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Rare painted glass window depicts resurrection in northern Minnesota church

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Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch2 / 3
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch3 / 3

AITKIN, Minn.—A rare art window depicting the resurrection of Christ graces the east wall of the United Methodist Church in Aitkin in north-central Minnesota.

The craft of painted glass windows flourished in the 19th century. The German-made window, purchased in Chicago by Horace Osterhout, traveled to Aitkin by train, according to information provided by the Aitkin church. At that time, the congregation drew up plans and expected to break ground on a church in 1915.

When the 16-by-24-foot window arrived, it was too large so the church was built around the window. Plans were changed to accommodate the window's weight and size with special footings poured on the east side of the church to strengthen the building. The rare window formed the focal point of the new church.

The art form employs painted glass panes, which are leaded together with an outer layer of protective glass. The church notes this is an art that no longer exists.

A retired Methodist bishop, a traveling missionary, came across what is believed to be the only other window of its kind—which survived World War II—south of Munich, Germany. In Aitkin, motorists can look to the west when entering the downtown area at night to see the illuminated window.

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