The Duffner & Kimberly Saint John Window, Kansas City (1911)
The following is the chapter documenting the Saint John Window from the book authored by Randal J. Loy, The Glorious Masterworks of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City, Missouri. Although the book is still a few months away from publication, if you have questions, you may contact Randal at RandalJLoy@gmail.com.
Research for the chapter on the Saint John window is based on the earlier work of three other individuals:
Dr. Martin M. May, Mr. Paul Crist, and Ms. Phyllis Partridge.
For the most extensive and complete coverage of Duffner & Kimberly lighting, please refer to Mosaic Shades Vol II, by Paul Crist.
Late in 2010 I was delighted to receive a communication from Randal J. Loy, Historian to the Dean of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City. For the past five years, Randal has been researching the histories of the major memorial gifts at the Cathedral.
His resulting research forms part of a book he is currently authoring, The Glorious Masterworks of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City, Missouri. The book includes extensive documentation of the 18 stained glass windows in the Cathedral. The Saint John window, designed by J. Gordon Guthrie (1874-1961), was fabricated by the Duffner & Kimberly Company in 1911, and was shipped at just about the time that the firm was being reorganized into the Kimberly Company. It was installed in the building on July 15, 1911.
As part of his research, Randal delved into the histories of the stained glass firms which have fabricated the windows. Whilst a great deal of information on Oliver Speers Kimberly was available, personal information on Mr. Duffner was quite elusive.
Thanks to Martin May who initially included me in the sharing of Randal's chapter on this window.
Thanks also to Randal and his sustained commitment to the research and documentation of the Cathedral's important assets. It is certain to be of great interest to those familiar with the work of the Duffner & Kimberly Company.
The Saint John Window (1911)
Installed in 1911, the Saint John window was created by The Duffner & Kimberly Company of New York City. Francis Joseph Duffner (1860-1929) and Oliver Speers Kimberly (1871-1956) were the named partners in this firm, which was for a time a very strong competitor of Tiffany Studios, the firm of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), in the art glass lamp market. The Duffner & Kimberly Company was founded in December of 1905 with a capital investment of $350,000, an enormous amount of money at that time. Within a few months, the firm was able to offer an impressive line of art glass table and standing lamps, and lighting fixtures, as well as stained glass windows.
Messrs. Duffner and Kimberly began the operation of their new venture with a great deal of ambition and with confidence in their grand assortment of lamps. They attempted to create a market for their products by concentrating on period styles; lamps from Tiffany Studios were conceived in the Art Nouveau fashion of that time, and in the distinctive floral/nature style which was Tiffany's hallmark. Initially, the Duffner & Kimberly firm succeeded: its lamps were offered for sale by Theodore B. Starr, Incorporated, Fifth Avenue, New York City; Bailey, Banks, and Biddle, in Philadelphia; Dulin and Martin Company, Inc., in Washington, D.C.; Morgan and Allen Company, sole agents for the West Coast; and the Chicago Electric Company, (owned by Commonwealth Edison Company of Chicago,) where Duffner & Kimberly lamps were the premiere line offered.
Francis Joseph Duffner was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1860, the only child of Charles Duffner (1832-1891) and Margaret "Maggie" Duffner (1838-1886), who were both German immigrants. With his older brother, Joseph Duffner (1825-1898), Charles Duffner ran a crockery business for many years in Cleveland. In the 1880 Federal Census, when he was 19 years old, the occupation of Francis Joseph is given as a "clerk" in the family store. From a small item in the September 3, 1896, issue of The Crockery and Glass Journal, at page 26, it was known that Mr. Duffner was married; later, it was revealed that his wife was Caroline ("Carrie") Kingston Armstrong (1864-1943). They were married on June 11, 1890, in Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania. Their first child was born on April 18, 1892. It was not named, and the records do not reveal its gender. That child died only two days later, on April 20, 1892. Their second child, a son named Richard, was born on March 16, 1898, but he died four days later on March 20, 1898. Their third child, Mary Marguerite Duffner, was born on April 16, 1899, and died on May 29, 1994. She lived to be 95 years old, but never married.
