Stained Glass Artist prepares his final work for the National Cathedral

Rowan LeCompte, who has spent his working life creating the stained glass windows at the Cathedral, was interviewed over the weekend by NPR. LeCompte, now 84 is finishing what he expects will be his last window to be installed.

LeCompte reflects on what his experience at the Cathedral has meant to him:

“[His] career started decades ago. LeCompte had the rare experience of finding his life’s passion at age 14, when he first saw the cathedral on a visit to Washington, D.C.

He refers to that fateful day as his ‘second birthday.’ It was 1939, and the Gothic church wasn’t even complete. But the beauty of the stained glass windows gave the Baltimore native’s young life new purpose.

LeCompte’s first attempts at making stained glass windows involved scrap glass and his mother’s gas stove. He followed instructions from library books. At 16, he pitched a design to Philip H. Frohman, the architect for the cathedral, who took it and paid LeCompte $100 ‘for his troubles.’

‘It was as if heaven had opened,’ LeCompte says.”

Read the full article here. The link will also take you to the audio of the interview, which is well worth the little over 9 minutes it will take to listen to in its entirety.

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