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BSMGP Special Events - retrospective

'STAINED GLASS - the State of the ART': The politics and ethics of conservation,
restoration and the design of new stained glass in historic buildings

2014CONF-glenn_carter 7-8 April 2014
Glaziers Hall, London

The Art, Craft and Conservation of Stained Glass should be inextricably linked. In the last decade these disciplines have become separated, particularly divorcing the artistic dimension   of stained glass from  its conservation and restoration.

The content of this conference reflected the policy of the British Society of Master Glass Painters (BSMGP) to resist this trend, and to reinvigorate relationships between client, artist, artisan, and conservator. To that end presentations were not grouped by type: discussion of art and design was counterpointed by debate concerning the ethics of conservation.

A periodic evaluation of the ethics of conservation and the current state of Art and Design is essential. This landmark series of lectures confronted the status quo and set the scene for vigorous and critical debate.

The conference included contributions from stained glass and fine artists, architects and representatives from Icon (Institute of Conservation), SPAB (Society for the Protection of
Ancient Buildings), AABC (Architects Accredited in Buildings Conservation), CBC (Church Buildings
Council) and The National Trust.


  • Caroline Benyon FMGP ACR - BSMGP Chairman
  • John Burton Dip Arch RIBA AABC MBE - Architect and former Surveyor of the Fabric, Westminster Abbey
  • Oliver Caroe BA (Hons), Dipl. Arch Cantab., RIBA, AABC - Surveyor of the Fabric, St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Glenn Carter FMGP - Stained glass artist and tutor
  • Steve Clare FMGP, ACR - Director, Holy Well Glass
  • Fernando Cortés Pizano - Stained glass conservator.
  • Tobit Curteis ACR - conservator
  • John Dallimore BTech CEng FIET FCIBSE MEI - Master, Worshipful Company of Glaziers
  • Pedro Gaspar - Church Buildings Council
  • Dan Humphries ACR - Director, Holy Well Glass
  • Sam Kelly ACR - Senior Conservator, Salisbury Cathedral
  • Elise Learner ACR - Chapel Studios
  • Katy Lithgow ACR - Head Conservator, National Trust
  • Hughie O'Donoghue RA - Fine artist
  • Rachel Phillips BA - lecturer in Architectural Glass, University of Swansea
  • Frédéric Pivet - Conservator at La Sainte-Chapelle, Paris
  • Judith Schaechter – Stained glass artist


Paris Tour 2009 with Michael Barker 

Click here to read a report of the Paris tour in September 2009.


International Conference 2008: ‘Aspects of 20th Century Glass'

31 July – 1 August 2008
Glaziers Hall, London

Following the successful 2005 conference on 19th century glass painting (see resume below), in the summer of 2008 the British Society of Master Glass Painters, in association with the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, hosted a second two-day conference at Glaziers' Hall. It again offered an international line-up of speakers and provided an opportunity for the discussion of various aspects of 20th century glass in Europe and the USA. A report of this event appears in the 2008 issue of The Journal of Stained Glass, volume XXXII.


Click here to read a report of the 2008 20th-century glass conference.



International Conference 2005: ‘Glass Painting 1800–1900: Aesthetics, History, Conservation’ 

28 February – 1 March 2005
Glaziers Hall, London

In 2005 the British Society of Master Glass Painters, in association with the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, hosted a two-day conference on the art, craft and preservation of nineteenth-century stained glass at Glaziers' Hall, a prestigious London venue. It was able to offer an international forum for the discussion of nineteenth-century glass painting, an often-neglected field and certainly deserving attention representing as it does the great majority of our nation’s historic glass and an urgent challenge for future management.

The conference was divided into two parts: Day 1 chaired by Martin Harrison FSA and Peter Cormack FSA, exploring historical issues in nineteenth-century stained glass, and Day 2 chaired by Tony Benyon and Steve Clare CAMGP, concentrating on technical questions of conservation including the opportunity for delegates to examine and discuss stained glass materials.

The following is a brief summary of the conference programme:

Day one: Stained glass history

Martin Harrison FSA, Hon FMGP 'Stained glass and art history - problems of criticism'
Dr Elgin van Treeck-Vaassen 'Imported stained glass from Bavaria and the misunderstanding that was built up around it'
Dr Sally Rush Bambrough 'Nineteenth-century Edinburgh glass painters'
Dr Michael Kerney ‘The Victorian memorial window’
Peter Cormack FSA, Hon. FMGP ‘Inspirations for modernity: sources in later nineteenth-century stained glass’
Dr James L Yarnall ‘John La Farge's iridescent universe’
Julie L Sloan MSc ‘Alabaster and amethyst: La Farge's materials and techniques'

Day two: Stained glass materials and conservation

Neil Moat ' What went ye out to see?’ A personal view on the current reception of 'Victorian stained glass
Keith Hill 'Rusthall 1855 - a time capsule of Winston glass’
Tony Benyon ‘From kelp to slab’ How 19th century glass painting styles adapted to the new varieties of mouth blown and cast glass: and the archaeological importance of glass identification during restoration in combination with the preservation of commercial glass samples.
Steve Clare CAMGP – ‘Pride and prejudice’ Problems with contemporary philosophy and looking to the future in terms of conservation and glass painting.
Mark Bambrough MA 'Aesthetic protective glazing – ongoing research'
Julie L Sloan MSc 'Paint, paper and stone: conservation issues in American opalescent windows'

A number of papers have since been reviewed in the Society Newsletter Stained Glass (March and July 2005) and in The Journal of Stained Glass (Vol. XXIX) and The Journal of Stained Glass (Vol. XXX).





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