"F. J." Duffner, as he was known throughout the lamp industry in this country, worked first for the Bradley and Hubbard Manufacturing Company, of Meriden, Connecticut, for a few years from early 1881. Before 1885, he was employed by the Manhattan Brass Company, a firm that had been established in New York City in 1865. He left that employment and founded the Pittsburgh Brass Company, Limited, on March 11, 1886, with two other men, Henry C. Adler (1840-1912) and Cornelius Bermingham (1853-1932). His involvement in that concern lasted until 1888, when Mr. Adler left the firm to begin a competing enterprise, and Mr. Duffner sold his interest in the company to Mr. Bermingham. From 1889 through 1901, Frank Joseph Duffner was head of the Lamp Department of the Phoenix Glass Company of Monaca, (outside Pittsburgh,) Pennsylvania. (Phoenix Glass Company had offices in Pittsburgh and showrooms in New York City, where Mr. Duffner was based.) One of the few personal glimpses we have of Mr. Duffner comes from this period.
F. J. Duffner, with the Phoenix Glass Co., was thrown from his wheel [bicycle] in Brooklyn Sunday afternoon, and broke his leg just under the knee cap. He was riding in Prospect Park, when a wheelman [bicyclist] in front of him slowed down and then suddenly shot across the road, striking Mr. Duffner from his wheel. He was taken in a carriage to the house of a friend near by. It will be two months before he is out, but he will be moved to his hotel in New York [City] as soon as possible, so that he can attend to business. (The Crockery and Glass Journal, George Whittemore & Co., New York City, October 21, 1897, p. 27.)
On July 18, 1898, Mr. Duffner was granted a patent for his invention of a new type of "Lamp Dome", under the name "Frank Joseph Duffner". The application for this patent, submitted on June 18, 1898, lists Mr. Duffner's residence as Allegheny, Pennsylvania. (However, as the excerpt above indicates, he was living in hotels in New York City, and working in the office/showrooms of The Phoenix Glass Company.) In October of 1901, he became a manager with the firm of Plume & Atwood, a manufacturer of brass rivets, nuts, and bolts, as well as kerosene lamps, located in Waterbury, Connecticut, but, once again, Mr. Duffner was working out of the company's office/showrooms in New York City.
For all the years he was based in New York City, through 1911, he was residing in hotels rather than in a house or apartment, (see above). In the 1910 Federal Census, we find he and his wife enumerated in the household of Mrs. Duffner's younger sister, Gertrude Armstrong (1866-1943), in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. (Mrs. Duffner's obituary states that she was born in Lock Haven.) In the New York City directories of the period from 1906 through 1911, Mr. Duffner's listed residence address is the same as the business offices of The Duffner & Kimberly Company. However, in the 1909-1910 City Directory for Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, Mr. and Mrs. Duffner are listed as residing with Miss Armstrong at the "cor[ner] of N. Jay and E. Main", and Mr. Duffner's position with his firm is listed: "Pres. Duffner & Kimberly Co." It is extremely likely that the financial downturns of The Duffner & Kimberly Company did not allow Mrs. Duffner to reside in a New York City hotel with her husband; thus, in 1910, she was living with her sister in Lock Haven, and the Duffners were finally enumerated in a Federal Census.
In all likelihood, with his vast experience in the field of lamps and lighting fixtures, it was Mr. Duffner who went about gathering hand-picked investors to back this new venture, and whose bright mind conceived the strategy for the lamp products to be offered by his new firm. Undoubtedly, he also wanted a stained glass artist as his partner, one who had employment experience with Tiffany Studios. The success of the Calvert and Kimberly firm in St. Louis in 1904, (see below,) must certainly have caught Mr. Duffner's attention; the prospect of partnership with Oliver Speers Kimberly undoubtedly appeared to be perfect. It was only appropriate that, with his vast experience in the field, Mr. Duffner would be the President of The Duffner & Kimberly Company, responsible for the sales and marketing aspect of the firm.
Oliver Speers Kimberly was born on June 20, 1871, in Guilford, Connecticut, and was the first child of Eli Kimberly (1820-1874) and his second wife, Mary Kerr (1845-1916). He had four half-brothers, (one of whom, Arthur Stone Kimberly (1857-1933), was a director of The Duffner & Kimberly Company and most probably was an investor in the firm as well,) and three half-sisters. He also had a younger brother, Harry Standish Kimberly (1873-1966), who was born less than a year before their father died on July 13, 1874. After the death of Eli Kimberly, Mary took their two children and went to live with her mother in New York City. Oliver Speers Kimberly grew to be a talented stained glass artist. He married Myra E. Lynch (1874-1940) in 1896, in Brooklyn, New York. They had two children, Myra Ethel (preferred "Ethel", married surname Hurlbutt) (1897-1979), and Oliver Adams Kimberly (1908-1965).
