News

Messingham Church Restoration

A Lincolnshire church with an important collection of medieval stained glass has been awarded a £229,600 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out extensive repairs to the roof and tackle various other dampness-related problems.

Fig. 1. Holy Trinity church, Messingham: the Harrowing of Hell.

Fig. 1. Holy Trinity church, Messingham: the Harrowing of Hell.

Although parts of Holy Trinity Church, Messingham, date from the thirteenth century, most of what can be seen today is largely the work of the Reverend Dr Henry Vincent Bayley (1777 1844), priest of Messingham 1811 1826, and the architect Edward J. Willson (1787 1854). As part of this work in c.1820, Bayley assembled and had installed a significant collection of medieval stained glass, including fragments from the former Collegiate Church in Manchester, now Manchester Cathedral. He also acquired some late thirteenth-century glass from Scotton Church and some mid-fourteenth-century canopies from nearby Kettlethorpe; the latter include a delightful piece depicting Christ leading Adam and Eve from Hell’s mouth (the Harrowing of Hell).

The glass is discussed in detail by British CVMA author Dr Penny Hebgin Barnes in The Medieval Stained Glass of the County of Lincolnshire, CVMA (GB), Summary Catalogue 3, Oxford, 1996, pp. 181 93. Other images from Messingham can be seen in the CVMA Picture Archive.


Geoffrey Clarke Panels Installed at the Stained Glass Museum

In 2014, after a fund-raising appeal, the Stained Glass Museum successfully purchased four unique modern stained-glass panels from the studio of Geoffrey Clarke. Vidimus reported on the conservation of these panels, which was documented on the blog ‘Through the eyes of the conservator’. The panels have now been installed in the museum in bespoke frames, designed and fabricated by Neil Wilton of The Stained Glass Display Company, that emphasize the visual impact of these pieces. Three of the works – Priest, St Sebastian [both Fig. 1] and St Anthony [Fig. 2] – benefit from backlighting, which reveals the radiant colours, and the sculptural nature of Fragment [Fig. 3] can be fully appreciated in reflected light, enabling the surfaces of the glass and metals to be viewed as equal components. Aside from St Anthony, which is installed high in the gallery, the panels can be examined at eye level and visitors can take a closer look at these rare and engaging artefacts of twentieth-century stained-glass production.

Fig. 1. Priest and St Sebastian on display at the Stained Glass Museum.

Fig. 1. Priest and St Sebastian on display at the Stained Glass Museum.

Fig. 2. St Anthony on display at the Stained Glass Museum.

Fig. 2. St Anthony on display at the Stained Glass Museum.

Fig. 3. Fragment on display at the Stained Glass Museum.

Fig. 3. Fragment on display at the Stained Glass Museum.

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University of York Spring Master Class

Fig. 1. Example of glass degradation in Clayton & Bell’s window (sV) at St John the Evangelist, Howsham, North Yorkshire. © Merlyn Griffiths

Fig. 1. Example of glass degradation in Clayton & Bell’s window (sV) at St John the Evangelist, Howsham, North Yorkshire. © Merlyn Griffiths

The University of York MA in Stained-Glass Conservation and Heritage Management Spring Master Class will be held this year on Saturday 27 February 2016 and is entitled ‘The Nineteenth Century: Treasures, Problems, Solutions’. The speakers and lectures are as follows.

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•    Dr Jasmine Allen (Stained Glass Museum): ‘Imitation and Invention: Stained Glass in the Nineteenth Century’
•    Dr Ulrike Brinkmann (Cologne Cathedral): ‘Nineteenth-Century Stained Glass in Cologne Cathedral’
•    Dr Alison Gilchrist ACR (Barley Studio): ‘Paint loss from nineteenth-century windows: causes and conservation challenges’
•    Merlyn Griffiths (York Glaziers Trust): ‘The case of window sV in St John the Evangelist, Howsham: Further research into the phenomenon often referred to as “crizzling”’
•    Dr Neil Moat (independent scholar): ‘As Lambs to the Slaughter – Notes from the Sheepfold’

The event is open to all and will take place in K133, The King’s Manor, York. Tickets can be purchased on the Eventbrite website.


