Many of us had been looking forward to the publication of a new book ‘Arts and Crafts Stained Glass’ by the art-historian Peter Cormack – and it’s gratifying to say that, since it was published over the summer, it has received very good reviews.
Peter’s book (see picture of cover, right) is the first full study of how stained glass artists in Britain and America, towards the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, reinvented the medium as a modern art form, one very different to the prosaic mainstream Victorian approach, which they definitively rejected.
Peter knows the work of Margaret Rope very well, and has even lectured in the past in Shrewsbury about her work. So, as you’d guess, her work is profiled in this book, though – in such a wide-ranging and detailed history of the movement – she only gets her share of attention. However, she has several mentions and images, including several windows and one of her as a newly-received nun.
Yale University Press, which published the book, has been promoting it hard; and it’s worth going on to their blog to see the webpage profiling the book. A twenty-minute video is embedded into this page, in which Peter introduces the idea of the Arts & Crafts ideals.
The video includes a fascinating interview with Caroline & Tony Benyon about how changes in actual glass material at the end of the nineteenth century made changes in approach by these new artists so possible.
Peter is also going out giving lectures to tie in with the publication. If you’re interested in hearing him speak, he’s at the Art Workers’ Guild in London on Wednesday 25 November (2015) speaking on ‘Stained Glass and the Guild’ – see details.
Incidentally, if you’re interested in lectures on stained-glass art in this period, there is another one (on October 9th, 2015) at The Art Workers Guild.
Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe is speaking on ‘Behind the Mask: Stained Glass in the Art and Life of Wilhelmina Geddes’.
Wilhelmina Geddes, who is also featured in Peter’s book, was an almost exact contemporary of Margaret Rope, and also worked at the Lowndes & Drury’s Glass House studios in London. However, it seems she did not move to The Glass House until 1926, by which time Marga would have left London to join the Carmelites as a nun. Wilhelmina had worked in Ireland up to that point.
Her work is also parallel to Marga’s in conveying a real sense of the sacred.
Click here for more details of the lecture.