Peter Gibson

Peter Gibson

Peter Gibson

Vidimus is sad to report the death of Peter Gibson, MBE, OBE.  Peter Gibson, former Superintendent of Works at York Glaziers Trust, was granted Honorary Freemanship of the city for his services to York churches, especially the Minster, where he enjoyed a long and illustrious career restoring the stained glass.  Sarah Brown, Director of York Glaziers Trust shares an appreciation in our Features section.

David Hockney to design new window for Westminster Abbey

Fig. 1. The window to be glazed to David Hockney's design.

Fig. 1. The window to be glazed to David Hockney’s design.

The artist David Hockney is to design a stained glass window in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the Queen’s reign.  The large window – approximately 6m tall and 2m wide – in the north transept is currently plain glazed and will be transformed before it is unveiled by June 2018.  The new stained glass will honor the Queen’s reign as the longest serving monarch in British history, and will contain, in Hockney’s words, “a landscape full of blossom that’s a celebration every year.”

Following on from their successful partnership with the artist Hughie O’Donoghue, in which two beautiful stained glass windows were produced for the Lady Chapel of the abbey to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen, Barley Studios, York, will create the new window.  The final stained glass design will be made by the artist Helen Whittaker of Barley Studios, who notes that “to translate a painter’s work onto glass is a fantastic and rewarding challenge…it’s also great for British craft that the window is being made in Yorkshire.”  Helen Whittaker will interpret and execute Hockney’s designs, transferring them from paper into stained glass and working closely with the artist.

Review: ‘Milner-White and All That: The Restoration of York Minster’s Windows, c.1780-c.1950

By Catherine Fairless and Hannah Page

Fig. 1. Dean Milner-White.

Fig. 1. Dean Milner-White.

The November Master Class at the University of York, on “Milner-White and All That: The Restoration of York Minster’s Windows c. 1750 –c.1950”, presented by Sarah Brown, course director of the MA in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management, saw perhaps the largest audience in the nine-year history of the event.

The lecture illuminated the approaches taken to conserve the windows of York Minster, and their impact, under the former Dean, Eric Milner-White, who oversaw the windows’ reinstallation after World War Two.
The lecture began with an overview of current approaches to conservation and how these have changed over the centuries. The importance of ancient records and descriptions in modern practice was highlighted: even today the records that began to emerge in the mid. C.18th are necessary in tracking the material changes made to stained glass windows, in an effort to stay contextually and iconographically true to the original installations. Indeed, the work of James Torre has become an immensely valuable source in the ongoing conservation of York Minster’s Great East Window. This cautious and conservative approach, while quite natural to a modern audience, is a stark contrast to the methods of Dean Milner-White whose attempts often saw a questionable skirting of the ethics behind the maintenance of the windows and their imagery.

Eric Milner-White was installed as Dean of York Minster in 1941 and became a driving force in the campaign to reinstall the numerous windows that had been removed from the Minster during World War Two. Together with a small team of glaziers, 38 windows were restored and 8 new windows were installed between 1943-53. Building upon the admiration for stained glass that he developed during his time at Kings College, Cambridge, Milner-White was deeply involved in the work on the windows and regularly popped into the glaziers’ studio. What became apparent throughout the masterclass was Milner-White’s unwavering belief in himself and his approach, using his vast knowledge of theology and the bible to help bring the Great East Window into an order that made sense to him. This led to drastic changes in the window, such as the complete re-leading of entire panels as well as the removal of evidence of previous interventions and the inclusion of new fragments of glass from his own collection and that of the glaziers’ glass store.

The lecture’s chronological structure allowed a full understanding of Milner-White’s influential role and of the extent of the impact his personal approach to the conservation of the windows had on the fabric of the Minster. Sarah discussed his reinstallation, restoration and rearrangement of the windows; she noted that his understanding of iconography and his enthusiasm for acquiring historically and aesthetically provenance glass led – while to the untrained eye, a pleasing restoration – to an historiographically ad hoc filling of the gaps.

