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The British Society of Master Glass Painters is fortunate to attract many eminent speakers on stained and architectural glass from amongst its UK and international membership and beyond. Subjects range from modern to mediaeval, brought to life by the enthusiasm and expertise of historians, conservators and contemporary practitioners.

Admission by ticket only.

Organizer: Helen Robinson - general enquiries to publicity or telephone 01582 764834

Lecture bookings: Sue Shaughnessy - lecture booking enquiries to lectures or telephone 0790 907 0739 

For bookings  Download 2015 AWG events programme/booking forms pdf  or  Book now online

For late ticket enquiries (within seven days) contact lectures or telephone 0790 907 0739


STOP PRESS – Visit of His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester

As most members will already know, His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester has recently become our new President. In order to meet members and to learn more about the Society he has kindly agreed to attend the Summer Lecture at the Art Workers Guild on Friday 19 June.

This event is particularly relevant because the lecture will include the work of early members of the Society, whose careers are discussed in Peter Cormack’s forthcoming book, Arts & Crafts Stained Glass (published by Yale University Press). We hope that as many of you as possible will join us for this special occasion.

If you wish to attend, please apply for tickets in the usual way preferably on-line or by completing the postal Booking Form. Early booking recommended as we anticipate a full house!





For late availability or to join a waiting list please phone or text to 0790 907 0739

Friday 19 June 6.15pm for 6.45pm
AGM 5.30pm

Venue: The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT

Peter Cormack MBE FSA Hon FMGP – ‘Exploring Arts & Crafts Stained Glass: a 40-year Adventure in Light and Colour’

In the summer of 2015 Peter Cormack’s book Arts & Crafts Stained Glass (Yale University Press) – the first comprehensive account of stained glass produced by members of the Arts & Crafts Movement in Britain, Ireland and USA from the 1880s to the 1950s – will be published. 

In this lecture, the author will discuss and illustrate some aspects of his forty years’ research in the field. In the 1970s, stained glass was scarcely recognised as a major field of Arts & Crafts activity, so he set about the task of re-establishing its importance and researching the lives and work of its most important exponents. Working as a curator at the WilliamMorrisGallery in London, Cormack organised the first ever exhibitions devoted to Christopher Whall (1849-1924), Henry Holiday (1839-1927), Paul Woodroffe (1875-1954) and Karl Parsons (1884-1934), as well as a pioneering exhibition of work by Women Stained Glass Artists. These and their accompanying catalogues, along with lectures and BSMGP conference tours, gradually brought about a new appreciation of the rich and diverse heritage of Arts & Crafts stained glass. 

The lecture will provide a broad survey of the topics examined in detail in the new book, beginning with the Arts & Crafts reaction to late-Victorian developments in the aesthetics and practice of stained glass, in particular the debased historicism and commercial methods of the large firms. Among the pioneers of this critical view were Henry Holiday, Selwyn Image and H. A. Kennedy. Their example and polemical writings inspired Christopher Whall, who soon became the pre-eminent representative of a distinctively Arts & Crafts approach to the medium. By the 1890s, a new school of stained glass artist-makers, led by Whall and including Mary Lowndes, Louis Davis and Reginald Hallward, had emerged to challenge the supremacy of the big manufacturers. Artistic regeneration went hand in hand with technical innovations, especially the making of new types of glass (notably the types of ‘slab’ and other textured glass produced from the 1880s onwards), which had a formative impact on design and workmanship. 

Other major themes are the careers of women in stained glass, for this was the one area within the Arts & Crafts Movement where women and men truly worked alongside each other and achieved real parity of status and achievement – an important advance made possible by reforms in the art education system. The teaching of Christopher Whall, Henry Payne and others are part of this story, showing how generations of young students absorbed the idealistic Arts & Crafts philosophy promulgated in Whall’s 1905 book Stained Glass Work.  That philosophy fundamentally changed the course of stained glass history not only in Britain and Ireland but also in the USA. 

The generation of women and men trained by Whall and his followers became the leading designers of the first half of the twentieth century and many were among the founding members and Fellows of the British Society of Master Glass Painters. During his forty years of work on the subject, Cormack was fortunate to meet and interview some of the last representatives of the Arts & Crafts tradition, whose insights and recollections have informed his research. 

This lecture will explore how stained glass offers a new way of looking at the Arts & Crafts Movement, for this medium relies – arguably more than any other – on a complete and successful fusion of its aesthetic and technical aspects. 

Peter Cormack MBE FSA is a Vice-President and Honorary Fellow of the BSMGP.

The image shows a detail from window by Douglas Strachan in Lowson Memorial Church, Forfar, 1916


Friday 9 October 6.15pm for 6.45pm

Venue: The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT

Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe Hon FMGP– ‘Behind the Mask: stained glass in the art and life of Wilhelmina Geddes (1887-1955)

Although Wilhelmina Geddes has been described as  the greatest stained glass artist of  her time, she set herself relentlessly high standards which she outstandingly reached at  great physical, mental and material cost to herself.   From 1926, working beside eminent stained glass practitioners from her studio at Lowndes & Drury's Glass House in London, she designed and made c. 20 windows and  panels of  varying sizes (ranging from her huge  rose window for Ypres to tiny literary panels for domestic use) after the 24 she had already made in Dublin.  Her work was always masterfully drawn and remarkably inventive, while revealing  her sensitive synthesis of  Classical, Mediaeval, Romanesque  influences expressed in a  powerful Modernist  idiom. 

