About the stained glass window

windowThe beautiful stained glass window pictured here has become a lasting symbol of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Department of Surgery. The window was created by artist Wilhelm Kielblock of Franklin Art Glass Studios in German Village, a community located in Columbus, Ohio. Karl P. Klassen, MD, (1908-1978) professor of surgery and chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery from 1951 to 1978 commissioned the window. It is believed to have been produced in the early 1970s.

The window was originally installed in Dr. Klassen’s office, after which it was installed in the General Surgery Library on the seventh floor of Doan Hall's north wing. From there it followed the relocation of the Department of Surgery’s administrative offices to the third floor of Means Hall. In 2009 it was moved to its current home, greeting visitors to the sixth floor lobby of the Department of Surgery’s administrative offices, located at 395 W. 12th Ave.


Dr. Klassen had a keen interest in the art of stained glass windows. When traveling to other cities to attend national meetings, he often visited the churches to view and photograph their magnificent windows. Dr. Klassen frequently visited Franklin Art Glass to meet with Mr. Kielblock and discuss their passion for the art. Dr. Klassen and Mr. Kielblock collaborated on the design of this window. The window features symbols of various surgical societies and colleges including the American College of Surgeons and the Columbus Surgical Society. Gary Helf, third generation owner of Franklin Art Glass, remembers Dr. Klassen’s visits to the studio, “I was just a child, but I remember Dr. Klassen meeting with Mr. Kielblock to design this window.” Helf pointed out, “The Seal of Ohio and the Ohio Statehouse plates in the window are identical to the symbols incorporated in the windows of the Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Columbus.” Not surprising, the churches windows were also created by Kielblock and admired by Klassen. Dr. Klassen's memory is honored by the department's annual Klassen Research Day.


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