Sacred Transmitted: A Century of Design from the Emil Frei Studio Archives

Sacred Transmitted
A Century of Design from the Emil Frei Studio Archives
Opening Friday, Nov 9. 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.
On view: November 9 – January 27, 2019

The exhibition includes works by Francis Deck, Br. Martin Erspamer, OSB, William Frank, Emil Frei Jr., Robert Frei, Milton Frenzel, Robert Harmon, Siegfried Reinhardt, William Schickel, Joan Velligan, John Wheadon, and Rodney Winfield.

About the Exhibition

Sacred Transmitted is an exhibition of liturgical stained glass designs from the archives of the Emil Frei & Associates, an award winning liturgical stained-glass design and fabrication studio, in St. Louis, MO. Established in 1898, and run by five generations of the Frei family, the studio has made over a thousand church windows across the United States.

Behind every stained glass window is an initial vision—a sketch grasping at a way to communicate visually the sacred while considering practicalities of a window’s location and illumination from surrounding light. On exhibition will be, for the first time, many of the studio’ archive’s watercolors, ink sketches, and drawings produced by Emil Frei studio artists. This survey show reveals what typically remains hidden: the artist’s working designs.


Art: William Frank, Courtesy of Emil Frei, Inc.

By their very nature, designs such as these are not finished products, and as such they testify to the ongoing tradition of liturgical art. At the design stage, we encounter the artist in mid-thought, where the struggle to depict or reveal spiritual meaning is heightened. In some instances, we see notations and changes scrawled by the artist as he refines a concept. In others, residual smudges and prints left by craftsmen during fabrication stain the paper. This evidence of the human hand laboring in this creative work tells the story of the living tradition of sacred art.

While the windows of the Emil Frei studio can be seen around the country, their designs have never left the archives for public viewing until now. This exhibition showcases the true scope of of The Emil Frei studio’s artistic production over a century on.

The Frei family and the Emil Frei Studio have a special place within University of Dallas history. The exhibition is curated by William Frank, BA ‘06, and Christina Hayes Haley. Frank began working at the Emil Frei Studio in 2014 as an artist in residence. Other notable UD alumni at the Emil Frei studios include Aaron Frei, BA ’03 MT ’06, president of Emil Frei & Associates, Nicholas Frei, BA ’06, vice president of Emil Frei Inc., project manager and craftsman, and John Wheadon, BA ’02, designer, artist, craftsman and project manager.

This exhibition is made possible by the generosity of the following institutions and individuals who have loaned their artworks: Emil Frei, Inc., Winfield Galleries, Judy Frei-Howe, Saint Louis University Library, and Tony Deck.

The Catholic Foundations Room is located in Cardinal Farrell on Level two. The building is opposite the Bell Tower. It is five minute walk from the gallery.

The Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery is located in the Art History Building, in the Haggerty Art Village, at the corner of Gorman Drive and Haggar Circle on the University of Dallas campus at 1845 E. Northgate Drive in Irving. If you have trouble finding us, enter 2910 Haggar Circle on your smart phone’s maps and it will take you to the gallery directly.

The Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery, which is part of the university’s Haggerty Art Village, is free and open to the public. The gallery is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5:00 p.m. For more gallery information, visit or call 972-721-5087.

Cardinal Farrell Hall (Building 1) (Lvl 2) and
Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery (Building 11)

University of Dallas, Irving TX