She was greatly admired by her contemporaries not only for her skill, colours and draughtsmanship, but as a woman working and trying to survive on her own, for her courage,  her vision, her ability to convey a tragic religious sensibility in figurative images of profound emotional strength and artistic intelligence.

Launching her newly published book on the subject, this lecture will trace the evolution of Geddes' art  during her  working life, which spanned the Irish Rising and Civil War and two World Wars.   It will consider  her extraordinary achievement within its due context.

The image shows a detail of one of the “daughters of Music” from the Belfour Memorial window, All Saints' Church, Laleham, Middlesex (1926)

Book now online or
Download 2015 AWG events programme/booking forms pdf




  • Leonie Seliger ACR - ‘Into the 21st century – Canterbury Cathedral’s post -Victorian stained glass’
  • Discussion Day with Caroline Swash ' Stained Glass in London'


  • Judith Schaechter - 'Nothing Personal'
  • Steve Clare ACR FMGP 'An under-appreciated masterpiece: conservation of the great Jesse Tree window in Wells cathedral'
  • Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe Hon FMGP - 'Harry Clarke (1889-1931): inimitable modern-medieval Symbolist'


  • Alan Brooks - 'Francis Spear - A Student of Art and Symbolism'
  • Discussion Day - 'Challenges in contemporary glass practice and a meeting with English Antique Glass (EAG)'
  • Amber Hiscott -  ‘Paint, Paper, Glass................’
  • Michael Peover & Elise Learner - ‘The renewal of the painted glass at Strawberry Hill’


  • Keith Barley FMGP - ‘Perhaps the finest specimens of pictorial glass-painting in the world’: the Herkenrode windows of Lichfield Cathedral’
  • Discussion Day - ‘Issues in professional practice and a discussion with Lamberts Glass’
  • ‘Swansea’s best kept secret’ – a presentation by the staff from the Swansea School of Glass, Swansea Metropolitan University.
  • Dr Douglas E Schoenherr - 'Two Burne-Jones Manuscripts: The Account Books and The Cartoon Book'
  • Peter Cormack - 'A Stained Glass Family Album: the life of Christopher Whall and his Circle in photographs'


  • Anna Eavis - 'An 18th-century recusant's collection; the windows of Milton Chapel, Oxfordshire'
  • Chris Chesney - 'The wonderful worlds of Photoshop and Coral Draw'
  • Pippa Martin - 'Lawrence Lee: master stained glass artist of the twentieth century'
  • Mark Angus - 'Between Heavens: angels' journeys in glass'


  • Jo Nuttgens - 'A Working Argument: How I survived my father and became a stained glass artist'
  • Glyn Davies - 'Leading and Light Boxes; Conserving the stained glass in the V&A's medieval and rennaissance galleries'
  • Tom Denny - 'Recent windows in extraordinary buildings'


  • Roy Albutt - 'The Bromsgrove Guild'
  • Andrew Rudebeck - 'On the trail of John Thornton'
  • Leifur Breidfjord 'New Work'


  • David King - 'Personalities, Politics and Plays': The stained Glass of east Harling Church, Norfolk
  • Ellen Mandelbaum - 'Light Listened', a review of the work of this contemporary glass artist.
  • Geoffrey Robinson FMGP - 'Windows into the life of a Stained Glazier'


  • Kate Baden Fuller - 'Contemporary stained glass artists and how to write a book about them'
  • Sarah Brown MA FSA Hon FMGP - The Judge, the traitor, his wife and her lover - the medieval glass of Tewkesbury Abbey'
  • Doris Rollinson, Andrew Taylor and Caroline Swash '- 'Fifty Years of Glass - amongst other things'. A celebration of the life and work of John Hayward FMGP'


  • Tim Lewis – 'The importance of the teacher in stained glass'
  • Ginger Ferrell – 'A new bag of tricks': the use of kiln formed glass in new work
  • Dr David O'Connor – 'Mediaeval stained glass in Scandinavia: Gotland's gothic glass'
  • Tony Benyon, Peter Cormack FSA and the Rt Revd Graeme Knowles AKC, MLC – 'Alan Younger, focus on an artist's life: three perspectives'
  • Peter Gibson - 'The Christmas Story in Stained Glass'



  • Dr Michael Peover - 'Sleeping Beauty : unseen stained glass at the Soane Museum'
  • Linda Lichtman – ‘Little and large: keeping the personal in public commissions'
  • Ruth Taylor Jacobson – ‘Marc Chagall’


  • Dr Tim Ayers FSA – ‘Glazing the English Medieval cathedral:the East End of Wells c1320-1340’
  • Graham Jones – his work in stained glass
  • Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe – ‘The most exacting of masters, the most ruthless scrapper of imperfect heads: the art of Wilhelmina Geddes 1887–1955’

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