All Souls church (now the Episcopal Cathedral of Western North Carolina) is located in Biltmore Village, North Carolina, a settlement that used to be part of Biltmore Estate but is now a separate entity. The Vanderbilts had Richard Morris Hunt design the church, and they paid for its construction. It was completed in 1896, the year after the house. All Souls was where the Vanderbilts worshipped and where their daughter, Cornelia, was married in 1924.
I visited All Souls to see its stained glass, and it didn’t disappoint. There’s lots of it, and it’s really beautiful. The Vanderbilts commissioned stained glass windows for the church to commemorate departed friends and family. Most of these windows are in the church’s small transept. One of the two largest windows is dedicated to George’s mother Maria. I also spotted windows dedicated to Biltmore architect Richard Morris Hunt, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, and George’s dear friend Clarence Barker. You can see all of them here on the church’s website. The memorial windows are easy to see, and they all depict Biblical scenes in some way relevant to the person being memorialized. There are also some single-figure windows in the second floor of the tower. I couldn’t see them in any detail from the ground, but the glimpses I got looked beautiful
The All Souls windows were designed and made by father-daughter team of Maitland Armstrong (1836-1918) and Helen Maitland Armstrong (1869-1948), who may get their own post in the future.
A non-figurative stained glass window by Maitland Armstrong and Helen Maitland Armstrong, c. 1910. All Souls in Biltmore Village, NC. It is dedicated to McKee Dunn McKee.
A non-figurative stained glass window by Maitland Armstrong and Helen Maitland Armstrong, c. 1908. All Souls in Biltmore Village, NC. The window is dedicated to Edward Lawrence Holmes.
Interior view of All Souls in Biltmore Village, NC, designed by Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1896.
Exterior view of All Souls in Biltmore Village, NC, designed by Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1896.
Click here to read about the rest of my experience at Biltmore and its environs.
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Alexandra Kiely, aka A Scholarly Skater, is an art historian based in the northeastern United States. She loves wandering down the dark and dusty corners of art history and wholeheartedly believes in visual art's ability to enrich every person's life.
Her favorite periods of art history are 19th-century American painting and medieval European art and architecture. When she not looking at, reading about, writing about, or teaching art, she's probably ice dancing or reading.
View all posts by Alexandra Kiely (A Scholarly Skater)
4 thoughts on “Stained Glass at All Souls Church in Biltmore Village”
Thanks. I have visited Biltmore on several occasions but never have visited the church.
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It’s not well advertised, since it’s not actually on the estate, so it’s easy to miss. I only knew to look for it through a book I read.
now I know the difference! The stained glass at All Souls s breathtaking.
It really is!