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The new MA in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management at the University of York will be the only one of its kind in the English-speaking world. Stained glass has been a focus for academic study at York University since its inception in the 1960s. It is now the base for the British arm of the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi, the international stained-glass recording project.
The two-year course, combining academic study and practical training, will take advantage of the city’s extraordinary collections of medieval and post-medieval glass. The city also boasts a cluster of the country’s leading conservation workshops, in particular the York Glaziers Trust, which already has close links both with York Minster and the University. As part of their studies, students will have a five-month placement at conservation workshops in Britain, Europe or the USA. Potential locations for placements include the Cologne Cathedral conservation workshop and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The two-year course will be run by the University’s Department of History of Art, in partnership with the Department of Archaeology, and will take its first students this October.
The course has been established thanks to a £123,000 grant from The Pilgrim Trust. The US-based Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Headley Trust in the UK have given $60,000 and £50,000 respectively to fund scholarships. The course is also supported by a £6,000 grant from The Glaziers’ Trust, the charitable arm of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers of London.
The course will be directed by Sarah Brown, currently head of research policy for places of worship at English Heritage, who will be combining the York post with the directorship of York Glaziers Trust. She commented: ‘We are developing the study of stained glass to meet the international demand for trained conservators specialising in the field. The course will be the first of its kind in the English-speaking world.
‘The need to bring together higher education institutions, and conservation and heritage organisations has been recognised by the House of Lords, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage. We fit therefore into a much wider aim, nationally. The demand for this course has been signposted at every level.
‘We aim to recruit up to eight students a year both from the UK and abroad, and wish to build on this by offering research degrees in the future.’
For further details of the course, visit the University’s website.
Experts from the York Glaziers Trust have successfully removed 144 main-light panels and over 150 tracery panels from York Minster’s famous east window, the largest area of medieval stained glass in England. The glass has been removed for conservation while masons repair the heavily corroded stonework. The entire project is likely to take at least ten years.
The removal of the glass has confirmed both the excellence of the original painting scheme, undertaken by John Thornton 1405–08, as well as shedding new light on previous restoration campaigns. Generations of glaziers have left their marks in the glass. Most of these inscriptions are on plain pieces or on plates and record the date of installation or glazing. Several inscriptions refer to the work of Dean Eric Milner-White (1884–1963, Dean 1941–63), emphasising the high regard in which he was held. One inscription records the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
‘The level of detail in Thornton’s scheme is quite remarkable,’ YGT senior conservator, Nick Teed, told Vidimus. ‘People have always been able to admire the window from the ground and witness the extraordinary rendition of the powerful scenes from the Revelation and Old Testament. At the same time, however, many of the finer details have been almost impossible to see. One benefit of having the glass in studio conditions is that we will be able to make a comprehensive digital photographic record of the window so all of these wonderful examples of Thornton’s work can be shared with a much wider audience.
Later this year we will be opening a secondary conservation studio in York as part of an agreement with our funders, the Heritage Lottery Fund, to provide public access to the ongoing conservation work. Visitors to the studio will be able see conservators in action working on glass from the minster. Further details will be made available in due course. Before beginning the complete conservation programme, we will compile a full documentary record of every panel. Research into the iconography of the window and its restoration history is being undertaken by CVMA author, Professor Nigel Morgan and CVMA Project Editor, Dr Joseph Spooner. The contribution of the East Window Advisory Group and The Dean & Chapter of York remains invaluable.’
For previous articles about the east window, see the Vidimus Archives. To see a huge range of glass at York Minster, visit the CVMA Picture Archive. All photographs are reproduced by kind permission of the Dean & Chapter of York.
The Teylers Museum in Haarlem (The Netherlands) has acquired an extremely rare drawing/design for a stained-glass roundel by the sixteenth-century artist, Pieter Aertsen. Executed around 1550–55, the drawing depicts The Destruction of the Altar of Baal.
Pieter Aertsen (1507/08 – 1575), was described in contemporary guild records as Langhe Peter, schilder (‘Long Peter, painter’), because of his height. He is regarded as one of the leading Dutch artists of the sixteenth centry and worked in both Amsterdam and Antwerp. According to Dr Michiel Plomp, chief curator of the Teylers Museum, ‘Drawings by Pieter Aertsen are very rare. In total, only twenty-five examples are known, and there are only four in Dutch public collections. It is a small miracle that we were able to acquire this wonderful work from a private collection in New York.’