Call for Papers: The Rood

The Rood in Medieval Britain and Ireland c.900 – c.1500
2–3 September 2016
King’s Manor, University of York

Fig. 1. Detail of Crucifixion in the Pavement Hours, fol. 81r, MS XVI. K.6 © Chapter of York: Reproduced by kind permission.

Fig. 1. Detail of Crucifixion in the Pavement Hours, fol. 81r, MS XVI. K.6 © Chapter of York: Reproduced by kind permission.

The rood – understood as the cross itself, and/or the image of Christ crucified – was central to the visual and devotional culture of medieval Christianity. By the late middle ages, a rood was present in monumental form, either painted or sculpted, at the east end of the nave of every church. Yet roods in numerous other forms could be found in ecclesiastical contexts: as images, in various sizes and media – in manuscript illumination, on textiles, and in stained glass. Images of the rood were also to be found within domestic, civic, and military contexts, from the bedroom to the battlefield.

Following recent scholarship that has focused on early medieval roods (the Sancta Crux/Halig Rod series, 2004–2010) and considered monumental roods on the Continent (Jacqueline Jung’s The Gothic Screen, 2013), this conference will bring together established academics, early-career and emerging scholars, to share new research and foster debate on the forms and functions of images of the rood in Britain and Ireland c.900 – c.1500. To this end, we invite proposals (max. 300 words) for papers of no longer than 30 minutes’ duration from scholars working within the disciplines of medieval art history, literature, history, archaeology and theology.

In considering the monumental church rood together with its counterparts in other media and contexts, this conference aims to reassess the complexities of the central image within the medieval Christian imagination.

Potential areas for discussion can include, but are not limited to, the rood in relation to materiality; sacred space; the liturgy; emotion/affect; conquest and crusade; the relationship between text and image; patronage, and pageantry/secular display.

Proposals should be emailed to [email protected] no later than 30 March 2016.

Organizers: Dr Philippa Turner and Dr Jane Hawkes, Department of History of Art, University of York


ICOM-CC Interim Meeting and Student Forum, Wrocław, Poland

The next interim meeting of the ICOM-CC Glass and Ceramics Working Group will be held in Wrocław, Poland 25–29 May 2016.

The conference, focusing on recent advances in glass and ceramics conservation, aims to present relevant case studies in the conservation of glass and ceramics; to disseminate research results in the field of cultural heritage; to promote the application of new materials and technologies for conservation practice as well as tools for analysis and documentation; and to identify further research and to provide networking for future activities. As conservation is becoming increasingly more international and interdisciplinary, conservators, curators, and scientists are aware of the importance of sharing knowledge and the value of discussing advanced research to improve conservation practice.

The three-day conference will include thematic sessions on research in progress and case studies related to glass and ceramics conservation and scientific investigation. A limited number of posters will be displayed. Several post-conference tours will be offered to allow participants to explore glass-making as well as museum collections in Poland. Following the format of the previous meeting in Amsterdam, a Student Forum will follow or precede the conference.

For more information, see the conference website.

A project presented at the last ICOM-CC Meetings (Amsterdam, 2013) is available to read in Vidimus 78.

http://www.asp.wroc.pl/ICOM_ASP/


Appeal for Information

Fig. 1. The west window.

Fig. 1. The west window.

In 1974, a church built in the nineteenth century by the British at Pontresina in the Engadine Valley (Switzerland) was demolished. The Museum Alpin (Natural History Museum) in Pontresina will be holding an exhibition from December 2016 to October 2017 about the church and those who financed its building.

The east window, by Mayer of Munich, was preserved, but the west window of three lancets (the central one 7.5m high, the outer ones 5.5m high) was destroyed [Fig. 1]. If anyone has any information on the church or the window, please contact Vidimus via the Contact page.