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We are extremely sad to report the death of our CVMA friend and colleague Kerry Ayre. She was the author of Medieval English Figurative Roundels, CVMA (GB), Summary Catalogue 6, Oxford, 2002. Our deepest sympathies are extended to her family. A full appreciation of Kerry’s contribution to stained glass studies will appear in a later edition.
The Medieval Stained Glass Photographic Archive, a new website containing around 10,000 images of medieval stained glass, has been launched by Painton Cowen, the well-known author and photographer. Produced in conjunction with the Centre for Medieval Studies at York University (England), the website currently consists of a photographic archive comprising superb images from French and English churches including Chartres, Bourges, Le Mans, the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, Tours, Rouen, Strasbourg, Canterbury, York and many other locations, together with a companion section dedicated to Rose Windows. More images will be added regularly. Access is free.
International CVMA Vice President, Dr Tim Ayers, has called the site an ‘extraordinarily useful online resource which will be an invaluable teaching aide and a superb visual reference library for anyone and everyone interested in medieval art’. Dr Ayers also paid tribute to Painton Cowen’s astonishing generosity in funding the site and making the images from his private collection available to a global audience.
‘The idea of creating a photographic database of medieval stained glass came to me a few years ago when I was trying to work out a system for filing and accessing the scans of my photographic transparencies‘, Painton told Vidimus. ’At the same time I was re-reading the late Louis Grodecki’s books on Romanesque and Gothic stained glass and wishing that the publishers had included more images illustrating the points that the author was making about the links between the glass at Laon, Soissons, Chartres and St Quentin. Then the idea occurred to me that a one-stop international website was what was needed for me – and for the wider stained glass community.’
How to use the online archive
With just four clicks of the mouse any viewer can look at any panel in any window of their choice. For example, selecting in sequence ’French locations’; ‘Chartres’; ’Noah window‘; and finally ’Noah plants a vine‘, will bring the appropriate panel onto the screen. From this point users can move through all 40 panels in the window in sequence with a description of each.
Having selected a particular window one can then move to the neighbouring window (right or left) and subsequently move round the building viewing the windows in sequence.
The starting point for each location is a ground plan of the building with the windows and their subjects named. Thus the opening page for Chartres has over 179 links leading in just two mouse-clicks to any one of the 1500 or so individual panels or details.
Another way of accessing a window is to search for a particular subject – say the Sleep of the Magi – and then see all the examples on the database. In this case there are 15 or so. The categorisation of subjects is of Painton Cowen’s own devising.
There are a number of supplementary features in connection with the Chartres entry that enable the viewer to compare the dozens of different border designs. Painton hopes to add a preliminary index for finding unusual details at Chartres, such as devils, dogs, the Hand-of-God, flowers, horses – virtually any object. This will eventually be extended to other locations.
The Medieval Stained Glass Photographic Archive is primarily a resource for viewing windows and their panels. The subjects are generally identified and labelled according to the Corpus Vitrearum’s published volumes, but sometimes information from other publications is used. Where there is dispute amongst the experts as to identification of subjects and scenes, Painton Cowen has mentioned this but has not attempted to resolve the issue.
Painton hopes very much that readers of Vidimus will use the site and find it helpful. Please don’t hesitate to email him (paintoncowen [at] aol [dot] com) if you have any queries or comments.
Painton Cowen’s latest book English Stained Glass (Thames & Hudson 2008) is available price £14.95 (sometimes less!) from Amazon Books. Reviewed in the 2008 Journal of Stained Glass the book was hailed as, ‘a work of solid scholarship and real artistry ..an album of superb pictures of English medieval windows ..an outstanding guide to lesser-known locations.’
Mid-15th-century glass from a highly important site in Cornwall – St Winnow’s church, St Winnow (near Lostwithiel) – is currently being conserved by Steve Clare and his team at Holy Well Glass in Wells (Somerset). The work has involved cleaning the glass, removing corrosion, releading where necessary and the construction of a protective glazing system. The glass belongs to the east window in the South East aisle of the church and may have once lit a now defunct Lady Chapel. [Fig. 1]
The window shows two rows of saints against a background of flower quarries alternating with kneeling donors. The three tracery lights feature heraldic badges: Kayle, Archdekne or Archdeacon, and the Courtenays (Earls of Cornwall). The central panel is dated 1580 and also differs stylistically from the other windows.
