New Curator Appointed at Ely Stained Glass Museum

Sarah Robertson relaxes before the challenge. Fig. 1. Sarah Robertson relaxes before the challenge.

The Stained Glass Museum in Ely has appointed Sarah Robertson to succeed Susan Mathews MBE who is retiring in April after a rewarding twenty years as curator of the collection.

Sarah studied ancient history and archaeology as an undergraduate at St Andrews University (Scotland) before earning her Master’s degree in Museum and Gallery Studies. After a spell as a social history curator, working for the St Andrews’s Preservation Trust, she joined the Whipple History of Science Museum in Cambridge in 2008 which is she now leaving for Ely.

‘I have a strong passion for stained glass’ Sarah told us. ‘The museum is a truly inspiring place to work. Susan and her colleagues have developed an impressive outreach programme and I am looking forward to working with the team of enthusiastic volunteers she recruited. They do an amazing job. In recent years the museum has concentrated on improving the display, storage and documentation of the collection. Among my immediate goals will be to transform its impressive library into an internationally recognised research centre and to explore new ways of increasing visitor numbers.’ [Fig.1]

Conservation Begins of Damaged 13th-century Window at Lincoln Cathedral

The Moses panel before it was damaged. © Gordon Plumb.

Fig. 1. The Moses panel before it was damaged. © Gordon Plumb.

The panel in the cathedral workshop (January 2010) with Tom Küpper (left) and Steve Lewis.

Fig. 2. The panel in the cathedral workshop (January 2010) with Tom Küpper (left) and Steve Lewis.

Little over a year since it was damaged by an intruder, the lowest panel in an important 13th-century lancet window (s.28) in the south transept of Lincoln Cathedral has now been removed for repair and conservation. (see Vidimus24).

The damaged medallion was made before 1280 and shows a dialogue between Moses, who stands on the left, dressed in white and purple robes and holding a yellow staff, and a group of figures on the right. It has proved impossible to identify the scene depicted in the panel. [Figs. 1 and 2]

According to Tom Küpper, head of the glazing studio of the cathedral, extensive research on the best way to conserve the glass and how it should be protected in future will be undertaken before any restoration work begins. In addition to cleaning and repairing the panel, the cathedral will also decide whether to conserve the remainder of the window as part of a wider programme which could involve fitting an internally ventilated protective system. In the meantime Steve Lewis, the studio glass-painter, will make a facsimile of the panel which he hopes to finish and install in the window before April. Depending upon the scale of the project, the conservation process could take two years.

Early glass in the south transept. The damaged panel is lowest far left.

Fig. 3. Early glass in the south transept. The damaged panel is lowest far left.

The Pharaoh’s daughter finds the infant Moses, Le Mans cathedral. © Stuart Watling.

Fig. 4. The Pharaoh’s daughter finds the infant Moses, Le Mans cathedral. © Stuart Watling.

The Moses panel belongs to one of four lancets in the south transept which contain 13th-century medallions set in contemporary grisaille glass. The scheme was devised by an 18th-century glazier and the glass is not in its original position. On the evidence of the surviving fragments, the CVMA author, Professor Nigel Morgan, has suggested that at least sixteen windows in the church had figural schemes as well as others which can be described as ‘purely ornamental’. In the early part of the 16th century the cathedral probably had a decorative glazing scheme as complete as that which remains in some of the cathedrals of France but much of it may have been destroyed during the post-Reformation bishopric of Henry Holbeach (c. 1477–1551: Bishop of Lincoln 1547–1551) and again during the English civil wars when parliamentary troops in 1644 under the Puritan army commander, Edward Montagu, Second Earl of Manchester (1602–71) despoiled the cathedral. [Fig. 3]

Moses raises the brazen serpent. © Centre André Chastel, Paris.Fig. 5. Moses raises the brazen serpent. © Centre André Chastel, Paris.

