on display at the museum until January 9, 2022. (LCMS / Erik M. Lunsford)

By Cheryl Magness

On October 3, the Saint Louis Art Museum inaugurated the exhibition “Art along the rivers: a celebration of the bicentennial”. The exhibition showcases works of art from the past thousand years of the greater Saint-Louis region and includes sculptures, textiles, drawings, musical instruments, furniture, paintings and more. One piece to present is “St. Mark”, a stained glass window on loan from LCMS.

The St. Mark’s Window is normally on display in the lobby of the International Center (IC) of the Lutheran Synod Church of Missouri (LCMS) in St. Louis, with windows depicting St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. John. Designed by the German-American Lutheran artist Siegfried Gerhard Reinhardt (1925-1984), the windows were originally installed in the office of the President of LCMS in the early 1950s, when the headquarters of the Synod was located at 210 N Broadway (where Busch Stadium is now located). In 1973, when the head office moved to 500 N. Broadway, stained glass windows were installed on either side of the chapel altar.

Reinhardt was born in Eydkuhnten, Germany, and immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1928. He became a United States citizen in 1936. He served in the United States Navy and attended Washington University, St. Louis, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in 1950. The same year he was part of a Life magazine article on young emerging artists. According to an article from September 12, 1960 in Time magazine, he had no formal artistic training but wanted to be a painter from the age of 11.

Reinhardt was a member of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild and exhibited his work in various locations including the Whitney Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Columbus Gallery Museum of Art, the University of Connecticut and the Midtown Galleries. In the late 1950s, he hosted an art television show called “Man of Sorrows”. He is perhaps best known for designing “Aviation… An American Triumph,” a 142-foot mural at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, unveiled in 1982, which depicts the history of aviation. The Concordia Historical Institute has several works by Reinhardt in its archives.

Reinhardt designed stained glass for Emil Frei, Inc., of Kirkwood, Mo. Founded in 1898, the company is known around the world for its collection of stained glass. Some of Reinhardt’s designs for Emil Frei include the Easter window of the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Saint-Louis (1959), and the baptistery window of the Catholic Church of Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc, Saint-Louis (1960).

In an August 2020 letter to LCMS President, Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, requesting the loan of the Saint Mark’s Window, Brent Benjamin, then director of the Saint Louis Art Museum, wrote:

“St. Mark is a significant example of stained glass made in St. Louis and would be an important addition to the exhibit section on regional crafts and production. The window is a compelling example of mid-century religious art designed by Siegfried Reinhardt, one of the Frei Studio’s leading artists. The window beautifully demonstrates the art and techniques for which the Studio, established in Saint-Louis in 1898, continues to be known internationally.

“Art Along the Rivers: A Bicentennial Celebration” will run until January 9, 2022. Admission is $ 12 for adults, $ 10 for seniors and students, and $ 6 for senior children From 6 to 12 years. Children 5 and under, as well as museum members, are free. Tickets are also free on Fridays. In addition, the museum will be offering a 50% discount on tickets to celebrate Missouri’s bicentennial on the following dates: October 12, 13 and 14; November 9, 10 and 11; December 14, 15 and 16.

For more information visit slam.org/exhibitions/art-along-the-rivers.

Posted on October 13, 2021

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