SGM40  (c) Stained Glass Museum



‘SGM40’: Celebrating 40 years of the Stained Glass Museum

29 March - 26 September 2019

This temporary exhibition shows the story of The Stained Glass museum’s development over 40 years, from the year the museum first opened to the public in 1979 to now. It explores the origins of the museum as a Repository for rescued stained glass and the development of the collection.

The exhibition coincided with the museum's 40th birthday and a visit from our Royal Patron HRH The Prince of Wales.

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Stevens Competition 2019

Exhibition of architectural glass featuring selected entries from the 2019 Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass' Stevens Architectural Glass Competition

June 2019 - July 2019

This temporary exhibition features some of the competition entries for the prestigious Stevens Architectural Glass exhibition, an annual competition run by the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters on Glass. The 2019 competition, which relates to a real-life commission, invites entrants to design a window for the waiting area of a new Proton Beam Therapy (“PBT”) unit at University College London Hospital. This new unit will extend and broaden the Hospital’s cancer services. Proton Beam Therapy is a type of radiotherapy which uses a high-energy beam of particles to destroy cancer cells. The treatment is particularly suitable for complex childhood cancers, increasing success rates and reducing side-effects such as deafness, loss of IQ and secondary cancers. It can also be used to treat brain cancer, head and neck cancer and sarcomas. There are currently no other high-energy PBT facilities in England and patients requiring the treatment have to be sent abroad.

UCLH NHS Foundation Trust has a rich tradition of working with glaziers to create artwork for the hospital. In 2005 UCLH partnered with the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and the Stevens Competition to create a new window for the Radiotherapy Department. The winning entry, “Sundance”, demonstrated an innovative technique using UV bonding technology and UCLH commissioned the artist Alex R to make her design into a full size panel. The 2008 competition featured the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Antenatal Clinic. The design entitled “Circles and Rainbows” on screen printed enamelled glass, with bonded and 6 sandblasted glass, submitted by Michelle Dawson, was selected for the commission. The UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre was the site for the 2011 competition. The entry on glass and dichroic film entitled “Starlings” resulted in a commission for the artist, Matt Hayes.

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The Seven Ages of Man

Contemporary glass by Rachel Mulligan

July 2018 - March 2019

The Seven Ages of Man illustrate seven stages of life, from infancy to death. Inspired by the words of Shakespeare, the artist Rachel Mulligan made these panels as a personal tribute to her father, Jim Mulligan. His life is seen unfolding through the frame of a grapevine, each scenes is linked to a changing season.

Rachel Mulligan studied Fine Art at Coventry, and specialised in printmaking, particularly etchings and later, linocuts. Having graduated in 1987 she initially set up as a printmaker, but when she discovered stained glass in an evening class a couple of years later she was instantly enthralled. By the age of 30, she had obtained a Post Graduate in stained glass from Central St Martins, and an M.A. in Public Art from Chelsea. Rachel set up her first stained glass studio with help from the Princes Youth Business Trust in 1995. Almost immediately she received her first major commission for a school in Sunderland, and has worked on a number of commissions ever since.

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Then to Now: Recent Contemporary glass art

28 October - 30 November 2018

The Stained Glass Museum has hosted a program of workshops for adults and children for over a decade. We have encouraged and inspired hundreds of people to come and learn both the traditional and contemporary styles of stained glass making, from our group of wonderful tutors.

Over the years, many of our pupils return to try more of our workshops, and many children return each school holiday to try their hand at a new design or technique. Pupils are free to create any design they choose, though the tutors are always on hand to advise and assist, which means we’re yet to find a pupil who’s run out of new ideas!

Following workshops here at the museum, some people have even gone on to produce their own artwork professionally, in their chosen preferred form of stained glass.

This exhibition highlights three such talented artists and former pupils, Sarah Hunt, Michelle Mativi and Jennifer Hackett.