It is not clear whether this intriguing panel was originally part a narrative window on the life of Moses, such as that which survives in the ambulatory of the cathedral of St Julien at Le Mans today; [Fig. 3] part of a typological scheme with events in the Old Testament depicted as precursors for episodes in the life of Christ, such as can still be seen at Canterbury Cathedral, or part of a special programme designed to illustrate a particular theological idea, possibly centred around the life of Moses and the Mosaic Law, similar to a window made for the royal abbey of Saint-Denis in Paris around the same time which depicted allegorical events in the Life of Moses with accompanying verses. Thus alongside the pictorial image of Moses raising the brazen serpent, a bronze model of a serpent which could save people from deadly snake bites (see: Old Testament Book of Numbers 21:6), was the inscription; ‘Just as the brazen serpent slays all serpents, So Christ, raised on the cross, slays His enemies’. [Fig. 5]

Further Reading

Lincoln Cathedral

  • J. Lafond, ‘The stained glass decoration of Lincoln Cathedral in the 13th century’, Archaeological Journal, ciii, 1946, pp. 119–156
  • N. Morgan, The Medieval Painted Glass of Lincoln Cathedral, Corpus Vitrearum Great Britain, Occasional Paper III, London, 1983
  • C. Woodforde, A Guide to the Medieval Glass in Lincoln Cathedral, London, 1933 Moses’ windows
  • L. Grodecki, ‘Les Vitraux de la cathédrale du Mans, Congrès archéologique, cix, 1961, pp. 59–99
  • L. Grodecki, Études sur les vitraux de Suger à Saint-Denis (XIIe siècle), Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi France: Paris, 1995
  • E. Panofsky, Abbot Suger on the Abbey Church of St-Denis and its Art Treasures, second edition by G. Panofsky-Soergel, Princeton, 1979, pp. 73–77

Glass for Vessels, Glass for Windows: Medieval Glass 1066–1550

The Association for the Society for the History of Glass is holding an important study day on medieval glass in London on Tuesday 23 March. Non-members are welcome to attend. The event will be held at The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN. Several CVMA Committee members will be among the speakers.


10.00 Arrival/coffee
10.30 Introduction
10.35 Caroline Jackson: ‘How medieval glass was made’
11.00 David Dungworth: ‘The composition of Wealden glass/medieval glass in Britain
11.25 Rachel Tyson: ‘Glass vessels and medieval society’
11.50 Claire Daunton: ‘Lights of knowledge and remembrance: Norfolk glass, 1340–1540’
12.15 Lunch (not provided)
14.00 Tim Ayers: ‘The contexts of medieval stained glass windows’
14.25 Anna Eavis: ‘Making stained glass windows in the medieval period’
14.50 Ian Freestone: ‘Understanding stained glass windows through chemical analysis: the Great East Window of York Minster’
15.20 Tea
15.50 Heather Gilderdale Scott: ‘The stained glass of the Great Malvern Priory’
16.15 Jerzy J Kunicki-Goldfinger: ‘The composition and structure of ruby red stained glass from York Minster’
16.40 Summing up and close

If you would like to attend, please send your full contact details, a stamped, addressed envelope and a cheque for £30.00 (non members), £20 (AHG members), or £10.00 (students – proof required) payable to The Association for the History of Glass Ltd to: Sandra Davison (Hon. Sec), 68 East Street, Thame, Oxon, OX9 3JS. Email: Receipts with SAE, by email or on the day. Participants who normally live outside the UK may pay upon arrival at the venue in UK sterling.

Great News from Conisbrough

The head of St Blaise before restoration. © Barley Studios.Fig. 1. The head of St Blaise before restoration. © Barley Studios.

A tremendous community fund-raising effort in Conisbrough (Yorkshire) was rewarded when St Peter’s church was packed for a special service in November to celebrate the repair and return of several stained glass windows damaged by vandals in 2008 (See Vidimus21).

The Head of St Blaise after restoration. © Barley Studios.Fig. 2. The Head of St Blaise after restoration. © Barley Studios.

Among those targeted was window sIV which included two important 15th-century panels, one of which showed the head of St

Blaise, a martyred 4th-century bishop of Sebaste (modern Sivas in Armenia), who was the patron saint of wool-combers and popular among local wool traders. [Figs. 1 and 2]

The service of rededication was conducted by the Bishop of Sheffield. Although the culprits have been caught one was below the age of criminal consent and the others were deemed too young to go before a court.

The repairs were carried by Keith Barley of Barley Studios in York, who restored the missing pieces and edge bonded the broken shards.

In an attempt to prevent further damage to the church a new CCTV system has been installed.

Good Progress Cataloguing King Archives in Norwich

Ellie Jones compiling the catalogue.

Fig. 1. Ellie Jones compiling the catalogue.