The Destruction of the Altar of Baal illustrates an episode in the Old Testament (Judges VI, 25–27), where God commanded Gideon, one of the leaders of the Jewish people, to destroy an altar to the false ‘lord’ Baal. The drawing has recently been described in detail by Dutch CVMA author, Dr Zsuzsanna van Ruyven-Zeman (‘Pieter Aertsen als ontwerper voor gebrandschilderd glas’, in Delineavit et Sculpsit, xxxi (December 2007), pp. 22–36). The same issue of this important periodical about Netherlandish engravings and drawings includes a separate article by Dr van Ruyven-Zeman about drawings and stained glass by the Dutch artists Dirck Crabeth, Wouter Crabeth, and Willem Tybaut (‘De gebroeders Crabeth en Willem Tybaut, nieuw werk van de kunstenaars van de Goudse glaze’, pp. 2–22). Both articles describe designs for large windows as well as small panels.
Vidimus is extremely grateful to Drs. Kees Berserik for his help with this item.
An important new book has been published in German about the unique fourteenth-century window in the Marienkirche, Frankfurt an der Oder, depicting scenes from the Life of the Antichrist. Co-edited by Dr Frank Martin of the CVMA Germany (Potsdam), the book consists of papers presented at an international conference convened in the summer of 2006 to discuss the window and its imagery. The essays include descriptions of the art-historical context of the scheme, the history of the church, and the theological origins and interpretation of Antichrist imagery and ideas. Examples of schemes in sculpture, manuscripts and block-books were also discussed. Dr Martin contributes an important chapter on the windows in the church, and researcher Martina Voigt of the CVMA Germany (Potsdam) traces the recent history of the glass and restorer; Sandra Meinung describes its conservation.
The book also contains colour photographs of the window and the other glass in the church. For further information, including earlier publications, about the Marienkirche windows and other photographs from Frankfurt, see Vidimus no. 11 (October 2007). To order the book, see our Books page.
Vidimus is particularly grateful to Dr Frank Martin for his continuing help with items about this glass.
A remarkable survival of the medieval glazing of All Saints, Okehampton (Devon), has been remounted in a new display in the Lady Chapel there (Fig. 1). The 13-inch-square square panel depicts the Virgin and Child and was probably installed after the church was rebuilt in 1448. It is the only panel to have survived a ferocious fire that gutted the church in 1842. The church was accurately rebuilt immediately afterwards by a local architect, John Hayward (1808–91) (Fig. 2).
For many years the panel was displayed in a Victorian frame, but following a recent bequest the glass has been mounted in a new light-box and shorn of its Victorian border. The work was undertaken by Alan Endacott of Angel Stained Glass, Launceston, Cornwall. The panel has been related to a panel of an angel holding a censer attributed to the artist responsible for the east window glazing of Exeter Cathedral and acquired by Exeter City Museum in 1999 (Fig. 3).
Following a reader’s request in our last issue asking for the name of the artist(s) responsible for two distinctive panel in St Margaret’s church, Burnham Market (Norfolk), one of the churchwardens has provided some useful information.
In 2005, similar questions were posed to the then consultant for stained glass to the National Trust, Alfred Fisher. He in turn spoke to Peter Cormack, one of the UK’s leading experts on twentieth-century glass, then curator of the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, London. It transpired that enquiries about the window had been made on previous occasions, and that although nobody had ever been able to identify the maker, possible candidates could be one of several women artists who worked from the ‘Glasshouse’ in Fulham between the two world wars.
The Glasshouse was a purpose-built studio for independent glass-designers to carry out commissions. Based in Lettice Street, Fulham, it was opened in 1906 by Mary Lowndes (1857–1927) with Alfred Drury as her foreman. Arts and Crafts artists like Christopher Whall, Robert Anning Bell, Karl Parsons and Wilhelmina Geddes produced work there. In 1907, Mary Lowndes established The Artists Suffrage League to create posters, postcards and banners for suffrage events. For further information about Mary Lowndes, see ‘Mary Lowndes – A Brief Overview of Her Life and Work’ by Ann O’Donoghue (The Journal of Stained Glass, xxiv (2001 for 2000), pp. 38–52). If any readers have further ideas about the identity of the Burham Market artist, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Due to unforeseen circumstances the medieval festival at Meysey Hampton Church scheduled for 29 June has been cancelled. However, a service will still take place at the church at 10.30a.m. on that date to dedicate the newly installed glass, See Vidimus nos. 3 (January 2007) and 18 (May 2008) for the full story.
A seventeenth-century Netherlandish panel in St Oswald’s church, Malpas (Cheshire), has been damaged by stone-throwing vandals. ‘A larger panel was broken in 1998/99,’ churchwarden Nick Toosey told Vidimus, ‘but at the end of May we suffered two attacks in a week, one of which punched a hole in a seventeenth century oval panel, and another that damaged some attractive Victorian glass in the church [Fig. 1].’ The broken panel was part of a collection donated by the Cholmondeley family. It showed The Mocking of Christ and incorporated black paint, yellow stain and enamel colours (Fig. 2). Toosey went on to say: ‘We are hoping to repair the broken glass. We are also intending to fit outer protection for the windows.’