Though undoubtedly knowledgeable in many respects Milner-White worked to his own system of restoration, humorously aided, as Sarah mentions, perhaps by his love of detective fiction. His status as a self-styled master glazier perhaps seemed to him to be justification for his actions. However, Sarah in her end-note recognised the debt owed to Milner-White in establishing the York Glaziers Trust that we know today as a centre of excellence in the care of the fabric of the windows. Through observation of practices both questionable and cautious throughout the minster’s history, we manage to conduct ethical conservation today through documenting and discussion.

Continuing Professional Development Awards from The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass 2017

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass has announced that once again it will offer two Continuing Professional Development Awards for the year 2017. The next deadline for entry is 31st January 2017.  The aim of all the Glaziers’ Company’s awards is to raise standards of work within the craft, particularly in the U.K., by offering additional learning experiences to enhance the skills of our craft workers.
Short duration Continuing Professional Development Awards help practitioners with at least five years’ working experience to broaden their professional skills, whether by moving towards the attainment of accredited status as conservators, or by developing their creative skills. These Awards are particularly aimed at professionals unable to leave their work for long periods. They can enable attendance at short courses, masterclasses or conferences.
As a charity The Foundation is obliged to consider favourably the most cost effective solutions to training needs, which usually means established courses.  However, if no appropriate course is available the Company will naturally look favourably on suitable bespoke teaching alternatives. Each award will offer up to £550 for tuition costs and £225 subsistence while learning.
Application details can be found on the Worshipful Company of Glaziers website.

Stained Glass Centre at St. Martin-cum-Gregory, York - Christmas Craft Fair

The Stained Glass Centre will hold a Craft Fair on Saturday 17th December, 10:30am-3:30pm, followed by Carols at 5pm. There will be crafts of all kinds on sale, including;
–  Pottery by Alison Bradley, Nina Wright, Julie Morris, Jackie Knight, Catherine Boyne-Whitelegg, Helen Graham and Barbara Wood from the Northern Potters Association
– Textiles and woodturned items made from recycled, reclaimed wools, fabrics and woods and inspired by English folklore and magic, by Greenhart and Kind
– Stained glass works by Ann Sotheran, Barley Studio and the Stained Glass Centre
– Plus books, cards and refreshments, as well as a raffle.
At 5pm, the ADAM Festival Community Choir and David Hull’s team of hand-bell ringers will perform Christmas Carols. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served.
Proceeds will contribute to the Stained Glass Centre.

Lecture: The Christmas Story in Medieval Art, by Sally Dormer

Monday, 12th December 2016, 7.30pm.

Sally Dormer will give a lecture for the Lincoln Decorative and Fine Arts Society examining the Medieval origins of many familiar images associated with the Christmas story, and using a diverse range of source material, including illuminated manuscripts, portal sculpture, liturgical vestments and stained glass.
Dr Dormer teaches and lectures extensively, including at the Victoria & Albert Museum, for two American universities, and is association with the Art Fund, as well as NADFAS.
Guests are welcome, although the society appreciates a donation of £5 towards meeting costs and notification of guest attendance should be given prior to the meeting to the Membership Secretary.
The lecture will take place in the lecture theatre in the Robert Hardy Building at Bishop Grosseteste College, Longdales Road, Lincoln, LN1 3DY.
For more details, visit the Lincoln Decorative and Fine Arts Society website.

Lecture: Painting with Light – the Development of Stained Glass in Britain from Bede to the 21st Century, by David Winpenny

Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 11am.
The Westmorland Decorative and Fine Arts Society’s upcoming lecture will offer an introduction to the techniques, styles and subjects associated with stained glass, tracing the development, decline and renewal of the art form from the 7th to the 21st centuries.
The lecture will be given by Mr David Winpenny, a freelance writer and lecturer, interested in subjects spanning architecture, stained glass and landscape gardening.
All are welcome, there is an admission charge of £8 for non-members. The lecture will take place in Appleby Market Hall, Market Square, Appleby, CA16 6XF.  Coffee is served from 10.15.
For more details, visit the Westmorland Decorative and Fine Arts Society website.

