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The Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation, Ltd., Orin E. Skinner, Founder October, 1999
Directors and Officers: Theresa D.Cederholm    Jonathan L.Fairbanks    Elizabeth B. Johnson    Robert G.Windsor    Marilyn B. Justice, President

Christopher Whall 150th Anniversary

Peter Cormack, deputy curator at the William Morris Gallery, London, the 1997 Orin E. Skinner annual lecturer has kindly written the
following article for this newsletter.

Right lancet of the Captain
Simpkins Memorial window, St.
John's Church, Beverly Farms,
MA, 1919. The irregular pattern
of the quarry-glazing, the gritty
painting style and the use of
thick, ‘streaky’ slab glass in this
Connick window are all
characteristic features of
Christopher Whall's Arts idiom.
Photograph courtesy of Trustees,
Boston Public Library
"...I gloried in the discovery of Christopher Whall. His text-book on stained glass work was so charming and enthusiastic that I became his convert overnight." Thus Charles Connick, in his Adventures in Light and Color (1937), paid tribute to the impact of Christopher Whall (1849-1924) on his own early career. Whall was the foremost British teacher and maker of stained glass in the Arts & Crafts Movement of the 1890s and 1900s. His personal approach to the medium - exploring its fullest expressive potential through a deep understanding of its technical disciplines - has been an inspiration to craft-workers throughout this century.

1999 is both the 150th anniversary of Whall's birth and the 75th of his death. A programme of commemorative events has been organised throughout the year, based at London's William Morris Gallery which has the largest archive of the artist's work. An exhibition from April to July focussed on Whall's early career and a substantially larger exhibition at the Gallery, from 16 November until 2 April 2000, will present a comprehensive survey of his work. It will include drawings and cartoons for the huge Lady Chapel windows of Gloucester Cathedral - described by Connick as 'a glow of silvery light' when he saw them on his first visit to England in 1910. Also displayed will be Whall's designs for the five clerestory windows in the Church of the Advent, Boston, as well as many other designs for cathedrals and churches throughout the U.K. and elsewhere. Panels of stained glass on show will include part of Whall's earliest commission, for St Etheldreda's church, Ely Place (1879-80), and a fine window of 1903 (recently conserved with great skill by Jonathan Cooke AMGP) rescued from a disused church in Kent. Work by some of those most 

profoundly influenced by Whall's work and teaching will also be featured, among them his daughter Veronica Whall, Mary Lowndes, Hugh Arnold, Mabel Esplin and Karl Parsons. A panel by Charles Connick - possibly the only example of his work in the U.K - will be exhibited, underlining Christopher Whall's significant influence in the U.S.A.

Another commemorative project is the re-publication of Whall's Stained Glass Work. The new edition of this Arts & Crafts classic is a facsimile of the 1905 original, with the addition of an Introduction by the present writer) to the life and work of Christopher Whall, a list of major windows and 14 new full-colour plates. The book is available from William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, London E17 4PP, U.K.  Telephone 01144 181 527 3782 or Fax 01144 181 527 7070.

Publication of Peter Cornack’s lecture on Christopher Whall by The Boston Public Library and The Connick Foundation will soon be available also.

Mary and Her Little Lamb, small panel
by Charles J. Connick, will be part of
the Christopher Whall exhibition.
Private Collection.
Photograph: Peter Cormack

The Orin E. Skinner Annual Lecture sponsored by the Boston Public Library and The Connick Foundation will be presented by James Yarnell on Tuesday, November 9th at 6:30 pm in the Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, Copley Square. A reception will immediately follow the lecture. This event is free and open to the public. (See overleaf.)
The Connick Foundation has received a $500 grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities that will help The Connick Foundation begin to prepare a major grant for planning an exhibition of the Connick Studio's history and practice of stained glass.
The Connick Foundation has set up a web site:
Please address questions, comments and/or gifts to The Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation, 37 Walden Street, Newtonville, MA 02460. Telephone (617) 244-2659.
One Definition of Window is "a means of obtaining information".  Our newsletter will keep you informed of the Foundation's activities, the Connick Collection in the Fine Arts department of the Boston Public Library, and Connick news around the country.
The Light of Other Days:
John La Farge's Stained Glass at Trinity Church and Memorial Hall

Panel from Virgil and Homer
window by La Farge, Memorial
Hall, Harvard University
Photograph: James Yarnall
Boston served as a primary arena for the commissions for one of America's foremost stained-glass designers, John La Farge (1835-1910). A dozen commissions for glass in two major architectural monuments - Trinity Church on Copley Square and Memorial Hall at Harvard University - form a panorama of his opalescent glass art. Innovative, complex, inspired, conflicted, erudite, and even disaster prone -- the prismatic light of other days that La Farge left as his greatest artistic legacy provides a provocative and glorious glimpse into his life and work.

James L. Yarnall received a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Chicago in 1981 for his dissertation on John La Farge. As director of the La Farge Catalogue Raisonne, he has devoted his career to research, writing, and lecturing on John La Farge, working in conjunction with the artist's descendants. His numerous publications on La Farge include four monographs and dozens of articles. He has also worked at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and currently teaches in the Department of Cultural and Historic Preservation at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.

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Copyright 1999, The Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation, Ltd.