Mr. Kimberly originally designed windows for Tiffany Studios. He shifted to the lamp department for a short time before leaving Tiffany's firm in late 1899 to form his own stained glass company with Thomas Calvert (1873-c. 1950), an Englishman who was also a former Tiffany artist. Their firm was known as Calvert and Kimberly. At the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, which celebrated the Centennial of the Louisiana Purchase, the Calvert and Kimberly firm won a Gold Medal and the Grand Prize for the window it fabricated, The Angel of the Resurrection, designed by William Fair Kline (1870-1931). The partnership with Calvert was dissolved in late 1905, and the succeeding partnership with Mr. Duffner began in December of 1905, after they had secured substantial backing from several investors. Mr. Kimberly's title with the new firm was "Vice President", and he was responsible for the production of the company's new line of lamps.
Among artists hired to work for The Duffner & Kimberly Company were Hamilton Tappan Howell (1872-1952), who designed many of the lamps offered by the firm, and a famous Japanese artist of the period and graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts, Gazo Foudji, (also listed in contemporary sources as Fudji and Fudjiyama,) (1853-1916), who was chief designer for the firm. Like Mr. Kimberly, Mr. Foudji had also worked for Tiffany. The History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, and Its Centennial Celebration, Vol. II, (by Rev. Joseph H. Bausman, A.M., The Knickerbocker Press, New York City, 1904,) at page 802, records that the Phoenix Glass Company employed many Japanese artists, so it is possible that Mr. Duffner also had worked with Foudji at that firm, or that the two men had mutual professional contacts there. Harry Standish Kimberly, Oliver's younger brother, designed many of the lamp shades and bronze lamp bases for the company.
However, not long after the partnership was created, it became clear that the founding of the firm had occurred at the wrong time. Almost from the beginning, the company was overwhelmed by financial difficulties, and was not able to expand its best-quality lamps and fixtures much beyond the initial offering. The Duffner & Kimberly Company struggled after the Panic of 1907, when an attempt in October of that year to corner the market on the stock of United Copper Company failed. The lending institutions which had financed that attempt suffered runs on their assets, which spread to affiliated banks, eventually leading to the collapse of The Knickerbocker Trust Company, the third largest banking institution in New York City at that time. The ensuing national economic downturn greatly affected the sales of luxuries such as art glass lamps. (Duffner & Kimberly lamps were priced between $300 and $500.) Later, a fire in the firm's factory, located on 26th Street, on December 5, 1910, caused losses in excess of $1,000, and greatly hindered the company's ability to manufacture its products.
On April 13, 1911, the company filed for bankruptcy. Mr. Duffner removed himself from the firm and Mr. Kimberly reorganized it, in May of 1911, under the name The Kimberly Company. Mr. Kimberly operated this successor firm until he was forced by his creditors into bankruptcy again in 1913. He closed the business, but in June of 1914 opened another successor firm, known as The O. S. Kimberly Company, with a new partner, Frank G. Noble (1875-1966). It appears that at this point, only nine years after starting the visionary venture of The Duffner & Kimberly Company, Oliver Speers Kimberly stopped producing art glass lamps, and concentrated on the production of stained glass windows. Mr. Kimberly conducted business in this new company until sometime between 1923 and 1926, when he closed the firm for good. The Duffner & Kimberly Company left an impressive legacy in stained glass, the depth and scope of which is only just beginning to be appreciated by stained glass experts and those who trade in antiques.
With the stained glass firm closed, Oliver Speers Kimberly and his family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut. Mr. Kimberly then embarked on a career as a real estate agent. Myra Kimberly died on March 1, 1940. Mr. Kimberly remained in Norwalk until 1945, when he married Marie Eymer (1894-1976), whose family had come to New York from Bavaria. After their marriage, they moved to New York City. Oliver Speers Kimberly died there, after a long illness, on February 25, 1956.
