Through a Stained-Glass Window

Three years ago, almost to the day, Barney Zeitz spoke in Stevens Chapel. The newsletter announcement in 20i7 read: “On Kristallnacht in 1938 the Nazis forcibly removed from Fleiden, Germany, the congregation of a small synagogue. Then, in the 1950’s, a group of Protestant Christians took over the empty building.  Now, as this same congregation, generations later, undertakes a restoration of their church, aware of, and trying to come to terms with its history, they have deliberately asked Vineyard Haven artist, Barney Zeitz, a Jew, to do the new stained-glass windows. Barney visited Fleiden last summer — its people, the church, and a nearby Jewish Cemetery.  He was struck by how many gravestones bore names he knew.  He was deeply moved by the warmth of his hosts in Fleiden and their trust in him.  He will show pictures of Fleiden, his plans in progress for the windows, and discuss his approach to the assignment.”

On this first Sunday in February 2020, the project is complete.  The windows are installed in Fleiden, and Barney is at work on a major sculpture celebrating diversity for Fall River, at a gathering place near the Braga Bridge where, in Barney’s words “All the demonstrations happen.”  He has been approached by another church in Germany, which wants to replace a window.  His studio off State Road by the Scottish Bakehouse is humming.

This talk will include photos, commentary, and excerpts from the dedication in Germany for the completed and installed windows, Barney will also bring with him and will discuss some of the faces which will grace the Fall River monument.

Threaded throughout the presentation will be the question, ” How does being an artist enrich your life?”