About C. Robert Markert E-mail

C. Robert Markert

dba/ Fenestra Arts Vita

Contact C. Robert Markert:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it p:502-231-5634  m:502-541-1107

  • Founder and CEO, Fenestra Studios, Inc., Louisville, Kentucky 1969-1986 - Sold December 31, 1986
  • Chief Designer, Louisville Art Glass, Inc. 1964-1969
  • Board of Directors, Stained Glass Association of America, 1985-1988 - V. President 1987-1988
  • Board of Directors , Stained Glass School of the Stained Glass Association of America 2007 to the present
  • Chairman, Apprenticeship Committee, Stained Glass Association of America, 2007 to the present
  • Artist/Designer Studio membership Stained Glass Association of America. 2008.
  • President of the National Diaconate Institute for Continuing Education (NDICE) 2006 till 2010

Selected list of projects:

  • Our Mother of Good Counsel: 1980, Louisville: Liturgical designer of the renovation of church and sanctuary space and design of sanctuary furniture and stained glass windows.
  • Temple Adath Israel-B’rith Shalom: 1980, Louisville: Faceted and stained glass windows in Main Sanctuary and the Chapel as well as the Micah Tapestry in the main entry.
  • St. Martha: 1984, Louisville: Liturgical designer of the church and sanctuary including building addition; designer of sanctuary furniture- stained glass windows and sculpted terra cotta stations of the cross.
  • Jewish Hospital Chapel: 1985, Louisville: Design of renovation of chapel; designed the ark and eternal light.
  • Our Lady of Peace Hospital: 1986, Louisville: Renovation of total chapel space: designed the stained glass windows , painted and sand carved doors, oak tabernacle, altar, pulpit and chairs.
  • Kosair Children’s Hospital Chapel: 1996,Louisville, Kentucky: Design of stained glass, carved and painted doors, and co-designed furniture.
  • Kosair Children’s Hospital Meditation Room 1997,Louisville, Kentucky: Design of space, entry, and tapestry. Carved and polychromed door and wainscoting.
  • Louisville orchestra: Designed 1ST program cover for the Orchestra’s “a Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.”,1998
  • Menorah-Tree of life in collaboration with Ed Hamilton, cast limestone, Temple Adath Israel/Brith Shalom, 1986
  • Rabbi Waller Memorial bas-reliefs, at The Temple, cast and polychromed art stone, 1995
  • Norton Southwest Hospital Chapel, designed stained and sandcarved glass, and furniture, 2001.
  • Nazareth Home Chapel, Louisville. Ky. Liturgical designer for space, furniture, glass, design and fabrication of holy water and Baptismal Candle font. 2002
  • Highland Baptist Fellowship Hall, Louisville, Ky. Currently in process – 32 plate glass panels approximately42” x 28” with free painted portraits of world spiritual leaders. February 2008 till dedication, August, 2009.

Other activities

  • Guest Lecturer, Artist in Residence, stained glass, Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, November, 1977
  • Chairman, Art and Architecture Committee, Archdiocese of Louisville, 1976-1984
  • Associate Executive Producer and Designer “Mass of the Air,” WLKY-TY and WHAS-TV - 1977 to present
  • Co-author of five-part filmstrip, “A House for the Church,” written for the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commission, as an implementation aid for the B.C.L.’s “Art and Environment for Catholic Worship.”
  • Lecturer - Southern Baptist Seminary: Celebration of Church Art: 1987 and 1989
  • Lecturer - St. Meinrad College: “The Dolle Endowed Lecture Series”, Fall, 1987
  • Lecturer –with Ed Hamilton, The Speed Art Museum, Art Breaks series, “Public Space : Sacred Space” February 16, 1999.
  • Lecturer – with Ed Hamilton, The Cathedral Heritage Foundation , February, 2000.
  • Published Articles: Stained Glass Journal, 1984 and 1986
  • Director of Studio2000, a program involving high school aged youth in the arts operated by the Office of Youth Development for Louisville Metro government, 2002 – 2007.
  • Keynote address, Stained Glass Association of America Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. June, 2007
  • SGAA Workshop teaching glass painting techniques at the 2009 SGAA summer conference, Oklahoma City, OK.


  • B.A. Philosophy, St. Meinrad College, 1963
  • Art training at University of Louisville, School of Art 1968-1969 and 1986
  • Advanced Creative Writing - Bellarmine College, 1987
  • 2 years post graduate studies in theology; Archdiocese of Louisville: September, 1974 to August, 1976
  • Named to the National Directory of Liturgical Artists, 1975
  • Member Archdiocese of Louisville Liturgical Commission, 1976 to 1984
  • Ordained to Permanent Diaconate, August, 1976
  • Work in permanent collection: Owensboro Museum of Fine Art; many private collections including the Norton Collection.


