Arts & Crafts Stained Glass


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Peter Cormack

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An insightful corrective demonstrating the Arts and Crafts Movement’s indelible impact on British and American stained glass

Beautifully illustrated and based on more than three decades of research, Arts & Crafts Stained Glass is the first study of how the late-19th-century Arts and Crafts Movement transformed the aesthetics and production of stained glass in Britain and America. A progressive school of artists, committed to direct involvement both in making and designing windows, emerged in the 1880s and 1890s, reinventing stained glass as a modern, expressive art form. Using innovative materials and techniques, they rejected formulaic Gothic Revivalism while seeking authentic, creative inspiration in medieval traditions. This new approach was pioneered by Christopher Whall (1849–1924), whose charismatic teaching educated a generation of talented pupils—both men and women—who produced intensely colorful and inventive stained glass, using dramatic, lyrical, and often powerfully moving design and symbolism. Peter Cormack demonstrates how women made critical contributions to the renewal of stained glass as artists and entrepreneurs, gaining meaningful equality with their male colleagues, more fully than in any other applied art. Cormack restores stained glass to its proper status as an important field of Arts and Crafts activity, with a prominent role in the movement’s polemical campaigning, its public exhibitions, and its educational program.

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Peter Cormack is a noted scholar of 19th- and 20th-century British and American stained glass, William Morris, and the Arts and Crafts Movement. 


‘This study of how the Arts & Crafts movement reinvented stained glass is as elegant and substantial as its subject.’—Iain Finlayson, SAGA

‘Cormack has researched the field for over 30 years and has an unrivalled understanding of the period and its people…  Every artist had his or her distinct aims and personalities. Their interwoven stories are engagingly told, sometimes across different chapters and this as much as the glass itself makes for an engrossing read.’—Elizabeth Cumming, the Scotsman.

‘[A] truly sumptuous book… which has been 30 years in the making, and is the first study of the aesthetics of Arts and Crafts glass-making and design’—Richard Edmonds, Birmingham Post.

‘From this book, the Arts & Crafts stained-glass project emerges as strikingly resolute and artistically remarkable.’—Tanya Harrod, Literary Review.

"Anyone who so much as glances at this fabulous book in a shop will be struck by the sheer beauty of its illustrations… It has long been time for a major survey such as this, and Cormack, the acknowledged scholar of the work of Christopher Whall, the leading practitioner of the period, is precisely the right person to do this."—Timothy Brittain-Catlin, World of Interiors

“Well written and beautifully illustrated”—L. R. Hudgins, Choice

“Monumental . . . Beautifully produced . . . Essential.”—Kathy Woodrell, ARLIS/NA Reviews

“Arts and Crafts Stained Glass is a very welcome publication, handsomely produced and amply illustrated on nearly every one of its 350 pages. For readers unfamiliar with the subject, the volume will both surprise and delight; for the dedicated art historian, this will surely become the definitive account.”—Neil Moat, Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies
ISBN: 9780300209709
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Publishing Partner: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
354 pages, 9 1/2 x 11 1/4
200 color + 50 b/w illus.