To see further images from St Oswald’s church, visit the CVMA Picture Archive. For further information on the collection at Malpas, see William Cole’s Catalogue of Netherlandish and North European Roundels in Britain (CVMA Great Britain, Summary Catalogue 1, 1983), pp. 141–46.
Rare Stained Glass on Show in Budapest
A panel of medieval stained glass showing the royal arms of King Matthias Corvinus is on display at the Budapest History Museum until 30 June. It forms part of an important exhibition, ‘Matthias Corvimus, The King: Tradition and renewal in the Hungarian royal court 1458 – 1490’. Matthias the Just (1443–90) was King of Hungary and Croatia between 1458 and 1490. He was crowned King of Bohemia in 1469 and ruled Moravia, Silesia and Lusatia; from 1486, Matthias was also Duke of Austria. Matthias’s father was John Hunyadi, a one-time regent of Hungary. The family coat of arms depicted a raven – corvus in latin.
Although the panel seems to have made around 1480–90, other details are sadly lacking. It may be Hungarian: equally it could have been made in one of the other territories occupied by the Hungarian king, such as Lower Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Moravia and Silesia. The panel was bought by the museum in 1925 from the Munich-based dealer, A. S. Drey, who is said to have acquired it from a private collection in New York. The panel depicts The Charity of St Martin. Born in Hungary around AD 315, St Martin was a Roman soldier before becoming a preacher and eventually the Bishop of Tours (France), where he died in AD 397. The panel tells the story of the saint finding a beggar shivering in the winter cold and cutting his paludamentum, or military cloak, in half so that he could share it with the poor man. The panel also contains the royal arms of King Matthias with the raven emblem.
Zsombor Jekely, Assistant Director of the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest to which the panel belongs, told Vidimus: ‘This panel is extremely rare. It is also the first time it has been shown in public since 1925. Apart from some possibly ninth-century fragments from the Abbey of St Hadrian in Zalavár, a Carolingian Abbey, built before the Magyar Conquest (and largely destroyed by that event), almost none of Hungary’s early glass has survived’.
For further details of the exhibition at the Budapest History Museum, visit the museum’s website. Further information about the Museum of Applied Arts may be found on its website. A Hungarian text only catalogue of the exhibition is available. Edited by Péter Farbaky and András Végh, it can only be bought from the Budapest History Museum shop, price 7000 HUF (about 28 euros).
Vidimus is extremely grateful to Dr Jekely for his assistance with this item.
Designs for stained-glass panels by Jörg Breu the Elder and Bernard van Orley are among eighty-five European Old Master drawings currently being exhibited at the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (United States).
Jörg Breu the Elder (c.1475 – 1537) was born in Augsburg (Germany), where he established a workshop in 1502 producing a range of art including designs for stained glass and woodcuts. The Yale exhibition includes a design from his workshop, possibly made for a scholar’s study (Fig. 1). It shows a scene from Homer’s Odyssey in which the Greek hero Odysseus and his companions visited an island on their journey home from the Trojan War. They were entertained there by the sorceress Circe, who gave Odysseus’s companions food containing a magic potion that turned them into pigs. Fortunately, Odysseus had been forewarned by the god Mercury, and took an antidote before overcoming Circe and forcing her to return his men to their normal shape.
Bernard van Orley (c.1490 – 1541) was born in Brussels and became the official court painter to the Regent of the Netherlands, Margarete of Austria, in 1518. His workshop produced panel paintings, and designs for tapestry and stained glass. Van Orley held this position until 1527 when he, his family and several other artists fell into disgrace because of their protestant sympathies. The van Orley family fled Brussels and settled in Antwerp before being reinstated by the new Regent of the Netherlands, Maria of Austria. The Yale exhbition includes van Orley’s drawing of the Resurrection of Christ (c.1525–30).
The drawings form part of the university’s own collection. The exhibition runs until 8 June, and admission is free. For the extensively illustrated catalogue, see our Books section.
For further examples of Breu’s work, see Vidimus no. 10 (September 2007), and visit the Getty Collection’s website.
Vidimus is grateful to Ana Davis and the Yale University Art Gallery for their help with this item.
Some outstanding panels of stained glass from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London are on display at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, until 17 August, as the travelling exhibition ‘Medieval and Renaissance Treasures from the Victoria and Albert Museum’ completes the penultimate stage of its journey across the USA. Exhibits from the show were detailed on the News page of Vidimus no. 15 (February 2008).
For opening hours and admission details of the exhibition, visit the museum’s website. A catalogue of the exhibition edited by Paul Williamson and Peta Motture is now available; for details, see our Books page. The CVMA Picture Archive contains numerous images of the Victoria & Albert Museum’s stained-glass holdings.
