This Autumn, the Museum’s lecture series will focus on the concept of the ‘new’ in relation to stained glass: new commissions, new discoveries of medieval glass, and new ways of looking at the medium. The series comprises four lectures, each beginning at 2pm, and taking place in Ely Cathedral Education & Conference Centre, Palace Green, Ely, CB7 4EW.
Wednesday, 2nd October
Mid-Century Modernity: New Ways of Looking at Postwar Stained Glass, by Jane Brocket.
This talk looks at the post-war period from a new angle, and considers the evolution of the pictorial tradition in windows made from 1945 to the late 1960s. It reveals a multitude of fascinating windows inspired by and reflecting the modern world, ordinary people, and everyday life. The work of a number of little-known but highly skilled, prolific designers and makers such as Harry Stammers, Harry Harvey, GER Smith, MC Farrar-Bell and John Hayward, who are now too often overlooked and underrated, they show that the period has much more to offer than Coventry Cathedral and John Piper alone. Jane is the author of the recently-published How to Look at Stained Glass, an unstuffy guide to glass of all periods aimed at making looking at stained glass entertaining and rewarding.
Wednesday, 9th October
Redisplaying Fragments of the Newly Discovered Medieval Glazing of Westminster Abbey by Laura Atkinson.
In June 2018, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries opened at Westminster Abbey, displaying to the public previously unseen treasures from the Abbey’s collections. Preparation work for the Galleries led to the discover of almost 30,000 fragments of stained glass, hidden beneath the triforium floor, mostly dating back to the Middle Ages. Some of the fragments are now on display within the Galleries, whilst others were used to create two new windows installed in the bridge leading to the gallery. This talk discusses the creation of these window by the Canterbury Cathedral Studios, the challenges they presented, and the opportunity that arose to create an innovative new fragment display system. Laura is a conservator at the Canterbury Studio, and led the Westminster Abbey glass finds project.
Wednesday, 16th October
New Glass Commissions and their Significance in the Life and Worship of a Church or Cathedral, by Becky Clark.
Commissioning new stained glass is a major moment in the life of churches and cathedrals, and one of those which the Church of England’s permission-giving authorities see as potentially controversial and divisive. Whilst the opportunities of new art to bring in new audiences and engage with people through creativity and beauty are inherent, the potential to get things wrong is always present. This talk explores the reasons new stained glass might be commissioned, draws on projects and approaches that have been successful (and not) and will aim to inspire those who might be considering new stained glass in their own church to make the most of an often once-in-a-generation chance to add something significant to the history of the building. Becky is Director of Churches and Cathedrals for the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England; Secretary of the Church Buildings Council and Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England.
Wednesday, 23rd October
John McLean’s three windows for Norwich Cathedral, by Rev. Canon Jeremy Haselock.
In 2014 three new colourful stained glass windows were installed in the north aisle of the nave of Norwich Cathedral. The windows were designed by British abstract painter John Maclean. Rev. Canon Jeremy Haselock, currently Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen, and former Vice-Dean of Norwich Cathedral will tell us more about this commission and Maclean’s creative process. Tickets cost £9 for an individual lecture and £35 for the series, discounts are available to Friends of the Stained Glass Museum. For further information, and to book tickets, see the Stained Glass Museum website https://stainedglassmuseum.com/lectures.html