February 29, 2024

The Rambusch News Wrap-Up: February 2024

Rambusch at 125: Objects, Environments, and Light

Publication: Stained Glass Quarterly

Date: December, 2023

Author: Charles D. Linn

The Rambusch Decorating Company, thriving for 125 years as of 2023, specializes in bespoke liturgical furnishings, architectural lighting, restoration, and stained glass/mosaic projects. Initially established by Danish immigrant Frode Rambusch and William Hencken in 1898, the company, now led by Frode’s great-grandsons Edwin and Martin Rambusch, has been privately held across four generations. Since its charter of 1898, the firm’s raison d’être is to make beautiful objects and architectural lighting that transform architectural spaces.

Having opened its stained glass studio in 1930, and in 1935 was producing notable works like the Mapparium for the Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston. Rambusch has embraced diverse influences, from traditional Revival styles to abstract and geometric designs, integrating innovative techniques like Bloc Dècor in the 1940s and handblown glass in the 1950s.

The firm’s collaborative “Thread of Design” approach engages the creativity of its clients, capturing the ideas of the entire team, focusing discussions and facilitating agreement among stakeholders, which can virtually eliminate surprises during fabrication.

Adapting to projects of all scales, from monumental church windows to small private and institutional installations, Rambusch’s flexibility ensures relevance across changing styles. Despite challenges, Martin Rambusch credits the company’s longevity to the meticulous collection of project information and fluid adaptation to changing styles.

Read the Full Article (PDF)

Crafts Celebration with Rambusch

Publication: Traditional Building

Date: Traditional Building

Author: Nancy Ruhling

Celebrating its 125th year, Rambusch Decorating Company, a prominent figure in decorative arts, plans a yearlong celebration featuring events, shows, presentations, and lectures. Known for over 45,000 commissions in the ecclesiastical arts, stained glass, lighting, and more, the fourth-generation firm, led by twins Martin and Edwin Rambusch, emphasizes a broad scope of craftsmanship, yet without a singular, limiting style.

Founded in 1898, their studios, now based in New Jersey, initially specialized in painted decoration. With the advent of electric illumination, the company expanded to include art metal lighting fixtures. In the 1930s, Rambusch established a stained-glass studio, undertaking restoration projects for renowned artists like Louis Comfort Tiffany.

The company’s success is attributed to its expertise in customization, restoration, and preservation, but most critically to its enduring client relationships. Martin and Edwin underscore their commitment to listening to both clients and buildings, tailoring each project individually. Highlight projects include the Utah State Capitol’s lighting restoration and the monumental mosaic in the Trinity Dome at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The Rambusches express their excitement about continuing their legacy into a potential fifth generation, focusing on creating beautiful objects with patience and adaptability in the ever-evolving field of the decorative arts.

Read the Full Article

Rambusch at 125 and Counting

Publication: LD+A

Date: October, 2023

Author: Charles D. Linn

Known for its specification-grade lighting products, Rambusch also excels in restoring historic fixtures, replicating custom lighting, and custom innovations in the field. Founded in 1898, the company began as a painting and decorating firm before venturing into lighting fixtures to shield the glare of electric lamps upon church murals.

Their next groundbreaking invention, the “Downlite” was patented in 1938 to tackle glare by positioning light sources above the ceiling plane. Today, the firm’s Jersey City lighting workshop combines building specification fixtures, restoration, and custom work, retaining its roots as a craft shop with extensive handwork.

Notable projects include the Chrysler Building’s sconce retrofit, Trinity Church Wall Street’s meticulous restoration, the Utah State Capitol’s historic fixture renovation, and a unique downlight designed for the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Decorative Arts Wing in Los Angeles.

Rambusch’s ability to evolve its lighting offerings is attributed to passing metal and glass fabrication techniques and expertise down through the generations, maintaining enduring client relationships, and a commitment to adaptability and craftsmanship in the decorative arts.

Read the Full Article