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Tragic Death of Veronique Vandekerchove

Veronique Vandekerchove

Veronique Vandekerchove

We are sad to report the tragic death of Veronique Vandekerchove following a fatal traffic accident in Bruges. Veronique was the chief curator of fine arts and deputy superintendent of the M – Museum in Leuven, home of an outstanding collection of medieval stained glass. We send our deepest regrets and condolences to her family and friends.

Veronique Vandekerchove (b.1965) obtained her degree in archaeology and art history from the Catholic University of Leuven (Louvain) in 1987. She joined the staff of the Stedelijk Museum of Leuven in 1992, working first as a curatorial assistant and then, from 1998, as a curator. Veronique had begun work on a doctoral dissertation about a panel painting depicting scenes from Christ’s Passion and now in the collection of the municipal museum: Passietaferelen van Christus (Brabant, 1470–90). Her publications focused on the results of archaeological research carried out in Leuven, the conservation of museum collections, and the collection of the municipal museum (its history, context and future). She was a member of numerous steering committees, advisory boards, and working groups.


William Price Window Returned to Turner’s Hospital

Fig. 1. Sir William Turner’s Almshouses, east window of the chapel, detail of central section. Reproduced by permission of the Trustees of Sir William Turner’s Hospital.

Fig. 1. Sir William Turner’s Almshouses, east window of the chapel, detail of central section. Reproduced by permission of the Trustees of Sir William Turner’s Hospital.

Superb mid-eighteenth-century glass depicting the Adoration of the Magi flanked by portraits of Sir William Turner (1615–92) and his brother John has been reinstated in the east window of the chapel at Sir William Turner’s Almshouses, Kirkleatham, near Redcar. [Figs 1, 2 and 3] The window was painted by William Price the Younger (1703 or 1707 – 1756) and dates from the 1742 remodelling of the almshouses carried out by Sir William Turner’s great nephew, Cholmley Turner.

Fig. 2. Sir William Turner’s Almshouses, east window of the chapel, detail of John Turner. Reproduced by permission of the Trustees of Sir William Turner’s Hospital.

Fig. 2. Sir William Turner’s Almshouses, east window of the chapel, detail of John Turner. Reproduced by permission of the Trustees of Sir William Turner’s Hospital.

The glass was recently conserved by Keith Barley, Alison Gilchrist, Helen Whittaker, Daniel Thomas, and Derek Manton of Barley Studios in York. As part of the same project the stone pilasters that separate and frame the three windows were refaced, the sills were re-profiled, and the window frames replaced with ones to a design by Keith Barley that provides for ventilation of the space between the stained glass and the protective external glazing. The total cost of the work was £35,000, of which £20,500 was raised through grants and donations, including £5,000 from the Worshipful Company of Glaziers.

Special thanks are due to Peter Sotheran and the other Trustees of the Hospital, without whose efforts the project might not have been completed.

Fig. 3. Sir William Turner’s Almshouses, east window of the chapel, detail of Sir William Turner. Reproduced by permission of the Trustees of Sir William Turner’s Hospital.

Fig. 3. Sir William Turner’s Almshouses, east window of the chapel, detail of Sir William Turner. Reproduced by permission of the Trustees of Sir William Turner’s Hospital.

For further information about the window, see the Panel of the Month in Vidimus 51. For more information about the hospital, visit the CommuniGate website, and for further images in Gordon Plumb’s Flickr feed, click here.


Seventeenth-century Painted Glass in Oxford

The first half of the seventeenth century saw a significant revival in glass-painting in England, related to new thinking concerning the appropriate way to adorn a church and a desire to create the ‘beauty of holiness’. An important weekend course on this subject will be held in Oxford in May.

Fig. 1. Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford: detail of a window signed by Abraham van Linge, 1630s.

Fig. 1. Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford: detail of a window signed by Abraham van Linge, 1630s.

Organized by the university’s Department for Continuing Education in association with the Ecclesiological Society and the Stained Glass Research Centre at the University of York, the course will include lectures by conservation experts and historians of art, architecture and religion. There will also be guided visits to key Oxford Colleges. Artists whose work survives in the city include the Emden-born painters Bernard and Abraham van Linge, as well as English figures such as Richard Greenbury. [Fig. 1]

The course takes place between Friday 11 May and Sunday 13 May 2012 at Rewley House, Wellington Square, Oxford. Further information, including details of fees and the programme, can be found on the website of the Department for Continuing Education.


Successful Strachan Campaign

Fig. 1. St Andrew’s UR Church, Hampstead, Douglas Strachan memorial window: detail of a British soldier tending a wounded German.

Fig. 1. St Andrew’s UR Church, Hampstead, Douglas Strachan memorial window: detail of a British soldier tending a wounded German.

Campaigners have been successful in their efforts to preserve the visibility of a major window by the acclaimed Scottish artist Douglas Strachan (1875–1950) in St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Frognal Lane, Hampstead, London. [Fig. 1] Following representations by members of the Scottish Stained Glass Trust and the British Society of Master Glass Painters, among others, the attempt by a firm of property developers to overturn an earlier decision by Camden Council not to allow the building of a five-storey block of flats close to the church – which would have blocked the visibility of the four-light war memorial window of 1922 – has been rejected on appeal.

More information is available on the Scotland’s Glass at their website or Facebook page.


