Major Boost for Renowned Stained Glass Archive
One of the finest archives of medieval stained glass in England has received a £31,000 grant. The archive comprises 667 boxes of records, reports, and photographs compiled by the famous Norwich glazing firm, G. King and Sons, over seventy five years between 1927 and 2003. [Fig. 1. Dr John Alban, County Archivist, examines the King Archives © Norfolk Record Office]
The firm worked at a number of important East Anglian churches, including Long Melford, East Harling and St Peter Mancroft in Norwich, as well as sites such as Great Malvern Priory, Wells Cathedral and Winchester College. [Fig. 2. The prophet Nathan with parts of an inscription below. The photograph records Dennis King’s arrangement of this glass in Thurbern’s chantry at Winchester College in 1951]
When the firm closed, the future of the archive was uncertain until it was acquired by the Norfolk Record Office in 2004, following a grant from the Norwich Town Close Estate Charity. Now, thanks to a successful bid for £31,000 to the National Cataloguing Grants Scheme run by The National Archives, this important collection will be professionally catalogued before being made publicly available at the Norfolk Record Office and online. Special acknowledgement is due to the applicants, as the bid for support of the G. King and Sons archive faced tough competition. The application was one of only ten to succeed. [Fig. 3. The Norfolk County Record Office in Norwich © Norfolk Record Office]
Dr John Alban, the Norfolk county archivist, said: ‘The King archive is undoubtedly the finest collection relating to stained glass in the UK. We were extremely grateful to the trustees of the Norwich Town Close Estate Charity for their great generosity and public spiritedness in enabling us to acquire this wonderful resource, back in 2004. Now, thanks to The National Archives funding, we will soon have an online catalogue which will give researchers access to the fantastic treasures in the King archive.’
The catalogue of the collection is expected to be available online in spring/summer 2010. It will include the firm’s job files and account books, many thousands of photographic prints, slides and negatives and more than 9,000 outline rubbings made before panels were taken apart for conservation and reassembly in the workshop.
For more information see Vidimus 5.
Following last month’s report about damage caused by an intruder to an important 13th-century medallion in window s.28 at Lincoln Cathedral, we are delighted to report that around 95 percent of the glass has now been recovered and tentatively reassembled. [Fig 1. The Lincoln panel before damage © Gordon Plumb]
Early in 2009 the cathedral authorities will meet Tom Kupper, head of the cathedral stained glass workshop, and Nicholas Rank, cathedral architect, to discuss the repair of the medallion. Possible options include the immediate restoration of the panel, or a major conservation programme for the entire window of which it is part. To find out more about this story see Vidimus 24.
To see other panels from Lincoln Cathedral visit the CVMA Picture Archive.
Saxlingham Nethergate Glass Protected
Important glass from St Mary’s church, Saxlingham Nethergate, in Norfolk, is being cleaned and provided with internally-ventilated protective glazing by the Norwich-based conservators, Devlin Plummer. The church has one of the richest collections of glass in Norfolk, with good examples from the 13th to the 16th centuries. The windows undergoing conservation include the east window and those of the south side of the chancel, s.II, s.III, and s.IV.
Last month Vidimus spoke to Terry Devlin about the work to date:
‘We have just finished conserving s. III. which includes a composite tracery light, two 14th century apostles and some interesting grisaille of the same date. [Fig. 1. Saxlingham Nethergate, s.III © Devlin Plummer] The tracery light includes the head of an unknown saint, and an eagle [Fig. 2. Tracery light before conservation © Devlin Plummer; Fig. 3. Tracery light after conservation © Devlin Plummer] The apostles represented are St Philip and St James the Less. St Philip is dressed in red and brown robes and is set against a blue background. He holds a basket of loaves in his left hand. [Fig. 4. © Devlin Plummer] St James the Less wears white and brown robes, is set upon a red background and holds a fuller’s club. [Fig. 5. © Devlin Plummer] As well as cleaning the glass, we have reset the panels in a bronze frame and used kiln-distorted clear glass for the protective glazing system. Our next priority is s.II which includes four 13th-century medallions, the oldest glass in Norfolk.’
