- Keith Barley Awarded the MBE
- Work Begins on Reinstalling York Minster’s Great East Window
- Summer Events
- Corpus Vitrearum Catalunya Marks the Publication of its Fifth Volume
- Luttrell Palter Exhibited in Lincoln
- Book News
Keith Barley Awarded the MBE
Barley Studio is delighted to announce that its founder and managing director, Keith Barley, has recently been created MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) ‘for services to cultural restoration and conservation’ in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, which was released on Saturday 13 June 2015.
Throughout his career, Keith has been instrumental in challenging and developing the accepted ethics of conservation, restoration and preservation of stained glass. His pioneering work promoting the use of environmental protective glazing to preserve vulnerable medieval (and later) windows has been followed by practitioners across the UK and beyond. His approach to conservation and restoration, carefully considered and adapted for each individual project, and involving collaboration with expert art historians, has also informed conservation projects elsewhere. As Sarah Brown, Director of the York Glaziers Trust, has commented: ‘The sensitive approach to the balance between conservation and restoration achieved by Barley Studio at Stanford on Avon and Fairford revealed to many the capacity of stained-glass conservation to transform public engagement with the medium. Both projects also highlighted the importance of collaboration between conservators and scholars, an approach very much in step with the way we now work at the York Glaziers Trust.’
Keith was nominated by the Friends of Fairford Church in Gloucestershire. The chairman of the Friends, Geoff Hawkes, said his members were delighted with the news. Keith has worked on many major stained-glass conservation projects in the UK, most recently at Lichfield Cathedral, and famously at Fairford. He spent twenty years travelling back and forth to conserve and restore the windows of St Mary’s Church there – the only complete late medieval glazing in a parish church in Britain. You can read more about Keith’s work at Fairford in Vidimus 42.
Keith was ‘surprised and enormously delighted’ by the honour. He is particularly pleased with the citation for both restoration and conservation, as this recognizes his desire to treat stained-glass windows as works of art rather than mere objects of antiquity, respecting their imagery, meaning, and above all the intentions of the original artist.
You can read more about Keith’s career in stained glass in Vidimus 72.
Work Begins on Reinstalling York Minster’s Great East Window
Work has begun this month on the reinstallation of the conserved tracery panels of the Great East Window of York Minster – starting, appropriately, with God the Father. The panel has been returned to the apex of the window seven years after the panels were removed for conservation.
The window, which was created in 1405–1408 under the direction of John Thornton of Coventry, is being conserved at York Glaziers Trust as part of the York Minster Revealed project, a £20 million investment over five years, generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and scheduled for completion in spring 2016.
‘It is a fantastic achievement by the team to have reached this milestone and to begin returning the stained glass to the window marks an important date in York Minster’s history’, explained Sarah Brown, Director at York Glaziers Trust. ‘The Great East Window is one of the great artistic achievements of the Middle Ages, a stunning expanse of stained glass of unparalleled size and beauty in Britain. The work undertaken as part of this project will ensure this masterpiece is preserved for hundreds of years to come. In terms of returning the glass to the window, it seemed fitting to start with God the Father and work downwards, with the medieval perception of human history unfolding beneath his feet.’
Conservators have almost completed the installation of the protective glazing, which is manufactured with Lamberts UV Resistant glass (Vidimus 77), and the original panels will return to the window in bronze frames (Vidimus 88) as part of the isothermal glazing system. The tracery panels will be reinstalled first, followed by the famous Apocalypse cycle panels, and finally, the Old Testament scenes. The conserved panels will be slowly revealed as the interior scaffold is lowered, but as the conservation of the Old Testament panels will commence in August, viewers must wait around two more years before the entire window is back in place!
This year there are plenty of events of interest to Vidimus readers to accompany the good weather.
15 July: Bishops, Kings and Saints in Early Medieval Winchester
An important lecture by Sarah Foot about how Winchester became not just the political base of the kings of Wessex (later of all England) but also the most significant cathedral church in England, second only to the archiepiscopal seat at Canterbury, will be held on 15 July in the Cathedral Learning Centre, 10A The Close, Winchester.
Sarah Foot is the Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford and a Lay Canon of Christ Church Cathedral. She has written extensively on the history of the Anglo-Saxon Church and is currently beginning work on an intellectual biography of the Venerable Bede. Her most recent book was Æthelstan: the First English Monarch (Yale University Press, 2011).
The lecture will start at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 and are available from the cathedral box office, or by telephoning 01962 857275.
