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Thoughts, news and comments concerning the art and craft of Connick Stained glass, published periodically by...

The Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation, Ltd., Orin E. Skinner, Founder October, 2002
Directors and Officers
Theresa D.Cederholm    Peter Cormack (Hon.)    Judith G. Edington    Jonathan L.Fairbanks    Elizabeth B. Johnson    Robert G.Windsor    Marilyn B. Justice, President

The Journal of Stained Glass, Volume XXIV, 2000 *
Reviewed by Lance Kasparian, A.I.A.
In the annual Journal of Stained Glass (volume XXIV, 2000), the British Society of Master Glass Painters has assembled a collection of articles, reports and reviews selected to promote fresh insight on the study of stained glass, and inspiration for scholars, designers and the general public alike.

Martin Harrison, a freelance writer and art historian, who is best known to us as author of the pioneering monograph on Victorian stained glass in England, 1 sets the tone in a remarkably frank guest editorial. Having recently curated an exhibition about the London art scene of the 1950's, Harrison declares that he is troubled by standards of stained glass design today and discouraged by the near absence of stained glass designers from the ranks of recognized contemporary artists. He attributes this to a lack of informed and constructive criticism and an attitude of "reticence - or aesthetic cowardice," which effectively stifles serious consideration. All of his remarks, which embrace design, historical study and conservation, signal a challenge to think outside of the box. "The Journal needs," Harrison writes, "because stained glass needs - not just lists, but to make room for criticism and interpretation."

For an art medium so defined by religiosity and craft tradition, Harrison's challenge is undoubtedly considerable. The present issue of the Journal, in response, offers a comprehensive overview of the field organized under four subject headings - history; research & methodology; contemporary practice; and technical inquiry. The result is a useful account of current work, emerging scholarship, and discoveries written by a diverse group of contributors. A sampling of the contents will, perhaps, offer a hint of the spirit behind this issue:

Featured on the front cover and in the leading article under "contemporary practice," stained glass artist Alan Younger (who will speak for the forthcoming Connick lecture in November) contributes a candid and detailed account of his design for the new East window in the Henry VII Chapel at Westminster Abbey.  Complete with bibliographic references, this commentary on a major work of contemporary stained glass, is an invitation to explore current work with an
informed and critical eye.

For the leading article under "history," James Bugslag of the University of Manitoba, considers Meyer Schapiro's warning that marginal spaces and framing devices in the visual arts are often taken for granted, and explores the origins of canopy work in late 12th century stained glass and its transformation into an object of rich meaning during the 13th century. Other historical articles are overviews of the life and work of two 19th century women artists in England, and an exposé entitled "The Other William Morris," relating the story of one William T. Morris, who expanded his glazing firm in early 20th century London by unofficially linking his name with that of William Morris (1834-1896), England's best known 19th century designer and craftsman, to whom he was entirely unrelated.

Under "research & methodology," Richard Marks, President of the International Corpus Vitrearum presents a survey of recent scholarship in the field of medieval stained glass, noting the benefits of increasingly pluralistic approaches since WWII. "Because glass is a fragile medium which needs to be safe-guarded," Marks observes, "publications accessible to a wide social spectrum will remain essential, but so will the need for detailed, weighty academic scrutinies of every aspect of the subject." Following this is an article, complete with sample data reports, demonstrating the use of the British census to study 19th century stained

Alan Younger FMGP, detail of East window,
2000, Henry VII Chapel Westminster Abbey.
Photograph © Peter Cormack
glass workers in England, and another article surveying contemporary resources about stained glass on the internet. As testament to the broad outlook of this issue, even the subject of environmental ethics is touched upon under "technical inquiry," where John Barrett, a retired engineer and teacher of art to adults diagnosed with schizophrenia, discusses the founding of the Recycled Bottle Glass Center Ltd., and his innovative technique for reclaiming flat sheets from waste glass bottles for use in stained glass.

Presented in an attractive, readable, and well-illustrated format, the present issue of the Journal of Stained Glass represents an open embrace of the medium as a visual art and cultural expression. With its complement of reviews, reports, obituaries and appreciations, it is an important source of information about the current study and practice of stained glass in the U.K.  Furthermore, where its articles provide a reliable source of factual information and critical thought, skillfully edited with supporting bibliographies, it is an invaluable reference.

1 Victorian Stained Glass. Barrie & Jenkins. 1980. (revised edition forthcoming)

Lance Kasparian is an architect and historian who has researched American stained glass for over twenty years. He kindly contributed reviews of books for both our October 2000 and June 2002 newsletters.

* A few copies of this journal will be for sale at the lecture on November 5th (see overleaf). Or inquire at for alternative purchase information.

The Connick Foundation has received two anonymous contributions totaling $30,000 that will be used to help conserve
materials for our upcoming exhibition.
Please address questions, comments and/or gifts to Marilyn B. Justice, President, at The Connick Foundation.
"Measure thrice, cut once":
glazing the clerestory of King Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster Abbey
An Illustrated Lecture by Alan Younger F.M.G.P.

The Orin E. Skinner annual lecture on stained glass will be given by Alan Younger at 6:30 p.m. on November 5th in the Rabb Lecture
Hall, Boston Public Library, Copley Square. This lecture, co-sponsored by the Boston Public Library and The Connick Foundation, is
free and open to the public.

The lecture will focus on the creation of Alan Younger's window, installed in 2000, in the late fifteenth-century Henry VII Chapel at Westminster Abbey. The window is a contemporary expression of traditional themes, but its iconography and some aspects of its technical/stylistic treatment make reference to the Chapel's original (now lost) medieval glazing scheme. Other influences include the
Arts & Crafts Movement, as reflected in the lecture title, which is taken from Christopher Whall's classic book Stained Glass Work.

Alan Younger is one of Britain's most distinguished artist-craftsmen in stained glass. After training at the Central School of Arts &
Crafts in London, he worked with Lawrence Lee and Carl Edwards before setting up his own studio in 1966. Since that date he has
designed and made over one hundred windows, mainly for churches throughout the U.K. and in Ireland. His commissions have
included stained glass for the Cathedrals of Durham, St Albans, Chester and Southwark and for Westminster Abbey. He has also made heraldic glass for Oxford and Cambridge Colleges and for the Halls of Livery Companies in the City of London. His windows commemorating Field Marshals of the British Army were recently installed in the Chapel of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.  Overseas commissions have included extensive glazing schemes for palaces and mosques in Saudi Arabia.

Alan Younger is a Vice-President and Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass-Painters, member of the Art-Workers' Guild,
Trustee of the Stained Glass Museum and part-time Lecturer in Fine Art at the American International University in London.

Connick Windows

"I want to make beautiful interiors for both churches and souls

I want...[all people] to hear my windows singing..."

Charles J. Connick

One definition of Window is "a means of obtaining information". Our newsletter will keep you informed of the Foundation's activities, the Connick
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