The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art

Now on view through September 13, 2020

Watch a Conversation with Judith Schaechter + Jessica Marten

The Path to Paradise is the first survey and major scholarly assessment of this groundbreaking artist’s 37-year career. Organized by the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, the exhibition will be on view in Rochester from February 16 through September 13, 2020, after which it will travel to two additional venues in the United States. Drawn from both private and institutional collections, The Path to Paradise will feature approximately 45 of Judith Schaechter’s stained-glass panels along with a selection of related drawings and process materials.

Click Here for the Digital Exhibition Experience!

Judith Schaechter film | Installation slideshow

Judith Schaechter (b. 1961) has stretched the medium of stained glass into a potent and incisive art form for the 21st century, boldly paving her path in the diverse arena of contemporary art. Her work is represented in over a dozen museums including the Museum of Art and Design, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Toledo Museum of Art, and in major exhibitions around the world. In addition, through her extensive teaching, she has furthered her influence to her peers and younger generations of artists. Her awards include two NEA Visual Artists’ Fellowships, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship Award, a USA Artists Rockefeller Fellow, and an American Craft Council College of Fellows Award.

shown: Judith Schaechter, The Battle of Carnival and Lent, (detail) 2010-2011. Stained-glass panel, 56 x 56 in. Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, NY, Marion Stratton Gould Fund, Rosemary B. and James C. MacKenzie Fund, Joseph T. Simon Fund, R. T. Miller Fund and Bequest of Clara Trowbridge Wolfard by exchange, and funds from deaccessioning.

Path to Paradise
Path to Paradise catalog - RIT Press

The exhibition is accompanied by a lavish, 165-page catalog published by RIT Press in conjunction with MAG. It explores the range of critical registers Schaechter’s work spans, illuminating and contextualizing the artist’s unique contributions to the contemporary canon. It can be purchased in the MAG STORE or through the RIT Press website. Read the review from by Greer Ashman on Vidimus.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Thank you to our Sponsors

Lead support is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, with additional funding from the Gallery Council of the Memorial Art Gallery, the Rubens Family Foundation, Pamela Miller Ness and Paul Marc Ness, Elizabeth and Eric Rennert, Corning Incorporated Foundation, the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, James C. and Geraldine Biddle Moore, Charlotte and Raul Herrera, Partners + Napier, and Elizabeth L. Stauderman. The exhibition is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional gifts are provided by Marion Swett Robinson, Dennis and Mary Buchan, Jim and Marguerite Quinn, the Holmes Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

The exhibition is also made possible by the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fund, the Grant Holcomb Endowment, the Margaret Davis Friedlich and Alan and Sylvia Davis Memorial Fund, the Irving and Essie Germanow Fund, the Kayser Fund, and the Robert A. and Maureen S. Dobies Endowment Fund.

Organized by the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, the exhibition will be on view in Rochester from February 16–May 24, 2020, after which it will travel to two additional venues in the United States.

Toledo Museum of Art
October 3, 2020—January 3, 2021

Des Moines Art Center


Read the press release

REVIEW: The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art, edited by Jessica Marten – Vidimus

Path to Paradise opens next in Toledo – Sentinel-Tribune

Judith Schaechter’s Incredible Layered Stained Glass Art – if it’s hip it’s here

“Judith Schaechter at Memorial Art Gallery” – Cornelia

“Virtual museums link the broken arts chain” – CITY Newspaper

“Stained Glass That Demands Slow Looking” on Hyperallergic

“The Raw Made Radient” (PDF) – Urban Glass Quarterly

“Judith Schaechter: The Path to Paradise” – flux

“Judith Schaechter’s Stained Glass Work Part of Major Survey” on

“The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art” in Stained Glass Association of America

Film by Floating Home Films


Programming centered on the exhibition will take place throughout the run of the show, including a lecture by Judith Schaechter at the Memorial Art Gallery on opening day, February 16, 2020, at 1 pm. Prior to the opening at MAG, a solo exhibition featuring a selection of Schaechter’s work will be on view at the Claire Oliver Gallery in Harlem, New York for a 6 week period beginning on January 17, 2020.

Talks, Tours and More

Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art
Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 1 pm | included with museum admission
Listen in on the Opening Day of the exhibition as the artist speaks of her work. Schaechter has stretched the medium of stained glass into a potent and incisive art form for the 21st century, boldly paving her path in the diverse arena of contemporary art. Book signing with Schaechter to follow in the Pavilion at 4 pm. In case you missed the presentation, you can view it here.

Glass Works – Premiere Concert
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 at 3 pm | included with museum admission
Rochester-based quintet fivebyfive commissioned four works for The Path to Paradise. Composers Edie Hill, Jung Sun Kang, Andrea Mazzariello, and Jonathan Russell will write pieces for a premiere concert on opening day. Following the premiere concert, fivebyfive will include these works on tour and create a documentary of the project.
These recordings of the Glass Works pieces are now available at fivebyfive’s website.
This project has been supported by New Music USA, National Endowment for the Arts, ArtistShare/Eastman School of Music, and Genesee Valley Arts. Stay tuned for a video project with Judith Schaechter that fivebyfive will be released soon with Judith continuing the conversation about the music, providing an artist response to each piece.

Especially for Educators: Stained Glass and the Modern Art of Judith Scheachter
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 | 4:30-7 pm | $15
Discover a groundbreaking contemporary artist in MAG’s exhibition The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained Glass Art with MAG’s Curator in Charge/Curator of American Art Jessica Marten. Artist Chelsea Anderson—a former employee of Rochester’s own historic Pike Stained Glass Studios—will share how stained glass windows are created, and lead a hands-on activity related to this traditional craft that can be used in your classroom. Registration and prepayment required. Registration and prepayment required. To sign up, contact Chelsea Anderson at [email href=””][/email] or 585.276.8971.

BIODANCE: Bridge to Paradise
Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 7 pm and Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 2 pm
Judith Schaechter’s work comes alive through performance by BIODANCE and projected media by W. Michelle Harris. These site-specific performances are FREE and open to the public in the M&T Bank Ballroom.

Breaking Beauty: Judith Schaechter at MAG
Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 7 pm | included with museum admission
Looking at artist Judith Schaechter’s stained-glass panels has been described as a “thrilling and disorienting” experience, like “seeing an old master painting of a car crash.” Join MAG curator Jessica Marten to learn more about the artist’s masterful practice, pioneering spirit, and distinctly American, feminist interventions into the history of contemporary art, craft, and the medium of stained glass.

*Canceled* What Constitutes Art: ROC Tattoo Community

Thursday, April 9, 2020 | 6:30-8:30 pm

Inspired by Schaechter’s bold vision, a panel of ROC tattoo artists will speak about the many forms art can take, focusing on tattoos. Join us for conversation, cheese, and a demo. Presented by the ROCHESTER CITY TATTOO EXPO.

VIRTUAL Curator’s Tour: Judith Schaechter at MAG
Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 2 pm | included with museum admsission
Join MAG curator Jessica Marten for an intimate, last-chance look at MAG’s major exhibition before it leaves for its tour.