Photo provided by: 
Michael Jensen

Stained Glass Windows

Art inspired by faith and glowing with light

Since the 10th century, stained glass has been an integral part of church architecture. The idea that God is divine light, filtered through colored and painted glass brings a special aura to the activities held within it. In addition, the vast expanses of the windows have provided a grand canvas for the depiction of the Christian narrative.

The Basilica windows were designed, executed and installed by Thomas J. Gaytee Studios of Minneapolis. Thomas Gaytee worked under Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York. He originally came to Minneapolis as a salesperson for Tiffany. By 1918 he worked for the Minneapolis based Ford-McNutt Glass Company. When the company was discontinued, Gaytee bought their stained glass materials and started his own company.

In 1924 he completed a first set of windows for The Basilica, including the windows in the dome. In 1925 he began work on all the other windows which he completed by 1926.

Though Gaytee Studios has changed hands twice the company is still in existence. They continue to care for The Basilica windows when needed. Most recently they restored all the windows in the Sacristy.