After he ended his professional relationship with Mr. Kimberly, Mr. Duffner left the East Coast and began a decorating business in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, listing himself as an architect. However, after a short time, he began to return to New York. An article from The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, published on Friday, June 7, 1918, details his work in a complete renovation of the worship space of the Lake Avenue Baptist Church in Rochester, New York, including his design for a new pulpit. (Unfortunately, that church building was completely destroyed by a fire on January 15, 1972.) Mr. Duffner began working for the Rolled Plate Metal Company in 1921. Francis Joseph Duffner was still engaged in that employment on June 11, 1929, when he suffered a heart attack and died at his desk in his office in New York City. He, his wife, and their daughter are buried in the Highland Cemetery in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.
This window is a memorial to Alexander Butts (1844 1910). Mr. Butts was born on a farm in Old Town Valley, just south of New Philadelphia, Ohio, on October 20, 1844. He was the youngest of six children, four sons and two daughters. His parents were Jacob Butts (1802-1865) and Mary Cryder (1804-1846), who were married December 8, 1825, in a small Methodist church in Old Town Valley. They farmed the land, but Mrs. Butts' health was frail. She died when Alexander was only two years old. After the death of his mother in 1846, Alexander was placed in the care of two of his mother's sisters, one of whom was a widow and the other had never married. Then, in 1849, his father married a much younger woman, Lavinia Bender (1828-1902) of Virginia. Alexander remained in the custody of his two aunts until he finished high school.
After he graduated from high school, Alexander taught school for one year in New Philadelphia. He then learned the printer's trade while on the staff of the Tuscarawas Advocate of New Philadelphia. In 1865, when Alexander was 21, his father died in Locust Township, Christian County, Illinois. It is unclear from the existing documents whether Alexander knew then that his father was alive. Alexander's obituary in The Kansas City Star on Friday, March 4, 1910, stated that both his parents died and left him an orphan at a very young age. From that statement, it would appear that the two aunts were the only family he knew. Perhaps Lavinia Bender Butts did not care to raise the young Alexander, and his father agreed to leave him in the care of his aunts. We do know that, as an adult, Alexander enjoyed a relationship with at least one of his brothers, so it seems unlikely that he was totally unaware of the facts of his father's life in Illinois, but perhaps his brother spared him the pain of that knowledge. (There is also the possibility that the individual who prepared the obituary was simply mistaken, or that Mr. Butts told people he was orphaned at a young age to explain, without shame or embarrassment, why he was raised by his aunts.) After working on the newspaper in New Philadelphia, Alexander went to Canton, Ohio, where he joined the staff of The Canton Repository as City Editor. During his five years there, he became acquainted with future President William McKinley (1843-1901) and his wife, Ida Saxton McKinley (1847-1907).
In 1880, Mr. Butts moved to Emporia, Kansas, where he lived for four years, and worked at The Emporia Daily News. There, he was a "paragrapher", one who writes paragraphs or short editorials on the opinion page. In 1884, he moved to Kansas City, after a short respite in New Philadelphia. He became an editorial writer for The Kansas City Star in 1887. In 1897, upon the death of James Boyer Runnion (1843-1897), Mr. Butts became associate editor and was in charge of the editorial page of The Kansas City Star.
Mr. Butts was remembered as a man who spoke to everyone with whom he came into contact in his daily life. His friendships were cosmopolitan and extended from the Italian immigrants in the North End of the City to the highest Kansas City Society of the Country Club in the South End. Newsboys, waiters, policemen, attorneys, doctors, judges, and janitors, men from every walk of life, would speak with him if they encountered him on the streets. A few of them came to his office with their troubles, and were never turned away. There was an account of a relative visiting him and spending time in public with Mr. Butts, and finally exclaiming: "Alex, is there anybody in this town you don't know? We have sat here an hour and you have had something to say to every person who has gone by."
Similarly, Mr. Butts had compassion for every person he met. There are many accounts of him giving money to the poor and needy, and of him taking in the destitute when the situation demanded. On one occasion, he missed one of the girls who cleaned the offices at the newspaper. He inquired about her, and learned she had been taken ill. He visited her in her home, found her condition to be fairly serious, and had her admitted to the hospital. Mr. Butts took it upon himself to pay her medical costs. Another time, it was learned that he had ridden the street cars to buy ice cream and take it with him to visit one of the newspaper bell boys who was hospitalized after an operation.
