- Refurbishment of Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire
- Photographic Survey of Stained Glass in Essex Churches Complete
- Richard III Windows at Leicester Cathedral
- Events at the Stained Glass Centre, St Martin-cum-Gregory, York
- Call for Exhibitors: Second Glaziers’ Art Fair at Glaziers Hall, London
- Call for Papers: Icon Stained Glass Group AGM and Conference 2016, Canterbury, 1-3 September 2016
- The Rood in Medieval Britain and Ireland Conference Programme now on line
- Stained Glass Museum Autumn Lectures and Exhibition
Refurbishment of Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire
English Heritage has refurbished its museum at Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire, displaying many medieval artefacts from its archaeological store at nearby Helmsley.
The abbey, suppressed in 1538, was bought by Thomas Manners, 1st earl of Rutland. His inventories of the abbey’s buildings and their fittings, made shortly after he acquired it, provide an exceptionally clear picture of late medieval Cistercian life. Rutland systematically demolished the monastery, seeking a return on his investment by selling the roof timbers and fittings. What remained were architectural and sculptural elements from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries: roof bosses, corbels, friezes, and the remains of the magnificent fifteenth-century pulpitum, now on display at Rievaulx for the first time.
Also on display are pieces of medieval stained glass, window leads, and beautifully fashioned lead ventilators. Rutland divided the abbey’s window glass into three categories: the best quality was to be kept, the second best to be sold, and the poorest taken from its leads so that the lead could be salvaged. Most of the stained glass recovered during twentieth-century excavations dates from the first half of the thirteenth century, and can probably associated with major works to the east end of the church at this time. But there is also evidence of later work, including a beautiful late fourteenth-century crowned initial, probably from the border of a window featuring St John or James.
Rievaulx Abbey is open every day until the end of October and at weekends during the winter. It also has a fantastic cafe! For details of opening times, see the English Heritage website.
Photographic Survey of Stained Glass in Essex Churches Complete
Photographer Christopher Parkinson brings us up to date on the dedicated work he has undertaken on behalf of the British CVMA.
I am happy to report that all 166 churches in the county of Essex known to contain seventeenth-century or earlier glass have now been visited. These churches fall within the pre-1974 county boundaries of Essex (those adopted for survey purposes by the British CVMA), so several are now officially in various London boroughs. All accessible glass in these churches has been photographed and the images uploaded to the CVMA’s Picture Archive. The images will not appear however until I have entered the relevant metadata. This has proved a little difficult, as I moved home earlier this year and it has taken the best part of two months to establish a fully functioning internet connection. This has included having a fault at the local junction box fixed. Everything is now working thankfully, so the last batch of thirty churches and their glass will be appearing on the website shortly.
In my travels I have found most surviving pre-Reformation glass to be concentrated in mid- and north Essex, while to the east there is much post-Reformation glass, a good deal of which appears to have been imported from the Continent. Examples of the latter can be seen at St Mary and All Saints, Lambourne [Fig. 1]; St Thomas, Noak Hill [Fig. 2]; and St Laurence, Upminster [Fig. 3], including two fine musketeers, upper right [Fig. 4]. At Harlow, St Mary and St Hugh, there is the famous fourteenth-century representation of the Virgin and Child [Fig. 5], but perhaps just as remarkable is the collection of panels in the north transept north window said to date from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Sadly, the window is now largely obscured by the organ making photography difficult, but the panels include portraits of Charles I losing his crown and Queen Anne [Fig. 6].
There is still a little more work to do in Essex, on glass that may still be private residences, but I do hope that website users will enjoy browsing through the Essex images and perhaps reappraise their conceptions of this great and fascinating county.
Richard III Windows at Leicester Cathedral
Earlier this year, on Sunday 24 April 2016, two windows inspired by the life of Richard III were hallowed at the scene of the English king’s reburial, which took place in 2015. The windows, in the Chapel of St Katherine in Leicester Cathedral, were designed by Thomas Denny, who has produced over sixty stained glass commissions for churches and cathedrals, including the Traherne windows at Hereford Cathedral (2007), the Transfiguration Window at Durham Cathedral (2010), and the Wisdom Window at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge (2012).
The windows at Leicester previously contained plain glass installed in the 1850s, and the introduction of new, richly coloured stained glass represents the final instalment of the story of Richard III and Leicester Cathedral: the process of reburial ‘with dignity and honour’ has been completed. The windows combine themes taken from the life of Richard III, human experience and the Bible. As acting Canon Missioner Reverend Pete Hobson notes: ‘It’s not just telling Richard III’s story … it’s helping the person who sees the windows reflect on the questions of life and death that are raised by the life and death of Richard III.’
A video on the making of these windows can be seen on the Leicester Cathedral website.