Following the award of a grant from the National Archives Grant Scheme in November 2008 (see Vidimus 25 ), the Norfolk Record Office (NRO) is now over halfway through cataloguing the prestigious archive of G. King and Son Ltd, lead glaziers of Norwich. Between 1927 and 2003, the firm was outstanding in the field of conservation of stained glass and worked on over 8,000 glazing and releading jobs.

The NRO Project Archivist, Ellie Jones, began in May 2009, initially cataloguing the business records of the firm, which illuminate how the company functioned, before turning her attention to one of the larger sections of the archive, the ‘Job Files’. These files contain a mixture of correspondence, photographs and details of the work carried out. Some even include fragments of glass, which need special packaging. So far, material relating to some 1,361 different locations has been catalogued, often with three, four or even more individual jobs per location over a period of many years. Most were carried out in parish churches, but chapels of schools and colleges (especially those at Oxford and Cambridge), hospitals, libraries, town halls, stately homes and private domestic dwellings feature too.

Also to be catalogued as part of this project are many thousands of photographs and negatives, which have been repackaged in conservation-grade materials and rehoused in specially adapted archival boxes by our hearty band of volunteers. These items fall into two main categories. First, those taken by the firm for conservation use, and which include images taken before, during and after their work was complete. Second, the firm also had an extensive picture library of examples of glass which illustrates the huge variety of their interests, from exquisite medieval roundels to fresh modern designs made in the last century. Each file is indexed by place, and can range from just one or two photographs to well over a hundred, as is the case for Audley End in Essex. [Fig. 1]

The completed catalogue will be published in summer 2010 via the NRO online catalogue and items will be available to researchers in the search room in Norwich. For further details please contact

Lucy Purvis

Archivist and Project Manager for the G. King and Son Ltd Archive Project

Seminar on Artists and Glass-painting in the 16th Century

The Stained Glass Research School at the University of York is holding an important seminar about 16th-century European artists and glass-painting on the afternoon of Wednesday, 17 March, at the King’s Manor, Lecture Hall, University of York.


2.15–3.00 pm Dr Hartmut Scholz (CVMA Germany), Secretary of the International Corpus Vitrearum: ‘Stained Glass in Nuremberg in the Time of Durer’
3.30–4.15 pm Dr Zsuzsanna van Ruyven-Zeman (CVMA Netherlands): ‘Painters and Glass-painters: Stained Glass in the Netherlands during the 16th century’

The lectures will explore the relationship between artists such as Albrecht Durer, Hans von Kulmbach and Joachim Wtewael, and stained glass design in 16th-century South Germany and the Netherlands. They will touch upon the relationship between artists and craftsmen, changing hierarchies of value for different media, and the role of monumental painting in changing patterns of worship.

Admission is free.

The seminar will be followed by a reception to celebrate the launch of the new CVMA (GB) website.

New Awards for Glaziers

Applications are being sought for some of the top scholarships in British stained glass.

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass is offering three awards and prizes for 2010–11. The closing date for applications is 9 April 2010.

Aimed at promoting skill standards in the craft, the 40-week Award for Excellence and the 10-week Ashton Hill Award offer successful applicants unique training programmes in some of the best studios in the UK. Funding is provided. Since 1995 the Company has given 29 work placement awards.

The Arthur and Helen Davis Travelling Scholarship

The third scholarship was established by a legacy from the estate of the late Arthur Davis, and is awarded every other year by the Company to a student of or an artist in Stained Glass. It is aimed primarily at graduates between the ages of 22 and 30 but mature students, those who are still training and those within five years of having completed training may also apply. Its value is up to £1500. The object of the Scholarship is to give the winner the opportunity to travel to widen their experience and to develop their study and knowledge of glass.

The Glaziers Company

The aim of all the Glaziers Company Awards is to raise standards of work within the craft, particularly in the UK, by offering additional learning experiences to enhance the skills of a potential worker. Applications are invited from individuals within the first five years of their training who are intending to undertake a long-term career in stained glass, preferably within the UK. For details of the awards, including eligibility and other conditions see the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass website.

Bursaries for Glass Conservators

Glass conservators are among those eligible to apply for awards being offered by the charitable arm of the Clothworkers’ Company, the Clothworkers’ Foundation. The schemes are designed to enable qualified conservators to attend conferences, courses, seminars and events directly relevant to their discipline.