The upper row of saints show – left to right: St George, The Virgin and Child, St Christopher, and St Michael. [Fig. 2]
Below this row there are three donor images and an inserted half-figure of a bishop from an unknown previous location. The lower row of saints shows a tonsured figure, by repute thought to be St Winnow (Winwaloe), a Cornish-born saint; the Virgin (from an otherwise lost Annunciation scene); St Mary Magdalene; and a male bishop saint traditionally identified as St Leonard. [Fig. 3]
A shield, two donor figures and another shield complete the bottom row. Both shields incorporate enamel paints indicating a post-medieval date.
The window was restored in the 19th century by the well-known Victorian firm Clayton & Bell. Formed in 1855 by John Richard Clayton (1827–1913) and Alfred Bell (1832–95), the company was employed at many famous monuments. At St Winnow the firm made new decorative borders for the window, replaced around two-thirds of the background decorated quarries and installed new glass to some of the main figures. Medieval type inscriptions were also added with artificial ageing and arbitrary cut lead lines to give an impression of great antiquity.
According to Dr Jo Mattingly, an expert on Cornwall’s medieval churches, the St Winnow window probably dates from the 1460s and was likely to have been donated by the family of William Kayle esquire of Ethy in St Winnow. William is almost certainly the male donor figure shown in armour in light 2b together with his wife, Philippa Trenoweth, in the adjoining panel. [Fig 4]
William Kayle founded a chantry in the church after his wedding to Philippa in 1463 and it is possible that the Lady Chapel and its east window were made then.
After William’s early death, Philippa remarried and had nine children by her second husband, John Carminow of Bodmin. At least one of her daughters (and her husband) have been identified as the most likely donors of the still extant late medieval Passion of Christ window at another important Cornish site, St Kew church, near Bodmin.
The late Dr Chris Brooks (1949–2002) who studied the medieval glass of Cornwall and Devon before his untimely death, associated the St Winnow panels with the glazing at St Kew and thought that both schemes were probably made in Exeter.
Vidimus is grateful to Steve Clare and Dr Jo Mattingly for their help with this item. All the photographs are © Holy Well Glass Ltd.
Thanks are also extended to the parishioners and funding bodies who have contributed to the care of this window.
A unique survey of medieval stained glass in Cornwall will appear in next month’s issue of Vidimus. Don’t miss it! To see other images of stained glass in Cornwall, including St Kew, see the CVMA Picture Archive.
The Dean and Chapter of Lichfield Cathedral (Staffordshire) are organising special events for members of the public to catch a last glimpse of its internationally important 16th-century stained glass from the Belgian Abbey of Herkenrode, before the windows are removed for up to five years while essential repairs to the stonework which supports and surrounds them takes place. [Fig.1]
The events include special guided tours of the glass during the week 22–26 June at 1.00pm and 7.00pm daily (except 23 and 24 June when there are no 7.00pm tours), and a study morning led by the CVMA’s conservation advisor, Keith Barley, on Saturday 27 June. Tickets for these events are available from the Lichfield Cathedral Shop, at 9, The Close, Lichfield, or by calling 01543 306150. For other details, including booking fees, see the Lichfield Cathedral website.
The glass was made between 1532 and 1539 for the Cistercian Nunnery, founded in 1132, at Herkenrode in Flanders, now part of modern Belgium. It is thought that the glaziers worked to designs produced in the Antwerp workshop of the artist Pierre Coecke (1502–1550). [Fig.2]
The glass was brought to England in 1802 by Sir Brooke Boothby after Napoleon had suppressed religious houses in his domains. It was purchased by the Lichfield Chapter to replace the stained glass destroyed during the English Civil War.
Michael Wood, the well-known broadcaster and historian, and his wife Rebecca Dobbs, are shooting a ten-minute DVD which tells the story of the glass, including its origins in Flanders and its installation in the Cathedral, as well as the complexities of its restoration.
•Yvette Vandem Bemden ‘The 16th-Century Stained Glass from the Former Abbey of Herkenrode in Lichfield Cathedral’, The Journal of Stained Glass, Vol. XXXII, 2008, pp. 49–90.
•Yvette Vandem Bemden and Jill Kerr with a contribution from Carmelia Opsomer, ‘The Sixteenth-Century Glass from Herkenrode Abbey (Belgium) in Lichfield Cathedral’, Archaeologia, CVIII, 1986, pp. 189–226.
This month’s puzzle shows a shipwrecked warrior lying on a beach while a young woman reaches over him. [Fig.1]
The roundel belongs to Lincoln College, Oxford. It was given to the college by Sir Walter Oakeshott (1903 –1987), Headmaster of Winchester College between 1946 and 1954, and Rector of Lincoln College from 1954–1972. While at Winchester, Sir Walter supervised the recovery of some of the surviving panels of the college chapel’s original medieval stained glass which had been dispersed in the 19th century, and organised their refitting in the windows of Thurbern’s chantry by the stained glass restorer Dennis King. According to an article contributed by Sir Walter to the Lincoln College Record for 1965–66, this month’s mystery roundel was conserved with the help of Dennis King.