Launch of the ‘Preedy Trail’

Fig. 1. John Grove and Zsuzsanna Dosa at the launch.

Fig. 1. John Grove and Zsuzsanna Dosa at the launch.

The work of the Victorian church architect and designer of stained glass Frederick Preedy (1820–98) has been celebrated by the launch of a ‘Preedy Trail’ covering ten Worcestershire churches. [Fig. 1] Free copies of the attractively produced leaflet, which includes a brief description of the artist’s life and a map of places to visit, are available from participating churches and the Almonry Museum and Heritage Centre, Abbey Gate, Evesham. [Fig. 2]

Fig. 2. The ‘Preedy Trail’ leaflet.

Fig. 2. The ‘Preedy Trail’ leaflet.

The initiative was the brainchild of local historians John Grove and Zsuzsanna Dosa, and is supported by Evesham town council and the Evesham Market Town Partnership. The launch was held at the church of All Saints in Evesham, which has a rich collection of nineteenth-century stained glass, including work by Preedy; Capronnier; Heaton, Butler & Bayne; Henry Holiday (for Powell & Sons); and Shrigley & Hunt. Speakers included Cllr James Bulman (the Mayor of Evesham), the Revd Richard Court (Rural Dean of Evesham), and David Hawkins (chair of the House of Laity in the Worcester diocese).

Frederick Preedy is credited with about 400 windows in over 200 churches stretching from North Yorkshire to Devon. His first was at Church Lench in Worcestershire.

Further Reading

Michael Kerney, The Stained Glass of Frederick Preedy (1820-1898), London: Ecclesiological Society, 2001, ISBN: 1 902653386


Chetwode Glass

Fig. 1. Chetwode, St Mary and St Nicholas, south window of the chancel: figure of an archbishop.

Fig. 1. Chetwode, St Mary and St Nicholas, south window of the chancel: figure of an archbishop.

Concerns have been voiced about the possible impact of High Speed 2, the rail link between London and Birmingham, on the thirteenth-century glass at the Grade 1 listed church of St Mary and St Nicholas at Chetwode in Buckinghamshire. The rail line will pass about 110 yards (100 metres) from the church. Eighteen trains an hour in both directions travelling at speeds of 250mph (400kmh) are likely to cause extensive vibrations that could weaken the lead supports of the glass and possibly the structure of the building itself.

The central lancet of the tripartite south window of the chancel contains some thirteenth-century grisaille, including two vesicae, one a beautiful panel of St John Baptist on a blue background holding an Agnus Dei, the other enclosing the figure of an archbishop in mass vestments; the same opening also includes a shield of England. The upper part of the easternmost lancet of the same window is filled with thirteenth-century grisaille, including a green and red cross, and in the lower part is a fourteenth-century figure of a saint in an architectural setting. The westernmost light is similarly divided, the upper part including a circular panel representing the Crucifixion and the lower three fourteenth-century figures – the Blessed Virgin, St Peter, and (at the foot of the lancet) a bishop with the fragmentary inscription ‘Amicus dei Nicholaus’.

The east window of the church contains good glass in the medieval style made in 1842 by William Holland (1809–1883) of Warwick.


Sintra Palace Study On Line

A study of the newly displayed collection of stained glass belonging to King Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (King Ferdinand II, 1816–85), consort king of Queen Maria II (1819–53), at Sintra palace in Portugal, has been made available online.

Written by Nuno Miguel Gaspar it describes the history of the collection in detail and catalogues most of its elements. To see the study, visit the University of Lisbon website.


Gothic Ivory Sculpture Conference

A two-day conference entitled ‘Gothic Ivory Sculpture: old questions, new directions’ will be held in London on 23–24 March. The event is being organized by the Gothic Ivories Project and Research Forum at the Courtauld Institute of Art in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum, and speakers include Paul Williamson (the V&A’s Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass), John Lowden (Courtauld Institute of Art), and Mark Redknap (Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales).

For further information visit the Gothic Ivories page of the Courtauld Institute website.


New Research in Stained Glass Technique and Conservation

A seminar sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, to be held in early March at the historic King’s Manor campus in the centre of York, will showcase recent research in stained glass technique and conservation. In particular, it will introduce the work of young scholars and conservators, presenting exciting new research that is as yet unpublished or still in development.

Speakers will include Keith Barley (Barley Studio, York), with the latest news on Lichfield Cathedral’s Herkenrode windows; Sarah Brown (University of York and the York Glaziers Trust), with recent observations on production practices in the workshop of John Thornton; Alison Gilchrist (Barley Studio, York), talking on severe paint loss from mid-nineteenth-century windows; Alexandra Jung (Derix Studios, Taunusstein), on the conservation of a window by Henry Gyles; Anne Kaiser (Rothkegel Glas GmbH, Würzburg) on new UV and IR protective glasses; Christine Schaffrath (The Rauch Consultancy, Koblenz), on the reconstruction of the war-damaged glazing of St Peter’s Naval Church, Kiel-Wik; and Anette Wahlgren (Osprey Heritage Management, York), on ‘Mr Peckitt’s Portrait’.

The application form is available here, and further details are available from Brittany Scowcroft (brittany [dot] scowcroft [at] york [dot] ac [dot] uk, 01904 433910, or +441904 433910 if you’re calling from outside the UK).