Events at the Stained Glass Centre, St Martin-cum-Gregory, York
10 July 2016: Summer Music Afternoon
The Stained Glass Centre will be holding a Summer Music Afternoon on Sunday 10 July, 1.30 4pm. The ADAM Festival Community Choir, and Helen Atkinson, a lutesinger who specializes in early music, will be performing. There will be children’s activities, a book sale and raffle, and cream teas will be available. Tickets are £6 for adults or £4.50 for Friends, and there are deals for adults with children. Tickets can be booked by clicking here. Alternatively, you can simply turn up on the day.
Summer 2016: Open Days and Volunteering
Following the success of last year’s summer openings, the Stained Glass Centre is set to open its doors for a number of weekends over the summer. The Stained Glass Centre is run by trustees and volunteers, and we do our best to open the doors and let the public into the marvellous building as much as we can. If you would like to volunteer and help the centre enable more people to visit, email Anette, the volunteering manager.
The Stained Glass Centre is always looking for volunteers for a range of activities, such as undertaking research, or assisting at events, such as lectures and performances. If you have an idea to volunteer doing something completely different, please get in touch! Volunteers are eligible to become a Friend at the concessionary rate (£12 for individuals and £22 for a joint membership).
Call for Exhibitors: Second Glaziers’ Art Fair at Glaziers Hall, London
The call for artists, craftspeople and exhibitors for the Glaziers’ Art Fair has now gone out. The fair takes place on 25 and 26 October 2016 at the Glaziers Hall by London Bridge, with set-up and a ticketed evening reception on 24 October. The venue, home of the historic Glaziers & Painters of Glass Livery Company and its charity, the Glaziers Foundation, is steps away from Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral.
Stalls cost just £85, but only a limited number of places is available. For more information, and to apply for an exhibitor’s place, visit the fair’s website. If you have any queries, please email us.
Call for Papers: Icon Stained Glass Group AGM and Conference 2016, Canterbury, 1-3 September 2016
The Icon Stained Glass Group AGM and Conference 2016 will be held at Canterbury on 1-2 September, with an optional day of study visits on 3 September. The sessions will be led by Léonie Seliger, Director of the Stained Glass Studio at Canterbury Cathedral, who will provide a keynote address on the Great South Window project. This will be followed by an opportunity to visit the conservation studio and view the reinstallation of the historic glass.
Proposals for papers presenting recent developments and projects are invited, as well as for papers exploring the theme ‘Disaster! Management, Recovery, Reconstruction, Opportunities’. Disasters present challenges for conservators and custodians of stained glass, and the range of possible outcomes of catastrophic events means that each incident raises unforeseen, and sometimes unprecedented issues, which must be resolved in order to recover and conserve stained glass effectively. The implications and effects of recovery efforts often permanently alter both stained glass and the buildings that house it. In many instances, the process of recovery can present opportunities; others raise the question as to whether any recovery is possible or should be undertaken. Proposals for twenty-minute papers on either topic (no more than 300 words, including title and name of corresponding author), should be emailed to Léonie Seliger, Secretary of the Stained Glass Group, and copied to Katie Harrison, Events Officer, no later than 31 July 2016.
On Saturday 3 September, there will be a visit to view the cycle of windows by Marc Chagall and Charles Marq at All Saints Church, Tudeley, with a stop-off at St Lawrence’s Church, Mereworth, to visit this stunning neo-classical church with mid-eighteenth century heraldic glass by William Price the Younger. We will also visit a site that illustrates the theme of disaster the shrine of St Jude at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Faversham. This has an ensemble of 1950s stained glass by Richard King, and a west window reconstructed in 2004 following a fire.
Student & Emerging Professional Poster Competition
Students are invited to submit titles for our first Student & Emerging Professional Poster Competition, which will be on display throughout the first two days of the event. Posters will be judged by delegates, who will be asked to vote during the conference. A cash prize of £100 will be awarded to the winner, with a second prize of £50 and third prize of £25. Posters may be on a current project or case study, or on the conference theme ‘Disaster! Management, Recovery, Reconstruction, Opportunities’ and will be judged on effective communication of the subject and the visual impact of the design.
If you would like to submit a poster for display at the conference and enter the competition, please email Katie Harrison, Events Officer, with your name; the title of your poster and a brief outline of the content (max. 200 words); your email address; and your institution. The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2016. If you are selected, your poster will need to be printed in A2 or A1 (i.e., a maximum of 594mm x 841mm (23.4 ins x 33.1in.)).
Preferential booking rates for this event have been secured at the Cathedral Lodge, within the cathedral precincts, and are available from 31 August to 2 September. Please call the Cathedral Lodge directly (01227 866210 from the UK, +441227 866210 from outside the UK), and quote ‘ICON AGM 2016’. Lodge rooms: £117 single occupancy/£127 double occupancy, including breakfast and VAT. Burgate House bedrooms: £75 single occupancy/£85 double occupancy, including breakfast and VAT.