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Stevens Competition 2018

Exhibition of architectural glass featuring selected entries from the 2018 Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass' Stevens Architectural Glass Competition

June 2018 - July 2018

This exhibition of contemporary stained glass panels showcases the work of emerging stained glass artists. The panels were all designed and made as competition entries for the 2018 Stevens Architectural Glass Competition, organised annually by the Worshipful Company of Glaziers & Painters of Glass’. The Worshipful Company of Glaziers & Painters of Glass (‘The Glaziers’ Company’) has been running the prestigious annual Stevens Architectural Glass Competition since 1972. It is open to student glass artists and designers and those who have commenced their vocation in glass within the last eight years.

The 2018 ’s competition was for the design of two windows for a new dance studio at Eastbourne College in East Sussex. The new dance studio is being built as part of ‘Project 150’, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the College. The competition for the design of two architectural glass windows was sponsored by the ‘Arnold Embellishers’, a voluntary society whose purpose is to beautify and embellish the College. All entrants were asked to submit a coloured design of the overall scheme for the two windows, together with an artistic description, technical statement, and budget estimate, and to make a full sample panel showing a section of the overall design. Several of the sample glass panels made for the competition by artists from all over the UK featured in this exhibition on display at The Stained Glass Museum, home to a national collection of stained glass windows from across Britain and Europe.

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Joseph Nuttgens: An exhibition of stained glass and prints

April 2017 - June 2017

After completing his studies at the Central School of Art and the Royal College of Art in 1964, Joseph Nuttgens worked experimentally with expanded plastics and metal sheet, to create ‘light’ sculptures, incorporating steel sheet and coloured glass, transmitting colour from hidden light sources. In 1978 he was encouraged by Patrick Reyntiens to return to stained glass, a medium that he had grown up with. On the death of his father, stained glass artist J.E. Nuttgens, in 1982 he re-established the stained glass studio and, since then, has designed and made stained glass windows for cathedrals, churches and many other venues. Throughout this time he has maintained an output of painting and, in recent years, has set up a relief print shop within his studio, producing woodcuts and linocuts.

Geoffrey Clarke: A new spirit in stained glass

May 2016 - August 2017

A celebration of the Museum's four newly acquired and recently conserved modern stained glass panels by Geoffrey Clarke (1924-2014), accompanied by photographs, sketch designs and information about the conservation of the panels.

Geoffrey Clarke was a pioneering British artist who represented a 'new spirit in stained glass' in the second-half of the twentieth century. His experimentation with modern materials and processes breathed new life into the traditional artistic media in whcih he worked, which encompassed stained glass, sculpture and printmaking.

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Frans Wesselman

July 2016 - September 2016

Frans Wesselman is a painter, etcher and stained glass artist. He initially trained to be an art teacher and studied printmaking and photography at Art College in the Netherlands, before moving to Ireland and then London. He is a member of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers.

Wesselman first began making stained glass just before the Millennium after a visit to Salisbury Cathedral, where he saw Gabriel Loire's Prisoner of Conscience window, which left a great impression. He found the process of making stained glass panels not too dissimilar to printmaking, as both require thinking in layers.

Much of Wesselmann's artwork has a strong sense of narrative and combines biographical experiences with studies from natural life as well as popular religious and historical themes.

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Paradise and Other Places

Images inspired by the divine and the everyday by Mick Abbott

June 2016 - July 2016

An exhibition of large-scale drawings and paintings have been inspired by the heavenly splendour of Ely Cathedral’s architecture and artworks found in the building as well as the collection of the Stained Glass Museum.

Combining architectural and decorative features around the building with religious themes and contemporary portraits of local people, Mick Abbott's artwork connects the past and the present, the human and the divine. From the hidden carved medieval misericords which provide a whimsical complement and sometimes irreverent contrast to the vibrant beauty of the colourful images and patterns and images present in its stained glass windows. Paradise and Other Places was mounted in the south-west transept, Ely Cathedral.

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Juliet Forrest: 'This Other Eden'

May 2016 - June 2016

An exhibition of landscape work in both acrylic painting and stained glass by Sheffield-based self-taught multimedia artist Juliet Forrest. Juliet's paintings are created using acrylics and mixed media, with the spotlight primarily on landscapes and gardens, adding deep layers of paint to create a rich finish. She loves to exaggerate colours and textures, bringing attention to details such as lichen on rocks or convoluted heather stems

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November 2015 - January 2016

TP10YRS was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of 'Teepee glass', a collective of glass artists who originally met at Central Saint Martins in 2005 and formed 'Teepee glass' after spending ten nights under canvas at the Glass Biennale at Stourbridge. The group take their inspiration from people, the beauty of nature, living in the city, optical illusions, playing with light and form, and being led by the glass material. Their works range from jewellery to windows to installations, which display their diverse glass skills and craftsmanship.

