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Cumberlands’ Professor Creates Stained Glass Window For Courthouse


Williamsburg, Ky. – In the summer of 2010, University of the Cumberlands (UC) Assistant Professor of Art Geraldine Allen was approached on the subject of creating a stained glass fixture for the newly built Whitley County Judicial Center. Allen, who has created multiple works of art, didn’t let the opportunity slip by.

The stained glass window that she created at the main entrance of the Judicial Center is a collection of three panels with the method of construction used pioneered by Tiffany. It is a modified jeweler's technique of joining parts by running a solid line of (in this case, 40% lead, 60% tin) solder over adhesive-backed copper foil edging that is burnished around each piece of glass.

“In some cultures, out of reverence for God, who is the only perfect creator, artisans deliberately include some type of imperfection in their work,” said Allen. “The first completed of the three pictorial panels has such a line. By the time the third panel was finished, the notion of perfection had become amusing. At last seeing the panels sealed into their places is very gratifying, however I expect there will forever be pieces and parts that I would move around or change if possible, lines that could have taken a different path, etc. Those are the parts that will keep me humble.”

The window incorporates five different themes that relate to the local area in Cumberland Falls, CSX Railroad, coal, logging with mules, and farming. The artwork was created with a summer landscape in mind, taking pictures from around the country side and adding in various elements that she saw into her creation.

“It is my hope that the windows will survive a longtime as a source of some measure of joy and wonder for those who enter into their space,” exclaimed Allen.

Geraldine Allen has been teaching in the Art Department at UC since 1995. An alumna of Cumberland College, she earned a B.S. in Art Education in 1978 and an M.A. in Education with Fine Art Emphasis in 1992. Further studies include graduate work in Art Education at the University of Tennessee; photography, digital imaging, and watercolor painting in New Mexico, Kentucky, and Maine. Currently she is completing a dissertation concerning online teaching and learning in the visual arts toward an Ed. D. in Educational Leadership.

Allen served as a member of Appalachia Artists Guild Board of Directors from 2000-2005; the National Art Education Association, the Kentucky Art Education Association, and Appalachian Photographic Society.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article provided by Courtney Hixson, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia and Athletic Services Department Student Assistant