CVMA committee member Prof. Richard Marks will be speaking about the medieval glass in the chapel of Haddon Hall (Derbyshire), during this year’s Harlaxton Medieval Symposium (15–18 July 2008). Devoted to Memory and Commemoration in Medieval England, the conference will also feature a trip to St Michael’s church, Heydour (Lincolnshire), led by CVMA author David King and a lecture by Claire Daunton entitled ‘The Living and the Dead: Norfolk Glass 1340–1540’.
For full details of the conference, visit the symposium’s website. The CVMA Picture Archive contains a number of images of the glass at both Haddon Hall and Heydour.
ICON Stained Glass Conference 2008
The Stained Glass Section of the Institute for Conservation (ICON) is holding a conference devoted to ‘Stained-Glass Conservation Techniques Past and Present’ on Saturday, 25 October, at the Freemasons Hall, Manchester.
The conference will examine conservation techniques used in the past and seek to establish best practice guidelines when dealing with them today. The keynote speaker will be Dr Ulrike Brinkmann, the head of Cologne Cathedral Stained Glass Studio. This renowned workshop is at the forefront of stained-glass conservation in Europe, and has pioneered many conservation treatments.
The programme and speakers are as follows.
9.30: Coffee, tea and registration
10.00: Welcome and introduction
10.15: Leonie Seliger, head of Canterbury Stained Glass Studios
11.15: David King, art historian
12.15: Sarah Brown, the new director of the York M.A. in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management
1.30: Ulrike Brinkmann, head of Cologne Cathedral Stained Glass Studio
2.30: Chris Chesney, conservator
3.00: David O’Connor, art historian
3.45: Dianna Terry (who will be looking at stained glass in the Victoria Baths restoration project, Manchester)
4.15: Coffee, tea and biscuits
4.30: ICON AGM
5.00: Optional tour of Victoria Baths, Manchester
Delegates who would like to visit the Victoria Baths after the conference should advise the secretary when booking for the conference. The baths are 1.5 miles from the venue and well served by public transport. A minimum of 20 potential visitors will be required for the baths to open. The cost of the day, including lunch and refreshments, is £60 for members (ICON/BSMGP), and £70 for non-members. Applications forms can be downloaded at ICON’s website, and any queries should be emailed to the conference organizer.
19th-century Stained Glass Study Day
A study day devoted to 19th-century stained glass will be held on Saturday, 21 June 2008, 11a.m. – 5p.m., at the King’s Manor, York. Organised by the University of York’s Stained Glass Research School, the programme promises fascinating lectures.
Advance booking is not necessary for this event. However, please note that as lunch is not provided, packed lunches should be brought.
11.15–12.15: Dr Sally Rush: ‘Simplicity, Magnitude and Distinctness: glass painting and history painting in the mid-nineteenth century’
12.15–1.15: Dr Jim Cheshire: ‘Stained Glass, Patronage and Parochial Politics’
2.15 – 3.15: Dr David O’Connor: ‘”Refined and various tints”: The Alfred Waterhouse and Francis Tennant Odell Glazing in Manchester Town Hall’
3.15–4.15: Dr Caroline Arscott: ‘Verdure and allegory: Church glass by Morris & Co.’
4.15–4.35: Tea and coffee
The study day will be followed by a wine reception at St Martin-cum-Gregory, Micklegate, a grade I listed building, and home to the new Stained Glass Centre.
CVMA (USA) committee member and associate professor at North Arizona University, Dr Alyce Jordan, will be speaking at this year’s Leeds Medieval Congress (7–10 July) on ‘A Norman Saint in Capetian France: The St Thomas Becket Windows of Angers and Coutances’. Readers interested in this subject might also like to read Marie Pierre Gelin’s article on the life of St Thomas Becket in French stained glass, which appeared in Vidimus no. 14 (January 2008).
For further details of the Leeds Medieval Conference, including Dr Jordan’s lecture, visit the university’s website. To see more photographs of the stained glass at Angers Cathedral, visit the CONTENTdm website here. Dr Jordan is the author of Visualizing Kingship in the Windows of Sainte-Chapelle (2002); see our Books page for details.
Vidimus News Editor, Roger Rosewell, will be speaking about the newly conserved fifteenth-century glass at St Mary’s church, Michelmersh (Hampshire) on 27 June. The glass was described in Vidimus no. 13 (December 2007). The lecture will be held in the church at 7.30pm, admission £3.
This year’s Ely Stained Glass Museum’s summer lecture will be given by Dr Carola Hicks, who will be speaking about her splendid new book, The King’s Glass, a fascinating account of the glazing of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, in the early sixteenth century.
The lecture will be held at 5pm on the 17 July, in St Ethelburga’s Church, Bishopsgate, London. Tickets are £5 each and available on the door, or via the museum’s website. The admission price includes tea.
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URL to article: http://vidimus.org/issues/issue-19/news/
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