Leach & Sons: A Cambridge Stained Glass and Decorating Firm

October 2014 - July 2015

An exhibition of stained glass fragments and panels from this Cambridge studio of artist-decorators. Many medieval fragments, from the 12th to the 15th centuries, can be seen, as well as modern work by the firm.

From the 18th century the Leach family worked as cooks and landlords in the colleges and inns of Cambridge. Later generations of the family took up the paintbrush and chisel. They became master painters, church decorators, stone carvers, cabinet makers and artists in stained glass, as well as house builders, jobbing painters and sign writers.

The Stained Glass Museum has a collection of leaded panels of assorted medieval fragments rescued from the former Leach studio in Cambridge before it was demolished. The fragments were probably removed from various locations by Leach & Sons during restoration work, which they undertook alongside making new windows.

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Fen Landscapes in Glass

June - July 2015

To celebrate the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership's OuseFest this exhibition of Fen landscapes in glass by local artist and illustrator Althea Braithwaite who has always been fascinated by "the beautifully coloured shadows which light makes as it shines through glass and the wide land and skyscapes of the fens".

'Harmony': Dylan Thomas International Glass Award

March - June 2015

Touring exhibition of contemporary glass panels inspired by the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Organised and curated by the University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD), supported by the British Society of Master Glass Painters (BSMGP).

The exhibition featured 19 panels by contemporary artists inspired by the word 'Harmony' or Dylan Thomas' wider poetic works. The exhibition celebrated the centenerary of Dylan Thomas' birth.

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Leonard Walker (1877-1964): A Glass World


Experience the glass world of Leonard Walker (1877-1964), a well-known painter and stained glass designer whose studio was based in Hampstead. A member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour, Leonard Walker was an established artist who regularly exhibited his designs for stained glass in the Architecture Room at the Royal Academy.

This temporary exhibition featured several stained glass designs by Walker and photographs of the artist at work, alongside two stained glass panels by Walker in the main gallery. It examined Walker's distinctive style, his unique approach to the glass materials, and his skills as a watercolourist.

Painted Faces

1 August - 29 September 2013

An exhibition of painted heads and faces on glass, from the medieval period to the present day. Highlighting panels from the Museum’s reserve collection.

Focusing on the most important details in figurative glass provides us with an opportunity to appreciate the most skilful process in making stained glass - painting onto the glass surface. This exhibition showcased a variety of panels which demonstrate the glass painters technique and the use of glass pigment (grisaille), silver stain, and enamel.

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Francis Spear

April - July 2013

A chance to see designs, cartoons and stained glass panels by eminent twentieth-century stained glass artist Francis Spear (1902-79). Spear trained at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and Royal College of Art (RCA) in the 1920s. He returned to the RCA to teach and had a long career both as stained glass teacher and artist, spanning the period 1925 to 1970.

This temporary exhibition provided a chance to see four stained glass panels by Francis Spear (three of which were newly acquired by The Stained Glass Museum) alongside original cartoons and his Passion Prints (1970-72). Spear's career reveals much about the artistic training, working methods, challenges and expectations of 20th century British stained glass artists working both before and after the Second World War.

Piecing together the Pollen roundel

March - April 2013

An exhibition revealing the architectural context of the rose window designed by John Hungerford Pollen for the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Rhyl, North Wales, which was demolished in 1976.

The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption was built in 1863 for a growing Catholic community in Rhyl, North Wales. Pollen was the architect of the church, as well as the designer of the internal decoration and fittings of the building. Pollen designed relatively little stained glass, but this rose or wheel window was installed at the west end of the church. It depicts the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the centre, surrounded by angels.



Opening hours

During September 2020
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:30 - 15:30


The Stained Glass Museum is an independent accredited museum and registered charity no. 1169842.

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