A fascinating article about the life and work of the stained-glass artist and author Hugh Arnold (1872–1915) appears in the recently published 2015 Journal of the British Society of Master Glass Painters. Written by Peter Cormack, one of the leading scholars of the Arts & Crafts movement, the article not only describes Arnold’s windows, but also his interest in medieval stained glass [fig.1].
Hugh Arnold’s Stained Glass of the Middle Ages in England and France was published by A. & C. Black in 1913 and reissued in 1925. The genesis of the book was the discovery of a fine series of watercolours of medieval windows painted by the American artist Lawrence B. Saint (1885–1961). Arnold was asked to write an accompanying text to these paintings; the result, according to Christopher Whall, was ‘the best book ever written on stained glass work’. Second-hand copies may be found on line.
Apart from Peter Cormack’s article, the new BSMGP Journal has many other items of interest, including a study of the work of the nineteenth-century Belgian stained-glass artist, Jean-Baptiste Capronnier (1814–1891) in Yorkshire; an appreciation of the Holocaust survivor and stained-glass designer, Roman Halter by Caroline Swash; a review of the latest contemporary windows; and a technical note by Oksana Kondratyeva about acid-etching. To purchase a copy visit the BSMGP website.
Hugh Arnold was born in Wimbledon, the son of a solicitor. He studied at the Central School of Arts & Crafts under Christopher Whall. In 1914, he designed a two-light window on the south side of the nave of the church of St John in Wimbledon, in memory of his father, who had been one of the first trustees of the church. The window was executed by James Powell & Sons. Hugh died on active service at Gallipoli in 1915.
A lancet window depicting Queen Victoria, which Arnold made in 1910 for St Mary Magdalene in Barnstaple (Devon), is on display at the Stained Glass Museum at Ely [Fig. 2].