The late Dr William Cole, an expert on roundels, described the subject as ‘unidentified’ in his CVMA [GB] Catalogue of Netherlandish and North European Roundels in Britain, 1993, p. 198.
The panel has been attributed to the circle of the Psuedo-Ortkens workshop in the southern Low Countries and dated to c.1535 by the Dutch stained glass historian, Dr C.J. Berserik.
Roundels of this period depicted a range of subjects, including stories from the Old and New Testaments, the lives of saints, and tales from ancient history and classical literature, such as Homer’s Odyssey.
The solution to this month’s puzzle is contributed by Dr Paul Taylor of the Warburg Institute in London. His explanation can be found at the foot of the Books section.
If any reader has any comments or queries about this, and other panels in the series, please write to: news [at] vidimus [dot] org.
Vidimus is grateful to Mr Andrew Mussell, the Archivist of Lincoln College, for his help with this item.
For more images of the glass see the CVMA Picture Archive.
There is still time to buy Penny Hebgin-Barnes’s superb study of The Medieval Stained Glass of Lancashire, at an unrepeatable 40% discount before this special offer closes on 31 July. [Fig. 1] To find out more about this book don’t miss our in-depth interview with Penny in last month’s Features section
There are similar massive discounts for two other recently-published books: Tim Ayers’ magisterial two-volume study of the glass at Well Cathedral and David King’s groundbreaking book on the stained glass of St Peter Mancroft church in Norwich are also available for a limited period.
To take advantage of these exclusive special offers see the Oxford University Press website.
Tim Ayers, The Medieval Stained Glass of Wells Cathedral, 2 vols, Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi: Great Britain IV, Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 2004, cxii + 676 pp.; 270 black-and-white illustrations, 40 colour plates, ISBN 019–726263–5. This is a wonderfully illustrated study of the medieval stained glass of Wells Cathedral, hailed by Professor Madeline Caviness as ‘A masterly catalogue ….and a major contribution to the study of 14th-century English art’. [Fig. 2]
David King, The Medieval Stained Glass of St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi: Great Britain V, Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 2006, 430 pp., numerous b/w plates, 24 colour plates, ISBN–13: 978–0–19–726264–1 ISBN–10: 0–19–726264–3. Apart from being the definitive catalogue of the finest surviving collection of medieval stained glass in 15th-century Norfolk, this book also reconstructs the original glazing of the church and relates it to other glass in East Anglia. It includes documentary evidence for all recorded Norwich glaziers from 1400. [Fig. 3]
The Stained Glass Museum at Ely has announced a fascinating series of upcoming events.
This year’s Annual Lecture in memory of Margot Eates, a founder Trustee of the Museum, will be given by Peter Cormack. It will take place at 5.30pm on 17 July at the church of St Ethelberga, Bishopsgate, London. Entitled ‘A Continued Protest against Medievalism: the Stained Glass of Henry Holiday 1839–1927’, the lecture will examine Holiday’s relationship with some of the key movements in later 19th-century art, notably Pre-Raphaelitism, Aestheticism and the Arts & Crafts, and his influential role in the development of a progressive school of stained glass design in Britain. Peter Cormack MBE, FSA, is a historian of 19th- and 20th-century art and design. He was formerly curator of the William Morris Gallery, London, where he organised numerous exhibitions on aspects of William Morris and his circle and the Arts & Crafts movement. His 1989 exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of Henry Holiday’s birth was the first modern retrospective of the artist’s work. Tickets: £5 (in advance) £6 (on the door).
Summer Garden Party
The 2009 Garden party will be held on Saturday 22 August 2009 in Towcester, Northamptonshire. Attendees will first have a guided tour of the church of St Nicholas, Stanford on Avon, from 2.00pm to see its fantastic collection of medieval glass before gathering at 4.00pm for tea and cake in the 14th-century hall house and grounds of George Wigley (Monastery Stained Glass), the well-known stained glass dealer and restorer. There will be opportunities to see George’s workshop and meet Friends of the Museum. Tickets: £15 (church guide and garden party), £12.50 (garden party only)
There are a few spaces left on the forthcoming Stained Glass Museum Painting Workshops, led by Pippa Blackall.
18 July (10.00am –4.30pm) – One Day Painting Workshop, A tutored course taught by a professional stained glass artist. Cost of £75 to cover materials, equipment and tuition.