Among his many acquaintances, he was known to have arranged more than one funeral for a destitute family, and often took care of the payment as well. One of his friends could not understand his compassion for the poor, and told him at a dinner at the Kansas City Club: "Why, Butts, there is not a better dresser, a better liver, a better society man in town than you are. Look at that carnation in your buttonhole now." "Yes," replied Mr. Butts, "I like the beautiful, the pleasant things of life. But I believe that everybody does, and I would like to have them all wearing carnations." Mr. Butts was often named in Last Wills and Testaments and other legal documents as the Executor or Administrator of an estate, because his honesty was above reproach.
Mr. Butts acquired a great knowledge of Scripture while living with his maiden aunts, and he kept a Bible and a Concordance on his desk at all times. He could quote large passages of Scripture, and also would correct those who misquoted a Bible verse in his presence. His knowledge of hymns was also considered to be extensive. He was raised as a Methodist, but when he came to Kansas City, he discovered Grace Church, and adored the "wonderful majesty and beauty of the Episcopal ritual." In June of 1908, he began writing a column containing lay sermons, which appeared weekly in The Kansas City Star. Due to his position at the newspaper and the view of William Rockhill Nelson that his editors be free from allegiance (or partiality) to any group or organization in Kansas City, Mr. Butts did not belong to any social or charity organizations, but he nevertheless made a strong impact by his personal involvements with those in need.
Toward the last few months of his life, Mr. Butts experienced some "attacks" which seemed to center in the chest. (These were diagnosed as "nervous prostration", although the newspaper in New Philadelphia, Ohio, Mr. Butts' hometown, reported that he had suffered a nervous breakdown and, because of it, had retired from the newspaper.) He had survived all those attacks, and the last one he had experienced was in September of 1909. Then shortly before 11:00 p.m. on March 3, 1910, he suffered one final attack and died. The cause of death listed on his death certificate was "Acute oedema of the lungs." (Current medical sources define that condition as "swelling and/or fluid accumulation in the lungs.") The members of the editorial staff of The Kansas City Star were the pallbearers at Mr. Butts' funeral in Grace Church, and William Rockhill Nelson (1841-1915) walked at the head of the casket. The Reverend Julius Augustus Schaad (1866-1938), Rector of Grace Church, officiated at the funeral.
The body of Alexander Butts was returned to New Philadelphia, Ohio, to be buried next to the two maiden aunts who raised him. He never married. A second funeral was held there, in the home of a lifelong friend of Mr. Butts, John Hance (1845-1934). William Rockhill Nelson evidently was not up to traveling such a great distance by rail, and sent Henry W. Schott (1873-1926), who was the Editor of The Kansas City Star, as his personal representative. (Mr. Schott was married to Frances Lathrop (1880-1932), the daughter of Gardiner Lathrop. The Nunc Dimittis window is dedicated to her grandparents, (see Page 106 of this book).)
Mr. Butts' friends and family were shocked by his death, as his health had seemed to improve greatly each month since the attack in September, 1909. (The following statements appeared in the obituary of Alexander Butts, which appeared in The Kansas City Star, March 4, 1910, at p. 2.) The Governor of Kansas, Walter Roscoe Stubbs (1858-1929), issued the following statement on learning of Mr. Butts' death:
Mr. Butts in his early manhood was associated in the newspaper business at Emporia with some of the prominent men of this state, and in his death, Kansas has lost one of her best and truest friends. Mr. Butts represented in his life and character the highest type of American manhood; he was a fearless and forceful writer, who encouraged everything that was wholesome and right in both public and private life, and was a persistent foe to evildoers, denouncing evil in every form, regardless of the station or caste of the guilty person. The value of his life cannot be measured in gold and silver.
After hearing of the death of Alexander Butts, Frank P. MacLennan (1855-1933), editor of the Topeka State Journal, commented:
As a newspaper writer, he was a genius. There was never a better paragrapher. His editorials were graphic, smooth, polished, yet unstrained. As a writer of eulogies, he was probably unexcelled. . His industry was phenomenal . he would write and edit practically the whole paper . and it would be well done. His Sunday sermons in The Star will be missed by a congregation larger than that in front of any Pulpit. He was a thorough journalist of the old school, who kept in touch with the newest and best in the newspaper work he loved. He liked work; he loved workers. His constant cheer and genial presence, as memories, will continue to brighten the familiar paths he has left.
