This photo was taken by Don Traser, at the visitor center of the New Market battle which occurred during the Civil War. (near Winchester, VA) The visitor's center has this window by Ami Shamir, from 1971. Shows the Great Seal of Virginia, seal of Virginia Military Institute, whose cadets trudged 50-some miles to reinforce the Confederate army, Confederate battle flag, plus names of ten cadets killed in the battle.
The link to Schara Tzedeck Synagogue says Ami was born in Israel in 1952. This can not be correct. Ami told me that he was born in Palestine, prior to Israel becoming a country. As a matter of fact. he also told me that he fought for Israel independence from Britain. Which they won in 1948.
Ami lived in Riverdale,NY and had a studio next to mine in Yonkers,NY. Ami fabricated,painted and acid etched his work with the help of various sub-contractors.
I worked for Ami from 1975 through 1990. I also worked at Durhan Studios and Greenland Studio during that time and started The Gil Studio in 1989, but always did work for Shamir and his wife Nyrah on evenings and weekends. His studio was a "penthouse" on 38th Street in the garment district. We made mostly stained glass but also various sculptures usually incorporating glass. We did the Jewish Chapel at Kennedy Airport which was torn down along with the Catholic and Protestant Chapels to make way for a parking structure. I believe the windows are still being stored by The Port Authority. I believe the the faceted glass window at VMI was fabricated by Greenland, but I could be wrong. We also made two large windows which were installed in a Veshiva in Tel Aviv. To answer the question, no, he did not have windows made in Israel and shipped here. Rather the reverse is true.
His work had little painting but incorporated a great deal of acid etching which we carried out on the penthouse roof. He did the majority of etching himself and quite enjoyed it.
He told me that he never finished grammar school, but was incredibly articulate and well read. In view of his lack of formal education, he enjoyed telling me how he was invited to the University of Illinois and awarded a post doctorate fellowship in the 1960s. He never left, but never took US citizenship. He also never mentioned any combat with the British since he would have been around 12 years old at the time of the conflict, but as a youngster he did play piano in British pubs for those same solidiers.
Working for Ami was the best job I ever had. I learned gilding and moldmaking and many other things and heard the most interesting and usually humorous stories.
I also heard a lot of opera................