Canterbury Stained-Glass Exhibition

Twelfth- and thirteenth-century panels from the Great South Window of Canterbury Cathedral, which have been on tour in Los Angeles and New York (see Vidimus 72 and 77) have now returned to the precinct. Following on from the success of past exhibitions at home and abroad, visitors will soon have a second chance to see these panels – a series of almost life-size figures representing the ancestors of Christ – on display in the cathedral.

Fig. 1. Abraham. © Dean & Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral.

Fig. 1. Abraham. © Dean & Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral.

Each panel is approximately 2½ft tall, and each figure spans two panels, making the seated ancestors almost life-size. The panels were removed from the cathedral in July 2009 (see Vidimus 36) prior to the restoration of the stonework, and in order to allow for conservation work on the architectural framing of the window. Originally, the figures filled the choir and Trinity Chapel clerestory windows and were part of an eighty-six figure scheme, largely based on the list of names contained in the Gospel of St Luke (III, 23–28), interpolated with additional names from the Gospel of St Matthew (I, 1–17). When installed it was the largest known series of the genealogy of Christ in medieval art, not just in stained glass. Forty-three figures of the original series survive: nine in the choir clerestory, twenty-two in the south-west transept window (sXXVIII), and twelve in the west window (WI).

Seventeen panels from the south window will be on display in the Chapter House and another four can be seen in the Crypt.

The exhibition will launch this spring on Monday 18 May and run until Sunday 23 August 2015 (closed 13– 7 July); a series of lectures will also accompany the exhibition.

Contact the cathedral for more information.

Further Reading

M. H. Caviness, The Early Stained Glass of Canterbury Cathedral, Princeton, 1977

M. H. Caviness, The Windows of Christ Church Cathedral Canterbury, CVMA (GB), II, London, 1981

M. H. Caviness, ‘Romanesque “belles verrières” in Canterbury?’, in Romanesque and Gothic Essays for George Zarnecki, ed. N. Stratford, Woodbridge, 1987, pp. 35–38

M. A. Michael, The Stained Glass of Canterbury Cathedral, London, 2004

P. Collinson et al. (eds), A History of Canterbury Cathedral, Oxford, 1995

New Guide to Durham Cathedral Launched

Fig.1. Durham Cathedral: History, Fabric and Culture

Fig. 1. Durham Cathedral: History, Fabric and Culture

A new book on Durham Cathedral, entitled Durham Cathedral: History, Fabric and Culture, has just been published. It is edited by the Revd Prof. David Brown, a professor formerly at Durham University and now at the University of St Andrews, and features essays and contributions from more than thirty experts on subjects. The work offers a comprehensive account of the cathedral’s 900-year history and covers subjects such as the founding, development, building, and decoration of the cathedral, including its stained glass; liturgy and music; and learning and book collecting. It features 400 archival and new photographs, and serves as a celebration of Durham Cathedral’s enormous historical, spiritual, cultural, and architectural significance.

The book is available online from the publisher at or from Amazon.

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass Awards

Fig.1. The Worshipful Company of Glaziers

Fig. 1. The Worshipful Company of Glaziers

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass is pleased to announce that once again they will again be offering the Award for Excellence and Ashton Hill Award training work placement, for the year 2015–16. The deadline for entry is Friday 20 March 2015, with interviews on Wednesday 15 April 2015. They Worshipful Company is also offering the Stevens Competition prizes. Application details are available on the ‘Competitions and Awards’ page, accessible from the homepage of the Glaziers’ website.

The aim of all the Glaziers’ awards is to raise standards of work within the craft, particularly in the United Kingdom, by offering additional learning experiences to enhance workers’ skills.

The Award for Excellence and the Ashton Hill Award

These awards offer valuable opportunities for those wishing to develop their skills towards a practical career in stained glass. Applications are invited from individuals within five years of completing their training who are intending to undertake a long-term career in stained glass, preferably within the United Kingdom. Recipients will be placed in high-quality working studios, where they will undertake mentored work on actual projects, under the supervision, guidance, and tuition of experienced professionals.

The ten-week Ashton Hill Awards are offered to those wishing to develop their skills in conservation and/or glass-painting. The forty-week Award for Excellence is an enhanced work-experience programme that provides individual tuition tailored to the needs and interests of the award winner. This forty-week period may be shortened by a few weeks, in line with the winning applicant’s needs and the panel’s decision at the time. The award is suitable for those with an interest in both contemporary and traditional techniques and in conservation. Applications may be considered from exceptional conservators and painters in other media without prior glass experience who wish to expand their practice to include glass working. For both awards up to £250 per week is provided to assist with subsistence, rent and travel costs for the duration of the award.

You can read more about these awards, obtain application details, and see lists of the past winners’ names by visiting the Competitions and Awards pages of the Glaziers’ website.

Strawberry Hill reopens and unveils private rooms

Strawberry Hill, Horace Walpole’s remarkable eighteenth-century ‘Gothic’ fantasy castle, reopens on 1 March for the 2015 visiting season. After painstaking restoration, private rooms that have never been open to the public, including Walpole’s bedroom and the room in which he died, will be unveiled to visitors.

Restored Stained Glass in the Great Parlour at Strawberry Hill. © Richard Holttum.

Fig. 1. Restored Stained Glass in the Great Parlour at Strawberry Hill. © Richard Holttum.

Walpole bought the four-acre estate at Strawberry Hill (between Twickenham and Richmond) in 1747. Thereafter he radically enlarged both the existing house and grounds, remodelling the former into a Gothic fantasy castle. Part of the interior decoration consisted of the installation of hundreds of panels of displaced stained glass, much of it from the Low Countries. For the first phase of work (1750–1754) Walpole used Mr Palmer, of St Martin’s Lane, to set the panels on plain deeply coloured glass, which showed off the pale roundels to great effect. For a later phase (1759–1761) he called upon William Price the Younger (1703 or 1707–1756), the highly accomplished London glass-painter, who provided richly coloured settings of great sophistication. Following Price’s retirement in 1761, Walpole used the York glazier William Peckitt (1731–1795) to glaze the remainder of the house.

Apart from his collection of stained glass, Walpole was also famous for his extraordinarily eclectic collection of rare books and manuscripts, antiquities, paintings, prints and drawings, furniture, ceramics, arms and armour, and other assorted curiosities.

See the Strawberry Hill website for more information.

Further Reading

Vidimus 44

Vidimus 38

Vidimus 34

Vidimus 17