18–20 August (10.00am–4.30pm daily) – A tutored course taught by a professional stained glass artist. Cost of £225 to cover materials, equipment and tuition.
For further information and bookings for the above events please contact The Stained Glass Museum, The South Triforium, Ely Cathedral, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4DL. Tel: 01353 660347, Email: curator [at] stainedglassmuseum [dot] com.
Autumn Lecture Series
The Autumn Lecture series in Ely promises some rare treats. Tickets are £5 per lecture. All lectures take place at 7.30pm at Ely Methodist Church
6 October 2009: Dr Frank Woodman FSA – Becket’s Glassy Bones – The Glazing of Canterbury Cathedral.
The pre-1220 stained glass of Canterbury Cathedral survives remarkably well, though not always in its original position or condition. The extraordinary speed of the building work put great strains on the glass workshop, especially when the whole scheme was changed and enlarged part way through. The iconography and original layout of the glazing will be explored, plus the adaptations as they went along. Francis Woodman is a lecturer at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education and specialiSes in Architecture from the Romans to the Reformation. Tickets: £5.
20 October 2009: Alf Fisher – Studio Reminiscences of James Powell & Sons
Whitefriars Glassworks or ‘Powell’s’ as it was then known was arguably the last of the true Victorian stained glass studios. Little had changed in its working practice when Alf Fisher left home in Liverpool in 1951 at the age of seventeen to train there as a craftsman. Fifteen years later he had become Chief Designer and Manager, and challenged and changed the age old compartmentalised pattern of work to allow the individual artists and painters more scope. This talk is less about achievements and more about studio life, with its personalities, its ‘ups and downs’ and its humour. Tickets: £5.
3 November 2009: Professor John Morrill – William Dowsing and the Destruction of Religious Images in the English Civil War
In December 1643 William Dowsing was appointed to remove all ‘the monuments of idolatry and superstition’ from the Churches of East Anglia. Over the following months he proceeded methodically (with the help of assistants) through the parish churches of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. John Morrill is Professor of British and Irish History at the University of Cambridge and Vice President of the British Academy. His many books include a short biography of Oliver Cromwell (Oxford University Press, 2007). Tickets: £5.
17 November 2009: Lady Alexandra Wedgwood – Pugin and the Decorative Arts at the Palace of Westminster
Sandra Wedgwood was educated at the Courtauld Institute and her first job was with Professor Nikolaus Pevsner on his series ‘The Buildings of England’. For many years she was the Architectural Archivist in the House of Lords Record Office. She will talk about Pugin’s designs for metalwork, tiles, furniture and wood carving and wallpapers, as well as stained glass, in the Houses of Parliament. Tickets: £5.
The History of Art Department at the University of York, the Yorkshire Museum and English Heritage are inviting applications from outstanding applicants for a PhD studentship that will focus on the topic ‘The Lost Dimension: Medieval Window Lead – A Study of Sources, Craft and Conservation’. The studentship will be available for three years from 1 October 2009. According to the University, ‘ We are seeking a student who will relish the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary project combining the study of medieval sources with the evidence of archaeological artefacts and extant historical materials, with implications for our understanding of past craft practices and of relevance to current conservation’.
The studentship provides a maximum of full PhD fees and an annual maintenance payment of £12,923. It is planned to begin on 1 October 2009. For details of awards and student eligibility see the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards webpages.
The Deadline for applications is 5.00pm on Friday 26 June 2009. Online applications are welcome. Further information and application forms are available from the University of York’s Graduate School’s Office.
Further information can be found on the University of York website.
Informal enquiries may be directed to Sarah Brown (sb631 [at] york [dot] ac [dot] uk).
Save Canterbury Cathedral
The Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral have applied for £5 million of funding from the World Monument Fund to help conserve the cathedral’s historic glazing. The work would be undertaken over the next fifteen years The appeal is part of a wider ‘Save Canterbury Cathedral’ campaign which has already raised £10 million of its £50 million target. To contribute to the Appeal see the Canterbury Cathedral website .
Stained Glass Workshops in Swansea
The Architectural Glass Centre, the commercial arm of the Welsh School of Architectural Glass, has held workshops/masterclasses with the well-known conservator Jonathan Cooke for the past nine years or so. The next workshops, which are run over three and a half days, are planned for 25–28 September 2009 and 16–19 April 2010. Further details are available from Nicola Powell on 01792 481163 (nicola [dot] powell [at] smu [dot] ac [dot] uk) or Alun Adams on 01792 481084 (alun [dot] adams [at] smu [dot] ac [dot] uk).
