Index of Medieval Art

The Gertrude and Robert Metcalf Collection of Images of Stained Glass

Robert Metcalf seated on scaffolding photographing stained glass
Robert Metcalf

At the beginning of World War II, stained glass artists Gertrude and Robert Metcalf hastily traveled through Europe intending to photograph stained glass before it was secured for safe keeping or destroyed in the war. Often the Metcalfs were photographing and documenting images as troops were approaching. Kodak released Kodachrome film at an early stage of development for their use.


The archive includes over 9,000 images of stained glass and related architecture from Austria, England, France, Germany, and Switzerland. Coverage of monuments varies from site to site. In the spirit of maintaining the complete collection, all slides of pre-1800 glass are presented, including near-duplicates, slides of poor quality, and slides exhibiting color deterioration.


The Index of Medieval Art holds the copyright to the images and has made them available for both personal research and publication. Send requests to Fiona Barrett to obtain high resolution files. In your request, please cite the exact location and record number.


The Dayton Art Institute, where Robert Metcalf was on the faculty, held the collection until 2004, when the Institute transferred the collection to the Index of Medieval Art. The lives of Gertrude and Robert Metcalf are documented in a biography by their son, Robert Metcalf, Jr.