  • Married: Patricia Hofmann January 2,1965; 4 children, 12 grandchildren


Courier-Journal April 13, 2008

It took only a month after Bob Markert left Louisville's Studio2000 art program for private art commissions to start flowing in.

C. Robert Markert and Highland Baptist window designMarkert got a call from Joe Phelps, pastor of Highland Baptist Church. The church owns a cycle of spectacular stained and painted glass windows that Markert did 37 years ago when he was a young liturgical artist in Louisville. Now, it wants 32 more windows in a simpler form of the Cloud of Witnesses theme for its renovated Fellowship Hall.

Markert also got a call about painting two historical murals on the flood wall at Kosmosdale, a former concrete-production community southwest of Louisville, and he has accepted a commission for new doors and a Torah cover for Temple Adath Israel/Brith Shalom.

"I had plans to get back in," said Markert, 66. "But I didn't expect to get busy for a year. It's great, but I just thought I'd have more time to sleep."

This is a small joke.

Markert is a multi-tasking kind of guy. He has been an ordained deacon of the Roman Catholic Church since 1976. He co-founded and helps produce the televised "Mass of the Air" that has been broadcast since 1977.

Markert sits on the Mayor's Committee on Public Art, stays in touch with the kids in the Studio2000 project he founded for city youth and helps his wife of 43 years, Patsy Hofmann, baby-sit 12 grandchildren for their four children.

Markert, who was born in Louisville, discovered his creativity through calamity.

At age 10, he was diagnosed with diabetes after falling into a coma. Part of his cure was bed rest for a year. "I drew all the time, and I read," Markert recalled.

His ambition was the priesthood. After attending Louisville's former St. Thomas Seminary for high school, he graduated in 1963 from St. Meinrad College in Indiana with a degree in philosophy.

"I wanted to be a priest," he said, "but after graduation I just all of a sudden decided this is great, but it's not for me anymore."

He took a few art classes and, not knowing what else to do, took his portfolio to Edwin Penna at Louisville Art Glass (now Architectural Glass Art, owned by Penna's son-in-law, Ken vonRoenn).

"Papa Penna gave me a chance," said Markert. "I never looked back. How can you not be fascinated with color and light? But I didn't know I would eventually be a significant designer."

stained glass by C. Robert MarkertHe and a friend, German glass artist Peter K. Eichhorn, began their own studio, Fenestra, in the early 1980s.

The Louisville business grew and Markert was making a name as a liturgical designer.

His projects included windows, church renovation, sanctuary furniture design and chapel design for clients that included Our Mother of Good Counsel and St. Martha Catholic churches, Temple Adath Israel-Brith Shalom, Jewish Hospital, Our Lady of Peace, Kosair Children's Hospital, St. Michael Orthodox Church and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.

His method for dealing with such varied congregations is the same, he said.

"The people who occupy that space all have a need to be supported and nourished. It is different between denominations, but I don't always rely on who they tell me they are. I go and worship with them."

To Markert, the fascination of liturgical art is that it is "a dramatic and constant reminder that there is infinitely more to reality than what we see day by day on this earth."

Markert enjoyed an expansive career.

He lectured on church art and published articles in the Stained Glass Journal. He did post-graduate studies in theology, sat on the board of the Citizens Metropolitan Planning Council and the board of the Stained Glass Association of America.

He and Eichhorn amicably split and sold Fenestra in 1986 so that Markert could concentrate on his design career and Eichhorn could establish his own studio. However, within a year the new owner of Fenestra decided to auction Fenestra designs. "I had to buy back my own work," Markert recalled.

"In 1989 I went through a year of deep depression. I was in bed 20 hours a day," Markert recalled. He said he pulled out of it when his wife and a friend, the city's law director Frank X. Quickert, asked him to take a job in real-estate title research for the city.

Markert did this until the early 1990s and then came up with an energizing art idea -- Studio2000 -- for inner-city kids, who could be paid in summer jobs doing artwork the city needed.

"I took it from a summer program for 40 kids to an around-the-year, full-time thing for 100 kids. I enjoyed being granddaddy for all of them," said Markert.

He looks at his art in a similar way.

"All these windows are my children in a very real way. They are created to be adopted out."

Reporter Diane Heilenman can be reached at (502) 582-4682.

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