The Graceland Stained Glass that Really Isn't… and the Elvis Stained Glass that Really is

Earlier this week there was a story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal about the discovery of four stained glass panels that were once part of a set with those in the Meditation Garden at Graceland.  Below, you can see the other four square panels in the curved brick wall overlooking the graves.

                   

Stained Glass Panels in Curved Brick Wall at the Meditation Garden

The Meditation Garden was built by Memphis artisan Bernard Grenadier.  He bought a set of eight nineteenth-century glass panels in Spain in the early 1960s.  As you can see below, they are Moorish in design with somewhat religious depictions.  Mr. Grenadier selected the four best to use at Graceland, and later he used the other four in another Memphis house.

Mike Witt, the home restorer who bought this house back in 2001, did not find out until recently the history behind the four stained glass windows it contained.  He has been offered $1,000 for them and has turned it down.  He has been told they are worth a fortune, so he has created website http://theelvisglass.com to offer them for sale and see what kind of offers come in.

                           
   

                            
           

I hope Mr. Witt gets lots of money for them, but I just don’t get why they are such a big deal.  Sure, they are very old, dating from the 1800s, and they are beautiful.  However, it is the Graceland connection that seems to give them special value.  But, why?  The four panels were never part of Graceland.  They were the ones not selected for the Meditation Garden.  For Elvis fans with big bucks to spend on Elvis collectibles, there sure are lots of better options.

Now you see why I selected the first part of this article’s title.  The second part of the title was inspired by a visit I made years ago to the Hard Rock Café in Salt Lake City.  It had a huge stained glass window depicting Elvis.  Since then, I have looked for photos of other Elvis stained glass windows in Hard Rocks around the world.  Because stained-glass is in the news, this is a good time to blog about them.

 

                                   

Salt Lake City                                                    Beirut, Lebanon

Ottawa, Canada

                             

Fukuoka, Japan                                                             Glorietta, Philippines

                                

Rome, Italy                                                                       Paris, France         

You may have noticed some similarities between the windows at Salt Lake City, Paris and Fukuota, Japan.  Well, here are five others that are all variations of the same design, Elvis in his Gold Lamé Suit seated on a throne, obviously done by different artisans.  In Dallas, this has been referred to as St. Elvis, but elsewhere, it is King Elvis, no doubt in reference to the gold crown and the words “The King.”  Very subtle.

        

Beijing, China                     Boston                                Dallas      

                   

 Orlando                                           Washington, DC

I have one last stained-glass picture that has nothing to do with Elvis or Graceland, but it’s been saved in my files for some time, and this will probably be the only chance to use it.  How do you like the Salvador Dali inspired snake guitar at the Hard Rock Café in Baltimore?

Snake-like Guitar in Baltimore

 

©  2010    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

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