The Saint John Window (1911)

Quick Facts

MEMORIAL TO: Alexander Butts (1844–1910)

GIVEN BY: Members of Grace Church and his many friends in Kansas City

DESIGNED BY: John Gordon Guthrie (1874–1961)

FABRICATED BY: Duffner & Kimberly Company, New York City, New York

INSTALLED: July 15, 1911

DEDICATED: January 14, 1912

Symbolism

  • Saint John is depicted in his youth, seated with a blank scroll. Below him is the first part of Revelation 1:19, which begins, “Write the things which thou hast seem, and the things that are….”
  • The first angel holds a book, illustrating Revelation 5:2, and the second holds a staff, illustrating Revelation 11:1.
  • The orange tree to Saint John’s left allegedly appears to show Saint John is still on earth, but it may also recall the history of the relationship between God and humanity.
  • Occasionally, the orange tree represents the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden, ultimately reminding viewers that we have sinned, but God loved us enough to sacrifice His Son to save us.
  • The large, ornate staircase in the background is just a foretaste of the beauty and majesty of the Kingdom of God.

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