Preserving and Innovating the Practices of the Profession.
The Stained Glass Association of American is a 125 year old professional organization whose primary mission is to protect and preserve the integrity of the stained glass industry. The Association functions as a 501(c)(6), which allows it to represent the trade of stained glass in regards to legislation and other matters that may affect the profession.
The core values of the Association include:
- community, and
- the promotion of professional standards
As the Nation's Professional Trade Association for Architectural Art Glass, SGAA is the only body able to provide accreditation to qualified studios that maintain the highest possible integrity in craftsmanship and business practices. An accredited professional member has gone through a 4-year process of review and jury of their architectural scale work, new and restoration, (projects at least 250sqft) to show their competency and work quality. This includes both site visits to installations as well as to the studio itself. It includes being reviewed and juried for safety, work standards, and artistic ability.
Professional members are also juried and determined to be capable by a panel of peers, but the jury process is more geared toward mentorship and growth. Professional members are determined to be highly capable studios who are looking for professional recognition and growth. Many go on to be excellent Accredited members and strongly involved in our group.
Accredited members work together to maintain the nation's standards and guidelines for restoration—reviewing past and current work to see how it is holding to the tests of time and weather. They review new information as it becomes available and put it to the test.
What's amazing about glass as a material is that even after working with it for centuries, we still don't know its full potential, scientifically, technically, or artistically. This means that there's still room for discovery, for challenge, and for growth.
Architectural art glass has seen an increase in the variety of techniques used to achieve new work. It is bringing together craftspeople across a range of new disciplines and attracting new artists into the field. SGAA strives not just to preserve the cumulative knowledge of our predecessors, but to pass it forward, inspiring the next generation of stained glass designers and makers.
Our general membership is open to absolutely anyone who shares our passion for stained glass.
In the Summer of 2020, we created a new 501(c)3 arm for our community: The Stained Glass Association of America Foundation, Inc. or SGAA Foundation. Our vision is to create opportunities for stained-glass artists, advance the craft, and preserve our history through scholarships, stewardship outreach and advocacy, and historical archives.
The SGAA Foundation will open doors to safeguarding and using our heritage library and archives, creating educational programs for stewards and caretakers of our work, supporting emerging artists, and finding new ways to engage with the restoration of our nation’s stained glass treasurers. Our country is a living library of stained glass all approaching a critical age since the opalescent era.
Meanwhile, our scholarships—which are open to anyone and everyone—fund support academic research, conservation research, emerging and established artists, and access to stained glass work for those that might struggle with it due to any handicap or impairment.
The Stained Glass School (SGS) has served our Association for 40 years as our 501(c)3 organization responsible for educational manuals and in-person programs, offering scholarships and workshops while also bringing passionate members together to pool their knowledge into fantastic publications. However, the SGS was largely limited to internal, industry-specific programming and as we expanded into more and more public outreach and advocacy, it was clear we needed to retool to better focus on our mission.
In the Summer of 2020, we created the Stained Glass Association of America Foundation, Inc., our new 501(c)3, which legally acquired the assets and the Stained Glass School’s scholarship responsibilities.
Our cumulative knowledge are the seeds of the future.
Our vision is to inspire the next generation of craftsmen and caretakers in the appreciation of stained glass and in a thorough understanding of the material and its care so that the knowledge of preservation may pass from generation to generation.
Remarkable environments inspire responsible, resilient communities.
Our mission is to promote public appreciation and knowledge of the stained glass art form and champion the provenance of architectural art glass.