Victor Murdock (1871-1945), a Kansas Republican, and member of the United States House of Representatives (1903-1915), remarked in his memorial tribute at Mr. Butts' passing:
There is not a man in the Southwest who is not in Alexander Butts' debt. . There are a million people in the Southwest who never saw him, or his name even, who knew him and his articles by his style and could identify it without fail, a million who will now miss him as they would miss a member of their own family.
Perhaps the most eloquent comment about Alexander Butts came a few weeks after his death, as a part of the eulogy by the editorial staff printed in The Kansas City Star at the death of humorist Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835-1910), who was labeled a "Humanist" in the title of the tribute:
Occasionally you find someone -- Alexander Butts of The Star was a conspicuous example in Kansas City -- who is so broadly human and has such an intense interest in every side of life that instinctively you feel acquainted after the briefest sort of meeting. (The Kansas City Star, April 22, 1910, p. 1.)
The response to Alexander Butts' passing by his large circle of friends was this stained glass window in his beloved Grace Church. Several important Kansas Citians were members of the Committee organized to collect the unsolicited funds that poured into Grace Church in memory of Alexander Butts, including: Henry W. Schott; Dr. Logan Clendening (1884-1945); Mrs. Kirkland B. Armour, (Anna Paynter Hearne,) (after October 4, 1910, Mrs. Charles Webster Littlefield,) (1858-1921); Mrs. William Rockhill Nelson, (Ida Houston,) (1849-1921); and Mrs. John Alexander Ross, (Mary Anne Mansfield,) (1857-1930). Mrs. Ross was Chair of the Committee; she traveled to New York City and spent several days in conference with the artist on an appropriate design for this memorial window.
That artist was John Gordon Guthrie (1874-1961), known professionally as J. Gordon Guthrie. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, which was the center of a thriving Scottish stained glass school. His father and uncle owned the interior decorating firm known as J & W Guthrie Studio. He began working in the shop in 1888, the year that his father began to work in stained glass. The next year, at the age of 15, he apprenticed with his father. He left the family business in 1896 at the age of 22, after a rift with his father, and came to America. He opened his own studio and worked independently for four years. However, in 1900, he returned to Glasgow for an attempted reconciliation with his father, which failed. He returned to New York City in 1902, and found work at Tiffany Studios until 1906, but is said to have left there after a disagreement with Tiffany. Guthrie then accepted a position with The Duffner & Kimberly Company, where he worked until 1914, when he took his own family to meet his parents in Scotland. Leaving his daughter with his parents, Guthrie and his wife began a tour of the cathedrals of England and France. They were in France when Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914), heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on June 28, 1914. They were able to return to Glasgow before the ensuing World War reached France. However, they had to wait many weeks for passage from Scotland to America.
Guthrie later recalled how impressed he was with the stained glass in Canterbury Cathedral. In fact, he wrote about his trip in the 1933 issue of Stained Glass: "Canterbury has memories for me. There my eyes first saw early glass; from there I made my first stumbling steps along the 'Way of Glass,' the quest unending for the elusive pure color."
When Guthrie returned in 1915, he began working with Henry Wynd Young (1874-1923) at Young's studio. J. Gordon Guthrie then directed that firm after Mr. Young died in 1923. In 1925, Mr. Guthrie began his own firm, which was located at 220 East 34th Street in New York City. He worked there until 1944, when he retired. According to art historian Dr. Linda Morey Papanicolaou, "between 1925 and 1944, Guthrie produced some of the finest stained glass windows in the United States." ("J. Gordon Guthrie", Stained Glass, Winter, 1982-83.) However, even after 1944, he designed stage sets in Dobbs Ferry, New York. In the mid-1950s, he acted as a color consultant to the Durhan Studio, where he continued to design stained glass until he died on June 23, 1961. A partial listing of churches with windows designed by Mr. Guthrie includes: Riverside Church, New York City; Trinity & Saint Phillip's Episcopal Cathedral, Newark, New Jersey; Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Brooklyn, New York; Saint Bartholomew's Church, New York City; Saint Vincent Ferrer's Church, New York City; Church of the Heavenly Rest, New York City; Church of the Incarnation, New York City; Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, New York City; Temple Emanu-El, New York City; and three churches in Providence, Rhode Island: Saint Martin's Church, Saint Stephen's Church, and The Church of the Redeemer. He also designed windows in the New York City Lawyer's Club. Recent research indicates that Guthrie, either alone or in conjunction with Henry Wynd Young, may have designed windows in the Annunciation Chapel in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
This window is located in the north wall of the Nave, just east of the Tower door. It is composed of more than 3,000 pieces of glass, layered two inches thick in some places. That layered, or plated, glass was used to reproduce the rich colors of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, and to achieve a sense of perspective in the window between the foreground and background. The window also follows custom by depicting Saint John in his youth, rather than old age.