The apostle figures are particularly important. The stained glass historian, Christopher Woodforde, thought they were similar to some well-preserved apostle figures at St Mary’s church, Elsing, Norfolk, about twenty miles away [Figs. 6. and 7. © Mike Dixon] The inclusion of attributes – the basket of loaves and the fuller’s club – is testimony to how artistic ideas spread in medieval Europe. According to CVMA (US) author, Meredith Parsons Lillich, (The Stained Glass of Saint –Père de Chartres, Wesleyan University Press, Connecticut, 1978) such attributes were introduced into gothic art in the late 13th century as part of a general attempt to create visual differentiations between the apostles, who were formerly shown with nothing more specific than a book or a martyr’s sword. [Fig. 8. St James the Less with a fuller’s club, St Père Church, Chartres, France].
Vidimus is grateful to Terry Devlin for his help with this item and to the parishioners of Saxlingham Nethergate, who care for the glass. Thanks are also extended to Mike Dixon. To see further panels from Saxlingham and Elsing visit the CVMA Picture Archive.
Sales of 16th-Century Roundels
Some attractive 16th-century roundels will be auctioned by Christie’s in London on 20–21 January. The roundels are from the collection of the well-known antique dealer, Roger Warner (1913–2008) and comprise: a 16th-century roundel depicting St Elizabeth of Hungary, described in the catalogue as a female saint with a hermit, (Lot 382) [Fig. 1]; a composite panel with male and female heads (Lot 383); an Adoration of the Magi, formerly in the collection of John Mead Faulkner (1858-1932) (Lot 384) [Fig. 2]; a 16th-century German panel depicting the Prodigal Son as a swineherd (also owned by Faulkner) together with a Flemish representation of Susannah and The Elders of c. 1520 (Lot 385) [Fig. 3]; and finally, a composite panel with bird quarries and various fragments, including a ‘Green Man’ (Lot 386). To view the complete sale see Christie’s website. See also an obituary of Roger Warner published by the Independent newspaper.
This auction follows a sale of roundels by the same firm which took place in Amsterdam in December. The highest price reached in this sale was 1700 Euros for two 16th-century roundels depicting, respectively, a bishop and the Crucifixion (Lot 93) [Figs. 4. and 5]. Other lots included a depiction of The Burying of the Dead (from the Seven Works of Mercy) (Lot 92) [Fig. 6]; Samson carrying the Gates of Gaza (described in the sales catalogue as a man carrying two doors) and a rectangular panel depicting a shepherd with his sheep (Lot 95) [Figs. 7. and 8]; and a roundel of c.1500 depicting St James (Lot 94) [Fig. 9]. Some of the panels were cracked, chipped and overpainted. [Note: The story of Samson tearing down the bronze gates of Gaza and removing them from the city is told in the Book of Judges 16, verses 2–3. In typological picture books such as the so-called Biblia pauperum, the story signified the Christian triumph over adversity and was paired with images of the Resurrection where Christ is depicted rising and forcing open the gates of his tomb]
All images in this item are © Christie’s Images 2008 Ltd. and are reproduced with permission. Vidimus is grateful to Alexandra Buxton, Johanna Swetenham, Maarten van Gijn and Adrienne Kovats for their help with this item.
Countdown to Forum on Conservation: New York, June 2009
A provisional programme is now available for the International Forum for the Conservation and Restoration of Stained Glass Windows, to be held in New York later this year. Organised by the American Corpus Vitrearum and the International Committee of the Corpus Vitrearum for the Conservation of Stained Glass, the three-day conference will be take place between 1–3 June at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The theme of the Forum is ‘The Art of Collaboration: Stained-Glass Conservation in the Twenty-First Century’. Papers will be delivered in English, French and German with simultaneous translation. Texts of the oral presentations and summaries of the poster presentations will be published by Brepols Publishers in cooperation with the American Corpus Vitrearum. Preprints will be available at the Forum and afterwards will be sold by Brepols. Conference delegates will also be able to visit the extensive collection of medieval stained glass at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This will include a visit to the wonderful Cloisters Museum.