July 16, Art in Action: Medieval Stained Glass in Oxfordshire
Our features editor, Roger Rosewell FSA, will be lecturing about medieval stained glass in Oxfordshire at this summer’s blockbuster Art in Action event at Waterperry in Oxfordshire. His talk will include examples from University college chapels, parish churches, and important buildings in the county, such as Dorchester Abbey. Roger will be also lecturing about medieval wall-paintings on the same day as part of a special double programme sponsored by the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies.
The first lecture will take place between 11.00 am and 12 noon. The second lecture will be held between 2.00 and 3.00 pm. For more information about the event, ticket prices, and directions please visit the Art in Action website.
July 21–22, Harlaxton Medieval Symposium: Lectures about Medieval Stained Glass
Several important lectures about medieval glass will be among the highlights of the 2015 Harlaxton medieval symposium, which will take place 21–24 July at Harlaxton Manor in Lincolnshire. A double session on Tuesday 21 July will see Professor Richard Marks speak about ‘The moost profitable sayntes in the chyrche’: images of saints in English medieval stained glass and their functions’, followed by Sarah Brown, senior lecturer in stained glass, at the University of York and chairman of the British CVMA, who will explore ‘Archbishop Richard Scrope’s lost window in York Minster’.
On 22 July, the medieval historian Nicholas Rogers, fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, will speak about ‘A Pattern for Princes: the Royal window at the Observant Franciscan church at Greenwich’.
Details of the conference and how to book are available from the Harlaxton website.
24 July, Canterbury Cathedral Lecture: The Glazing of the Trinity Chapel, by Dr Rachel Koopmans
A lecture to coincide with the important ‘Ancestors of Christ’ exhibition at Canterbury Cathedral will be held at the Cathedral Lodge auditorium on 24 July. The lecture will focus on the glazing of the Trinity Chapel, which was completed between 1184 and 1220. The windows here depict miracles said to have occurred at the tomb of the murdered archbishop, Thomas Becket, The Tree of Jesse, and a complex scheme known as the Redemption Window. Dr Koopmans is Associate Professor of Medieval History at York University, Toronto, Canada, and a leading scholar of saints’ cults, and medieval religious culture. Her publications include a monograph entitled Wonderful to Relate: Miracle Stories and Miracle Collecting in High Medieval England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), which received the 2012 Margaret Wade Labarge Prize from the Canadian Society of Medievalists. Koopmans is currently writing a book on Thomas Becket’s miracles and the stained glass of Canterbury Cathedral, which will be published by the British CVMA.
Tickets for the event cost £7.50 and include entrance to a private view of the exhibition, a drink on arrival, and the evening’s talk. Doors open at 6.30pm. Tickets available from The Canterbury Ticket Shop, or by telephoning 01227 787787.
29 July: Stained Glass Museum Annual Lecture: Herkenrode Conserved, by Keith Barley
This lecture will describe the recent conclusion of a major programme to conserve the remarkable collection of sixteenth-century Flemish glass created for the Abbey of Herkenrode (near Hasselt, Liège, in present-day Belgium) in the 1530s. The glazing was imported into Britain in the early nineteenth century and subsequently installed in Lichfield Cathedral, principally in seven windows of the Lady Chapel. The conservation programme was carried out at the Barley Studio in York under the direction of Keith Barley FMGP ACR, who will explain the problems he faced and how his team overcame them.
The Herkenrode windows date from the very end of the medieval period and show remarkable Renaissance-style painting effects, including heightened use of perspective and shadowing. They are of international interest and importance, not least because they escaped the major restoration and repainting carried out on other Flemish glass of this period. Five of the seven large windows at Lichfield depict scenes from the life of Jesus, from the Annunciation, through the Passion and the Resurrection to the Day of Judgement; the two other windows contain a collection of donor panels.
Keith Barley is one of the world’s leading experts in stained-glass conservation and advisor to the British CVMA Committee. After completing his apprenticeship at the York Glaziers Trust in 1973, he founded his own stained-glass company, Barley Studio, on the outskirts of York. Barley Studio has undertaken many important conservation and restoration projects throughout the UK. In 1998, their work at Fairford was honoured by the prestigious National Award for Conservation, which remains the only National Award for Conservation to be made in the stained-glass discipline. Keith has published widely on the study and conservation of stained glass and has given lectures and talks throughout the UK and abroad.
The lecture will be held at The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT, (nearest tube station: Russell Square), 6.15 for 6.30pm. Tickets are £15, or £12 to Friends of the Stained Glass Museum. Bookings can be made online The Stained Glass Museum’s website.