Saint John is seated with a blank scroll unrolled across his lap. Inscribed below him is the first part of Revelation 2:19: "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things that are .". (The verse ends: "and the things which shall be hereafter", but those words are not inscribed on the window.) Two angels also appear in the window. The first holds a book, illustrating the text of Revelation 5: "And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the book and loose the seals thereof?'" The second holds a staff, illustrating the text of Revelation 11: "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod." The Greek letters Alpha and Omega (symbolizing the beginning and end of Existence) appear faintly on the small towers by the wing tips of the center angel. The window is framed in a canopy of Gothic design popular at the time the window was made. Centered at the bottom of this window is the dedication, which reads: "A Memorial to Alexander Butts from his friends", and that phrase is flanked on the left by the year of his birth and on the right by the year of his death. (That figure is difficult to read; it appears to be "1919", rather than "1910".) This window, like Tiffany's windows, is signed; in the bottom right corner appears the mark: "D & K Co. NY".
Note that the predominant colors in the Christ Preaching window from the firm of J & R Lamb Studios, in the opening immediately to the east, and this window complement each other. Together, they are very attractive in the north wall. It should also be noted that unrolled scrolls are featured in both windows. In the Christ Preaching window, the scroll is filled with Hebrew characters, and, one may assume, is the basis for the sermon by Christ. In this window, the scroll is blank, waiting to receive from Saint John the account of his Revelation.
As this beautiful window demonstrates, the best products from The Duffner & Kimberly Company reflect a high level of craftsmanship and a sophisticated design that is equal to anything produced by Tiffany Studios. (Many visitors to the Cathedral, including professional stained glass artists, mistake this window as one from Tiffany Studios.) Some of the simpler Duffner & Kimberly Company lamps demonstrate a remarkably creative style. It is apparent that, on several levels, the designers for The Duffner & Kimberly Company explored the possibilities inherent in the stained glass medium to a greater extent than did the artists of Tiffany Studios.
The firm shipped this window to Kansas City in late June or early July of 1911, after its reorganization into the successor firm, The Kimberly Company. (The financial problems of The Duffner & Kimberly Company may have delayed transporting the window until new funds were in place.) We are in possession of a letter dated June 3, 1911, which explains the successor company and the reorganization of the firm in the glossiest of terms. That letter, provided to the Cathedral Archives in 2006, is a copy of one from the archives of Central Congregational Church in Providence, Rhode Island, where there is specific documentation that The Kimberly Company supplied stained glass windows for that church from 1911 through 1919.
A Sale of Assets by the Trustee in the company's bankruptcy was announced in The New York Times for May 23, 1911, in New York City. It is unclear from the available records whether Oliver Speers Kimberly, with family funds or new financial partners, purchased the assets for his reorganized firm from this sale, or if such newly-acquired funds were used to satisfy the outstanding debts of the Duffner & Kimberly firm, and the Sale of Assets was cancelled. From the stationery used in the June 3, 1911, announcement of the new Kimberly firm, we have evidence that it was in a different location from the original firm, for the letterhead of the original company was employed. The old address was simply lined out and the new address typed in, along with the removal of Mr. Duffner's name, listed as "F. Joseph Duffner, President", and a correction to show that Mr. Kimberly, formerly Vice-President, was now President of the successor firm.
Regardless of the cause of the delay in delivering the window to Kansas City, the Vestry and Congregation of Grace Church were then content to wait on the pleasure of the Kansas City Stained Glass Works for the installation of the new window in the Nave of Grace Church. Documents in the Cathedral Archives record that the members of the Committee for this memorial to Mr. Butts requested that Dr. Cameron Mann return to Grace Church and officiate at the dedication service because of the many years of leadership he provided while Mr. Butts was a member of the Parish. Documents in the Cathedral Archives record that the window was installed on July 15, 1911, but that Dr. Mann's schedule would not allow him to return to Kansas City until the beginning of the next year. Thus, the window was dedicated on Sunday, January 14, 1912.