[Fig. 1. Panels from the Cloisters Collection depicting scenes from the Legend of St Germain of Paris and the History of his Relics. On the left, the vision of a sleeping monk (63.8 x 40.0 cm); on the right, a servant carrying two flasks (63.8 x 39.8 cm), France, Île de France, Paris, 1247-50, pot metal glass and vitreous paint. From the former Lady Chapel of the Benedictine abbey of Saint Germain-des-Pres in Paris. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters Collection, 1973 (1973-262.1-.2) Reproduced with the permission of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art]
Presentations listed in the provisional programme include:
•’Duyckinck to Tiffany: New York stained glass 1650–1920′. Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen.
•’Moguls and museums: a history of collecting stained glass in America’. Timothy B. Husband.
•’From plumber to glazier: the story of stained-glass restoration’. Sebastian Strobl.
•’Handle with care: approaches, perils and best practice in stained-glass conservation today’. Ivo Rauch.
•’Rediscovering Henry Sharp: the conservation of Faith and Hope’. Drew Anderson, Janis Mandrus and Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen.
•’The restoration of a 14th century stained-glass window from Assisi, Italy’. Roberta Bollati, Elisabeth Huber, Maria Elisabetta Prunas, Paola Santopadre and Marco Verità.
•’York Minster: past histories, future challenges – a new strategy for stained-glass conservation’. Sarah Brown, Tim Ayers, Andrew Arrol, Richard Marks, Christopher Norton and Richard Shephard.
•’Reversibility of modern treatments on stained glass’. Joost Caen and Kristel de Vis.
•’Conservation Programmes to St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle’. Stephen Clare, Tobit Curteis and Sarah Brown.
•’Les collaborations autour des problèmes actuels de conservation-restauration des dalles de verres’. Laurence Cuzange, Claudine Loisel, Elisabeth Marie-Victoire.
•’Multi-disciplinary investigation of the windows of John Thornton, focusing on the Great East Window of York Minster’. Ian Freestone, Jerzy Kunicki-Goldfinger, Heather Gilderdale-Scott, and Tim Ayers.
•’Modellversuch zur Spalttemperierung an den mittelalterlichen Glasmalereien der Divi Blasii Kirche in Mühlhausen, Deutschland’. Oliver Hahn, Harald Garrecht, Kim Kappes, Susanne Scheibner, and Nicole Sterzing.
•’Schutz von Restaurierungsmaterialien vor photochemischer Alterung’. Anne Kaiser and Matthias Rothkegel.
•’Die Restaurierung des mittelalterlichen ‘Mosesfensters’ in der Basilika St. Jakob in Straubing: Eine interdisziplinäre Zusammenarbeit von Kunsthistorikern, Restauratoren, Designern und Naturwissenschaftlern’. Markus Kleine, Rainer Drewello and Paul Bellendorf.
•’Mise au point de techniques de consolidation des grisailles, des vitraux du XIIIe siècle, de l’église Saint-Pierre à Chartres’. Claudine Loisel and Flore Desquins.
•’L’Art de la collaboration: Tiffany et les verriers. Jean-François Luneau.
•’Conservation of a stained-glass collection ranging from the 11th to 17th century at The J. Paul Getty Museum’. Ariana Makau, Brian Considine and Jane Bassett.
•’The CONSTGLASS project: screening of conservation-restoration campaigns and materials development for the sustainable preservation of European stained-glass windows’. Peter Mottner, Ulrike Brinkmann, Isabelle Pallot-Frossard, Thomas Warscheid, Leonie Seliger, Stefan Trümpler, Joost Caen, Franco Zanini, Patric Jacobs, Norman Tennent, and Paweł Karaszkiewicz.
•’Conservation and restoration of stained-glass panels from Sainte-Chapelle in the Musée National du Môyen Age: a multidisciplinary synthesis’. Frédéric Pivet, Sophie Lagabrielle and Bruce Velde.
•’Optical coherence tomography (OCT) for non-destructive investigations of structure and properties of historic glass’. Piotr Targowski, Paweł Karaszkiewicz, Bogumiła J. Rouba, Dariusz Markowski, Ludmiła Tymińska-Widmer, Magdalena Iwanicka, Ewa Kwiatkowska and Marcin Sylwestrzak.