New Issue of Pereginations Online
A special double issue of the free on-line journal Pereginations has just been published. Specialising in medieval pilgrimage art and architecture, the contents include an article about medieval pilgrims’ badges with special reference to the shrine of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.
Until 12 June: Grand Designs: An exciting new exhibition of 19th- and 20th-century stained glass designs and sketches on display at the Stained Glass Museum Ely, open daily. The exhibits include designs by Ervin Bossanyi, J.T. Lyon and Heaton, Butler and Bayne. Entry to the exhibition is free. For more information see the Stained Glass Museum website.
Until 29 June: ‘Das Heilige Köln – Kölner Malerei im Spätmittelalter und der frühen Neuzeit’. This important exhibition at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt [Main] includes works by the Cologne painters Stefan Lochner [1400 –1452] and Barthel Bruyn the Elder [1493–1555]. It provides insights into the artistic milieu in which glass-painters operated in the city. For more information see the Staedel Musuem website.
Until 21 July: ‘Charles the Bold, the Splendour of Burgundy’ at the Groeninge Museum, Bruge. This is a magnificent exhibition focusing on the art and culture of the court of Charles the Bold (1433 –1477). For more details see the Groeninge Museum website. For a review of the exhibition catalogue, see our Books section
Until 25 July: ‘Painting with Light’ exhibition at the Glencairn Museum (USA) for more information see the Glencairn Museum website.
Until 2 August: Glass and Light, an important exhibition of stained glass from a private German collection at the Knauf-Museum, Iphofen, Germany. For more information see the Glass and Light exhibition website.
19 June: Andrew Rudebeck will speak about the 15th-century glass painter, John Thornton, in ‘On the trail of John Thornton’, at the British Society of Master Glass Painters Summer Lecture; 6.30 for 7.00pm at The Art Workers Guild, Queen Square, London WC1 (Admission by ticket only). For booking details see the BSMGP website.
14 July: Emma Jane Wells (University of York) will speak about ‘Stained Glass in York Minster: Perceptions and Representations of Space’ at the Leeds International Medieval Congress 2009. For further details see the Leeds IMC website.
15 July: Rosie Mills of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, will speak about ‘Stained Glass Narrative Strategies in the Elaborate Tracery Forms of English Gothic Windows’ at the Leeds International Medieval Congress 2009. For further details see the Leeds IMC website.
17–19 July: The Annual Meeting of the American Glass Guild will be held the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Buffalo, New York. For more information about the AGG and the conference see the American Glass Guild website.
19 July: The conservator Diane Rousseau will be speaking on ‘Ancient Glass from Hampton Court, Herefordshire: An Approach to Conservation’
21 July: Lectures of interest to Vidimus readers at the annual conference of the British Archaeological Association in Canterbury include Jane Geddes of Aberdeen University speaking on ‘The Space Frame: Buckminster Fuller and medieval ferramenta on the South Oculus, Canterbury Cathedral’ and CVMA Secretary Heather Gilderdale talking about ‘The Royal Window (c.1485) at Canterbury Cathedral: Dynastic Expression and rivalry in Late Medieval England’.
31 August – 6 December: ‘The Dawn of the Gothic age: Magdeburg Cathedral and the Late Staufer Period’, at the Kulturhistorisches Museum, Magdeburg. The exhibition will include examples of stained glass. For more information see the museum website.
16–18 September: The 2009 annual conference of the Society of Glass Technology will be held at Lancaster University. The ‘History and Heritage’ sessions will take place on 18 September. Speakers will include Keith Barley on protective glazing schemes; CVMA Chairman, Sarah Brown, on the new MA Conservation of Stained Glass programme at York University; and conservator Ruth Cooke describing a case study of the conservation of a 15th-century stained glass window from the Savile Chapel, St Michael and All Angels, Thornhill (Yorkshire). For more information and updates see the Society of Glass Technology website.
18 September – 6 December: ‘Roger van der Weyden, c.1400 –1464: Master of Passions’. This exhibition will be held at the newly refurbished museum in Leuven, Belgium. For more information see the museum website. 16 October: The Icelandic stained glass artist, Leifur Breidfjord, will speak about his vision and work at The British Society of Master Glass Painters Winter Lecture; 6.30 for 7.00pm at The Art Workers Guild, Queen Square, London WC1 (Admission by ticket only). For booking details see the see the BSMGP website.
9 November: Glyn Davies of the Victoria and Albert Museum will speak about the stained glass in the museum’s new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries at a special Worshipful Company of Glaziers Lecture, The Glaziers Hall, 9 Montague Close, London Bridge, London SE1 9DD. Admission is £5. For more information contact: info [at] worshipfulglaziers [dot] com.
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