2–5 September, BSMGP Touring Conference in Cambridge
The British Society of Master Glass Painters (BSMGP) is holding a fascinating conference in Cambridge later this year. Delegates will stay at Jesus College and visit colleges, churches and chapels in the city. There will also be a gala dinner.
Cambridge is home to one of the great wonders of medieval and Renaissance stained glass, the glazing of King’s College Chapel. Interesting sixteenth-century glass German can also be seen in Corpus Christi College.
For further details about the conference, including costs and how to book, please visit the BSMGP website.
Corpus Vitrearum Catalunya Marks the Publication of its Fifth Volume
On 20 July, the Catalan Corpus Vitrearum is to hold a discussion day at the Institut d’Estudis Catalans to celebrate the publication of the long-awaited and much anticipated fifth and final volume in its medieval series. There will be presentations on the Catalan CVMA and its relation to the international body, as well as on a number of art-historical topics, with an opportunity to discuss the issues raised at the end of the day.
Luttrell Palter Exhibited in Lincoln
An internationally famous illuminated manuscript made c.1335–45 and known as the Luttrell Psalter,will be on show at a spectacular exhibition in Lincoln from 27 June until 27 September.
Produced for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, the wealthy lord of the manor at Irnham, near Grantham, it contains the 150 psalms of the Old Testament, along with beautiful illustrations depicting medieval Lincolnshire people going about their daily tasks in the 1330s. Among its best-known images is that of Sir Geoffrey mounted on a warhorse and resplendent in a panoply of heraldic display attended by his wife and daughter-in-law.
This image has always interested stained-glass historians. Professor Richard Marks of the British CVMA has found that it belongs to a group of four closely related compositions that includes tomb effigies and a now-lost image in glass, formerly in the lower part of the east window of the parish church of St Peter at Drayton Bassett (Staffordshire). This showed a kneeling lady presenting a crested helmet to a standing knight who held a banner with, to the left, a youthful groom or page holding the reins of his destrier or war horse. The glass has been dated to the 1340s, and the figures identified as Ralph, Lord Bassett of Drayton and his wife, Joan, the daughter of John, Lord Grey of Wilton. Although the four images are radically different from standard parochial patron imagery of the period, they are bound together by the particular way in which they represent the donor and express his power and status. The inclusion of women in the Drayton Bassett glass and the Luttrell Psalter adds another layer to the meaning of these images, referring to the virtues of chivalry and the values of the knightly class.
The Psalter is on loan from the British Library and will be one of the star attractions in ‘Lincolnshire’s Great Exhibition’, an event that features over 150 Lincolnshire-related exhibits displayed in four venues in the city – the Usher Gallery, The Collection Museum, Lincoln Cathedral Library, and Lincoln Castle. Other highlights include an original copy of the Magna Carta brought back to the cathedral by Bishop Hugh of Wells, who had been present at its sealing by King John in 1215, as well as paintings, etchings, maps, illuminated manuscripts and letters, famous jewels, racing trophies, seals, ceremonial artefacts and carvings dating from the 1090s to the 1990s. The exhibition has two honorary curators, Dr Alan Borg, former director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, and Jeff James, chief executive and keeper of The National Archives. A joint ticket can be purchased for the castle and cathedral, but the majority of the exhibition will be displayed in The Collection museum and the Usher Gallery, where admission will be free.
Richard Marks, ‘Sir Geoffrey Luttrell and Some Companions: images of Chivalry, c.1329-50’, reprinted in R. Marks, Studies in the Art and Imagery of the Middle Ages, London, 2012, pp. 657–81
Two splendid new books likely to appeal to Vidimus readers will be published in the autumn.
Arts and Crafts Stained Glass by Peter Cormack will be published by Yale University Press. This will be the first comprehensive account of stained glass produced by members of the Arts & Crafts Movement in Britain, Ireland and the USA from the 1880s to the 1950s, and will feature work by Christopher Whall (1849–1924), Paul Woodroffe (1875–1954), and Karl Parsons (1884–1934), as well the achievements of pioneering women stained-glass artists, such as Mary Lowndes (1856–1929).
For more information visit the Yale University Press website.
Wilhelmina Geddes by Nicola Gordon Bowe is likely to generate as much enthusiasm as Peter Cormack’s long-awaited volume. Wilhelmina Geddes (1887–1955) has been described as the greatest stained-glass artist of her time and her windows have an exceptionally powerful presence. The book will be published by Four Courts Press in Dublin.
For more information visit the publisher’s website.