Lecture: The History of Stained Glass through the Christmas Story, by Diana Lloyd

Wednesday, 14th December, 2016, 10.30am.
Diana Lloyd will give the Runnymede Decorative and Fine Arts Society’s Christmas lecture, tracing the history of stained glass through representations of episodes relating to the story of Christmas.
Mrs Lloyd lectures on ceramics, glass and the history of interior decoration.
The lecture is open to all, as an introduction to the society, and will take place at Hythe Centre, Thorpe Road, Staines, Middlesex TW18 3HD. Coffee is served from 10.05 – 10.20

For more details, visit the Runnymede Decorative and Fine Arts Society website.

Lecture: ‘A Likeness of Paradise’: Stained Glass, the Sublime Art, by Dick Bolton

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 11am.

Highgate Decorative and Fine Arts Society will welcome Dick Bolton in exploring the development of stained glass in England. Beginning in Saxon times, the talk will trace the emergence of stained glass, the introduction of enamelled windows, and the renewal of interest in stained glass in the nineteenth century. The story ends with an appreciation of the skills of today’s conservators, preserving our unique inheritance of windows in cathedrals, churches and public buildings.
Mr Bolton is a registered Blue Badge guide for the south east of England and the city of Canterbury. He lectures and leads tours at Canterbury, Rochester and Salisbury Cathedrals, and York Minster. He is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass.

Guests are welcome, and admission for guests is £5. The lecture will take place at the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, 11 South Grove, Highgate, London N6 6BS.
For more details, visit the Highgate Decorative and Fine Arts Society website.

Lecture: Stories in Stained Glass, by Susie Harries

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 1.45pm
Knole Decorative and Fine Arts Society will invite Susie Harries to talk on the narrative aspects of stained glass, from medieval to modern times, and in a variety of contexts, both religious and secular. The talk will look at the potential of stained glass to play politics, bribe bishops, recruit soldiers and tell jokes. It will include thoughts on stained glass stories in the local area.
Susie Harries is a writer, lecturer and editor, specialising in culture, history and the arts. Her most recent book is the prize-winning biography of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner.
Visitors are welcome to the lecture for a fee of £5 payable on the day, and the membership secretary should be contacted in advance.
The lecture will take place at Sevenoaks Community Centre, Otford Road, Sevenoaks, TN14 5DN.
For more details, visit the Knole Decorative and Fine Arts Society website.

Friends of The Holburne Museum Lecture: ‘Glory, Azure and Gold’, a talk by Thomas Denny

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 7.00pm, The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB.
Thomas Denny’s windows number among the masterpieces of modern stained glass, and can be seen in some of our finest cathedrals, churches and minsters. To coincide with the publication of his book, Glory, Azure and Gold, Thomas will talk about the joys and challenges of producing contemporary art for historic buildings.
The lecture is open to all. Admission is by ticket, costing £10 each, available at the Museum or its website.

Vacancy: Stained Glass Conservator/Glazier

A vacancy for a stained glass conservator/glazier has arisen at Holy Well Glass, Somerset.

The successful applicant will be responsible for working on a wide variety of high profile historic and architectural glass as a member of a busy team.  You will work on the examination and full treatment of stained glass panels and related artefacts, including woos and metals, and have an awareness of safe handling and storage.  A wider understanding of the ethics and philosophy of conservation is beneficial.  The post involves working on site during installation and removal periods, and working at height on scaffold.  A full driving license is beneficial.

Essential requirements:

  • Practical experience in the field.
  • Be able to work in a fast paced environment and work to deadlines.
  • An enquiring mind and the ability to problem solve.
  • A good understanding of materials and be practically minded.
  • Motivated, enthusiastic, a team player with good communication skills.
  • A desire to learn and grow professionally and share your skills with others.


Desired requirements:

  • Flexibility when overtime is required.



A full time/ permanent post.  Salary will be based on experience.  If you are invited to interview you will also be asked to come and spend two informal days with the team, at your convenience, so that we can get to know you.  Accommodation costs will be covered.

Please send a full CV to the address below or email

All applicants will be acknowledged and if you would like to discuss the role in more detail, please contact the workshop manager, Sarah Knighton on 01749 671061.

Holywell Glass
Glaziers Yard
Lovers Walk