SGAA President’s Message - Partnership in History

By B. Gunar Gruenke
Published in SGAA Stained Glass Quarterly, Spring 2009

President’s Message:
Partnership in History

“Ecclesiastical Art Is a Living Prayer.” These are the precious words of one of the Stained Glass Association of America’s treasures: my grandfather. In the past year, he has written more than 50 short, inspirational quotations.

It is clear that so many of us agree with Grandpa that ecclesiastical art is a living prayer.
Grandpa has stated, “creativity is in the hearts of all” and “stained glass has lifted the spirit and minds of many and has given a spiritual prayer of peace.”

Here are a few other quotes from my grandfather:

“Art is a continuance of God’s creation.”

“Expanding the mind is one’s search for beauty.”

“The spirit of man is restless until he is humbled by the beauties in nature.”

“Man’s creativity has recorded the history of time.”

“The spirit of man is restless until enlightened by beauty.”

“Creativity is but a spark of our communication.”

“Creativity is found in the hearts of all.”

“Man’s spirit is humbled when he hears, sees or is touched by his fellow man’s creativity.”

“Great art is an eternal joy.”

These are but a few of the many quotes defining his passion for art and creativity. Hopefully you will enjoy these and be inspired when making your next window. My grandfather, father and sister have all inspired and helped me through the years.  You will see in the article in this issue entitled, “A Partnership in History: Conrad Schmitt Studios and the Stained Glass Association of America,” the importance of the Stained Glass Association of America.

The SGAA has been and continues to be our glue. The Technical Manual as originally written was a massive undertaking. The information being reprinted from it today is unmatched in the world.  The existence of projects like this, the 100 years of archives of this publication, our research library, and the many other assets of the Association make the SGAA the hands-down, undisputed, single greatest source of information on stained glass.

What else does the SGAA do for you? Take a look at this issue and other recent issues of this magazine and you will see coverage on the forward movement on the new home, making the archives available to all, and — in one of the greatest programs introduced by the SGAA in recent years — initial information about the new Association-sponsored insurance plans.

My term as President of the Stained Glass Association of America will come to a close at the Annual Summer Conference this June. I must say thank you to you all for this opportunity to serve the SGAA.

In June, I look forward to seeing you all in Oklahoma City, where I will pass the torch on to (I would expect) Jack Whitworth. He and the new Board under his direction will be making their own “Partnership in History” with the SGAA.

B. Gunar Gruenke

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