The awards, worth £1000 each, are available for UK-based conservators employed by a private or public institution or who are self-employed. The Foundation expects the individual attending the event, or their employer, to fund a significant portion of the total cost, with their bursary acting as a contribution towards reasonable travel and accommodation costs, and course/seminar fees. Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Applicants should be aware that it can take up to two months to process an application. Retrospective applications will not be considered. Applications will be judged on a competitive basis by an expert panel.

For more information, including details of how to apply for this generous offer, see the Clothworkers’ Company website.


The Clothworkers’ Company was founded by Royal Charter in 1528, originally to protect and promote the craft of cloth-finishing within the City of London.

Book Sale

We have two mint copies of Richard Marks’ outstanding CVMA volume on The Medieval Stained Glass of Northamptonshire for sale at an unbeatably low price.

Now out-of-print, this hardback cover book was published in 1998. It has 316 pages plus 40 plates as well as numerous black and white illustrations.

Each book costs £35 plus postage and packing with profits used to cover Vidimus expenses.

Interested readers should contact:

Special Offers on Outstanding Books

Katerina’s Windows.

Fig. 1. Katerina’s Windows.

Don’t miss out on our special offers on three important books.

Vidimus readers can receive a 20% discount on the list price of Katerina’s Windows (reviewed in Vidimus 36 ) by downloading an order form from the website that accompanies the publication.

Similar exclusive discounts are available on two eagerly awaited volumes from the German CVMA (Freiburg), Written by Dr Rüdiger Becksmann, the books focus on the stained glass in the historic city of Freiburg, especially the Münster, the church of the Dominicans and the Charterhouse. Together the two German-text volumes comprise 800 pages with about 1200 illustrations, 320 of them in colour. They books will be published in June.

Readers of Vidimus will receive a discount of more than 25% of the book price, that is €98 instead of €138 (plus postage of €10 within Germany and €15 abroad) if orders are placed before 31 March 2010.

For further information contact:

Name that Roundel!

Name that Roundel.

Fig. 1. Name that Roundel.

This month’s puzzle shows a king and a crowned woman in discussion. Figures hover behind them. She is using her hands to make a point. To the right of the main figures, two men kneel before an altar worshipping an idol. What is the subject?

The Dutch stained glass historian, Dr Kees Berserik, has dated the roundel to c.1550 and attributed it to painters in the Southern Low Countries, probably working in the circle of Lambert Lombard (1505–1566), a Liege-based artist.

Roundels of this period depict a range of subjects, including stories from the Old and New Testaments, the lives of saints, and tales from ancient history and classical literature, such as Homer’s Odyssey.

The solution to this month’s puzzle is contributed by Dr Paul Taylor of the Warburg Institute in London. His explanation can be found at the foot of the Books section.

If any reader has any comments or queries about this, and other panels in the series, please write to:



Friday 12 March: Joe Nuttgens – ‘A Working Argument: How I survived my father and became a Stained Glass Artist!’, BSMGP Spring lecture, 6.15 for 6.45pm at The Art Workers Guild, Queen Square, London WC1 (admission by ticket only). For more details contact the BSMGP.

Tuesday 20 April: BSMGP Discussion Day, 10.30–5.30. The day will focus particularly on the safe use of acid and on painting techniques. Speakers will include Chris Chesney – ‘Heavy metal, an acid trip and other useful drugs’ and Roy Coomber – Glass Painting Masterclass, at The Art Workers Guild, Queen Square, London WC1 (admission by ticket only). For more information contact the BSMGP.

Conferences/Study Events

Tuesday and Wednesday, 9–10 March: University of York Spring Masterclass: ‘Walls of Light and Colour: Dalles de Verre and Windows without Lead, History, Creation and Conservation’. Speakers at this important event will consider different aspects of Dalles de Verre glass, including its conservation. They include: Isabelle le Coq, KIK/IRPA, Brussels; Alfred Fisher, former chief designer of Whitefriars Glass, London; Dr H-C Kühne, BAM, Berlin, Mr Christoph Sander, Glasmalerei Peters, Paderborn and Kristel de Vis, Artesis Hogeschool, Antwerp. The event will also introduce participants to the international BEGLARES project, a research collaboration between Glasmalerei Peters, Paderborn (Germany), the Bundesanstalt für Materialforshung und-prüfung (BAM, Berlin) and the University of York. For further information, including costs and how to book, contact:

Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 May, Stained Glass Museum study weekend in Merseyside. The tour will focus on Liverpool and its surrounding areas. The guides will be CVMA author Dr Penny Hebgin-Barnes, author of CVMA volume The Medieval Stained Glass of Lancashire, and the distinguished stained glass artist Alfred Fisher, a native of Liverpool who trained in the studio of James Powell & Sons. The weekend will begin on Thursday afternoon with a visit to Port Sunlight to view the windows by 20th-century artist Ervin Bossanyi, as well as the Lady Lever Art Gallery which houses, among other exhibits, paintings by Sir John Millais and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Friday will take participants to both of Liverpool’s magnificent cathedrals to revel in 20th-century glass and to the Walker Art Gallery which will include a private visit to its wonderful collection of medieval glass (see Vidimus 2 ). On Saturday the party will visit the National Trust property of Speke Hall (1490–1612), richly endowed with armorial glass, and St Helen’s Church, Sefton, to see its medieval glass. Same-day visits to All Hallows Church, Allerton and Ullet Road Unitarian Church will also provide a feast for lovers of Burne Jones and William Morris windows. On Sunday participants will be free to explore the fascinating Museums and Galleries within walking distance of the hotel, including the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Tate Liverpool and the International Slavery Museum.

Residential: £355 (£330 for Friends of The Stained Glass Museum) includes: Accommodation: Thursday – dinner; Friday – breakfast, lunch, dinner; Saturday – breakfast,dinner; Sunday – breakfast.

Non-residential: £225 (£200 for Friends of The Stained Glass Museum) includes: Thursday – dinner; Friday – lunch, dinner; Saturday – dinner.

Both Packages Include: Travel to all sites, guide-receiving headset and a conference pack with notes on sites to be visited For more information, including booking forms, see the Stained Glass Museum website or email :


Until 26 February : Botticelli, an exhibition of 80 works by the Italian renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli and his circle at the Städel museum, Frankfurt. For more information see the Städel museum website.

Until 26 February: Sleutel tot licht (Key to Light), an exhibition of twenty-five Dutch late medieval Books of Hours at the J. R. Ritman Library, Amsterdam. For more information see the Ritman Library website. The exhibition is accompanied by a Dutch text catalogue, Helen C. Wüstefeld and Anne S. Korteweg, Sleutel tot licht. Getijdenboeken in de Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica 

From 2 March – 23 May : The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, features 40 alabaster mourning figures from the tomb of John the Fearless (1371–1419), on loan from the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon while the museum undergoes renovation. The exhibition is accompanied by a 128 page catalogue by Sophie Jugie. After closing in New York the exhibition will travel to six other museums in the USA before opening in Paris in 2012. For information about the New York exhibition see the Metropolitan Museum of Art website

Until 13 March: Faire is the Heaven, an exhibition of Paul Hurst’s photographs of Norfolk medieval church screens at Hungate Medieval Art, St Peter Hungate Church, Norwich. Paul Hurst is an associate of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS). Featured screens come from: Barton Turf St Michael, Burnham Norton St Margaret, Ranworth St Helen, Ludham St Catherine, Wellington St Andrew, Filby All Saints, Cawston St Agnes, Hempsted St Andrew, Horsham St Faith, Horsham St Mary and St Andrew, Castle Acre St James, Worstead St Mary. For further information see the Hungate Medieval Art website.

Until 24 May : Paris, Ville rayonnante, Le XIIIe siècle, âge d’or de l’architecture et de la sculpture exhibition at the National Museum of the Middle Ages (The Cluny) in Paris. Although not about stained glass, the exhibition will explore the architecture of buildings well known to Vidimus readers such as the Saint-Chapelle and the Chapel of the Virgin at Saint-Germain-des-Pres. For more information see the exhibition website.

From 2 March – 13 June: The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is a once-in-a-lifetime display of the 172 sumptuous illuminations from the medieval prayer book, one of the Museum’s great treasures, while it is temporarily unbound for conservation (and the preparation of a facsimile edition). For further information see the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

Until 3 July : Albrecht Durer: Virtuoso Printmaker, an exhibition of 45 prints from the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

6 March – 4 July : Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. For more information see the Victoria & Albert Museum website.

From 1 June – 8 August: Old Testament Imagery in Medieval Christian Manuscripts at the Getty Centre, California, USA. For more information see the Getty Centre website.


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