•’Investigation of historic glass samples and restoration of the medieval stained glass windows of the St. Marien Church in Frankfurt (Oder)’. Manfred Torge, Gerlinde Mohrle, Ulrike Brinkmann, and Marina Flugge.
•’The Art of Collaboration’als [nationales Konzept] de Glasmalereikonservierung: Versuch der Bilanz einer zwanzigjahrigen Erfahrung in der Schweiz’. Stefan Trumpler.
•’Paintwork in medieval stained-glass windows: composition, weathering, conservation’. Marco Verita.
•’Peles Castle: stained-glass windows’. Simona Violeta Gheorghe.
•’Le vitrail des armoiries de la famille de Simiane de l’ancienne cathédrale d’Apt: technique et préservation’. Joëlle Guidini-Raybaud.
•’Cupolas and area lights: a study of connections and sealers between glass and metal’. Kristien Hanselaer, Kristel De Vis, Patrick Storme and Joost Caen
•’War memorial windows in churches: significance and conservation’. Oliver Karnau.
•’Restoration of ten completely destroyed 19th century glass windows: cooperation between the National Heritage of Belgium, Church Community, a conservation studio, a contemporary artist, King Baudouin Foundation and many others’. Marlous Peijnenborg.
•’Die Entwicklung farbiger Glasklebstoffe für die Restaurierung von Glasmalereien’. Martina Raedel, Manfred Torge and Michael Bücker.
•’Evidence of repair and rearrangement in the Hampton Court window at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’. Diane Rousseau.
•’Restoration and light control in the church of St. Peter in Cologne’. Christoph Sander and Peter Kaufmann.
•’The Willow Tea Room Doors’. Marie Stumpff.
•’Collaborating for better stories and better care: study and treatment of 15th and early 16th century stained glass from the Monastery of Batalha’. Márcia Vilarigues and Pedro Redol.
•’Study of the patrimony of stained glass produced in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 1920-1980′. Mariana Wertheimer and Raquel Alberti.
For details of registration and other information about the Forum, click here.
The Vision of Ervin Bossanyi
An important study of the life and work of the Hungarian stained glass artist Ervin Bossanyi (1891-1975) has just been published. Copies are available at a special introductory price to Vidimus readers. For more details and a full review of this exceptional publication, see the Books section.
York East Window Masterclass Follow-Up
Readers who were interested in the report on the York Minster Great East Window masterclass in December’s Vidimus, might also be interested in a report about the conservation of the Apocalypse altarpiece in the Victoria & Albert Museum that was mentioned during the conference.
Until 16 January 2009 Art of the Middle Ages: A Winter Exhibition, at Sam Fogg, 15D Clifford Street, London, W1S 4JZ. The exhibition features some rare stained glass, including a finely-painted roundel showing Saint Martin as a young man on horseback dividing his cloak to clothe a half-naked beggar. The roundel, which is thought to be French and is datable to 1500–1510, was formerly in the Sibyll Kummer-Rothenhäusler Collection, Zurich.
29 January–24 May Medieval and Renaissance Treasures from the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield.The exhibition includes four panels of stained glass. For further details, see Vidimus 15 and the Millennium Gallery website.
29 March to 2 August 2009 Glass and Light. An important exhibition of stained glass from a private German collection at the Knauf-Museum, Iphofen, Germany.
On 25 April CVMA Secretary, Heather Gilderdale Scott will be giving the postponed Deerhurst 2008 lecture at Deerhurst Church, Near Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire. Heather will be speaking on, ‘Deerhurst, St Werstan and monastic mythmaking’. For more information see the Friends of Deerhurst website.
7–10 May Kalamazoo International Congress on Medieval Studies. Sometimes includes lectures on stained glass. For more information see the University of Michigan website.
1–3 June 2009 Forum for the Conservation and Restoration of Stained-Glass Windows, Metropolitan Museum, New York.
13 –16 July Leeds Medieval Congress. The LMC sometimes includes lectures on stained glass. For more details see the LMC website.
18 –22 July British Archaeological Association Annual Conference, Canterbury. The BAA conference sometimes includes lectures on stained glass. For more details see the BAA website.
20 –23 July Harlaxton Medieval Symposium. This symposium sometimes includes lectures on stained glass. For more information see the Harlaxton website.