The Rood in Medieval Britain and Ireland Conference Programme now on line
The programme for the conference ‘The Rood in Medieval Britain and Ireland c.900 – c.1500’ has been announced and is available on line. The conference will take place 2 3 September 2016 at the King’s Manor, University of York. Registration will be opening soon, and readers should check the website for more details.
Stained Glass Museum Autumn Lectures and Exhibition
This year, the Stained Glass Museum’s autumn lectures focus on neglected aspects of twentieth-century stained glass in Britain. There will be opportunities to hear about the successful Arts & Crafts artist Theodora Salusbury (who is not as well known as her peers), the important role that the Lowndes & Drury studio (often known as the Glass House) had in the production and development of stained glass immediately after the Second World War, and the stained-glass artist and painter Keith New, whose work at Coventry Cathedral should have launched a successful career, but whose significance is only now beginning to be appreciated.
All the museum’s autumn lectures take place on Thursdays at 7pm, at the Ely Cathedral Education & Conference Centre, Palace Green, Ely, CB7 4EW. Tickets cost £7.50 each (£6.50 for Friends), or £20 for all three lectures (£18 for Friends). Bookings can be made online, or by telephoning the museum shop (01353 660347).
Andrew Loutit: ‘Proud as a Peacock: The Work of Theodora Salusbury 1875 1956’
Thursday, 29 September 2016, 7pm for 7.15pm start. Theodora Salusbury was born in Leicestershire and followed several courses of art training in the early twentieth century, including ones at the Slade School of Art and the Royal College of Art; she also served a four-year apprenticeship with Christopher W. Whall. Most of her known work dates from between the two World Wars, and was produced in studios in Kensington (London) and Cornwall. She was among those artists who used the facilities of Lowndes & Drury at the Glass House (Fulham), and her work is often identifiable by the use of a peacock as her maker’s mark. Andrew Loutit is Salusbury’s great nephew. He has travelled far and wide through England and Wales following up information from stained-glass experts and friends in order to find his great aunt’s windows.
Alan Brooks: ‘Lowndes & Drury and Post-War Stained Glass’
Thursday, 6 October 2016, 7pm for 7.15pm start. Founded in 1897, the London firm of Lowndes & Drury played a vital role in twentieth-century stained glass in Britain. From the surviving archives, at least 150 artists had their work made at its premises. The studio is well known for its contribution to the Arts & Crafts movement, but this lecture, after describing the early history of the firm, will focus on the English work that emerged from the studio in the post-war period. Alan Brooks has carried out considerable research into nineteeth- and twentieth-century stained glass. In 2012, he published The Stained Glass of Francis Spear, the first study of Spear’s work. Since then, he has been researching the many artists and craftsmen who worked at the Lowndes & Drury studio in Fulham, also known as the ‘Glass House’.
Diana Coulter: ‘Keith New (1926 2012): master colourist and innovator’
Thursday, 13 October 2016, 7pm for 7.15pm start. It could be argued that Keith New is only known for his contribution to the nave windows at Coventry Cathedral. This lecture will examine examples of New’s work that demonstrate his range and techniques beyond Coventry. Important examples of his work that have been lost will be evaluated against surviving windows that reveal New’s response to colour, light and new techniques. Diana Coulter is a historic buildings consultant who, for a period of fifteen years, knew Keith New in his later life, after his retirement from the position of Head of Foundation Studies at Kingston Polytechnic. Seeing the great east window of St John Ermine for the first time in 2010 triggered the idea of researching New’s stained glass. Access generously provided to family papers, designs and other materials has enabled Diana and her research partner, Dr Robert Smith, to pull together a more detailed study of Keith New as an artist and craftsman, which should be published in the next year.
Paradise and Other Places: Images Inspired by the Divine and the Everyday
‘Paradise and Other Places’, an exhibition jointly curated by Ely Cathedral and the Stained Glass Museum, celebrates the rich and inspiring cultural heritage of Ely Cathedral and its spiritual resonance today. The exhibition features large-scale drawings and paintings by artist Mick Abbott inspired by the splendour of Ely Cathedral’s architecture, and artworks found in the building as well as in the collection of the Stained Glass Museum. Combining architectural and decorative features found in the building with religious themes and contemporary portraits of local people, Abbott’s work strives to connect the past and the present, the human and the divine. A little bit of paradise will be found in every corner of the cathedral, from the whimsical and sometimes irreverent medieval misericords to the vibrant and colourful stained-glass windows.
Mick Abbott divides his time between Cambridge and Brittany, and for more than twenty years was an art teacher at Comberton Village College. He has been in residence at Tintern Abbey (2014) and several National Trust properties, including Newark Park and Hanbury Hall (2011). ‘Paradise and Other Places’ is the culmination of a year’s work.
‘Paradise and Other Places’ is free and will run until 15 July in the south-west transept of Ely Cathedral. On selected days during the exhibition Mick will drawing and painting in the transept.