Historic glass collections & websites
Here we recommend collections and websites for further research into historic stained glass.
As befits the world’s leading museum of art and design, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London holds and displays an extensive collection of stained glass from the 12th century onwards. We highly recommend visits to the spectacular galleries showcasing stained glass and, happily, much of the V&A’s collection is accessible for research online.
In addition, the V&A’s Archive of Art & Design holds significant collections of stained glass designs, cartoons, and archives of the work of British artists and studios, including Lowndes & Drury, James Powell & Sons Whitefriars, Christopher Whall, Moira Forsyth, Hugh Easton, Joseph Bell & Son, D. Marion Grant, Ervin Bossanyi and many others. Archives related to stained glass can be visited by appointment at the Archive of Art & Design in Blythe Road, click for further information and to search the list of collections.
Founded in 1972 as a repository to rescue stained glass windows, The Stained Glass Museum in Ely Cathedral has grown through significant acquisitions to house a wide-ranging collection of over 1000 British stained glass panels of all periods. To explore the collections on show and in reserve click here. You may also browse and search the library holdings.
The Burrell Collection in Glasgow has many treasures of medieval stained glass from around the world. The Museum is closed until 2020 for an extensive program of refurbishment. Click here to search the Burrell Collection and select Burrell Collection: Stained Glass from the Named Collection box in the menu.
Sir John Soane’s Museum in London incorporates an important collection of Continental stained glass panels from the late 15th to 18th century, used by Soane for remarkable lighting effects in his well-known historic house. Visit their website for opening times and to search the collections. The British Society of Master Glass Painters is proud to have published a complete Catalogue Raisonné, The Stained Glass Collection of Sir John Soane’s Museum as a Special Issue of The Journal of Stained Glass (Vol. XXVII, 2003). Copies are available to purchase here on our website.
Famed for its Pre-Raphaelite paintings, the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery also has collections of stained glass and archival materials related to the Arts & Crafts Movement and local turn-of-the-century artists associated with the Birmingham School of Art. Explore these collections online.
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow features important galleries on the Glasgow Boys and Charles Rennie Mackintosh including Glasgow School stained glass. Glasgow Museums states that the related collections comprise approximately 500 glass windows and panels, plus 4000 designs and full-sized cartoons on paper dating from 1850 to 1939 for windows for churches and Glasgow’s banks and civic buildings, domestic properties, shops, restaurants and transport waiting rooms. The collection reflects the revival and popularity of leaded glass design and manufacture in late 19th- and early 20th-century Glasgow, and also has a few examples of late 20th-century Scottish stained glass. Workshops and designers represented include Daniel Cottier, Guthrie & Wells and George Walton & Co., and those who were devoted to solely stained-glass production, such as Stephen Adam, Hugh McCulloch & Co., William Meikle & Co., J.T. & C.E. Stewart and J.P. McPhie & Co.’
Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham includes an important collection of Continental stained glass panels that Horace Walpole gathered together in the 18th Century. Walpole’s interest in stained glass and the popularity of his house helped to start the Gothic revival. We were delighted to publish a 45-page account after the restoration of this historical site, ‘New Light on Strawberry Hill: Walpole’s Display of Glass and the Representation of the Ancient Abbey’, in Vol. XXXIV of The Journal of Stained Glass, click for further details.
The Corning Museum of Glass in New York state is a museum dedicated to telling the story of glass in all forms. Among its holdings of 50,000 glass objects are significant collections of stained glass and related materials. Search the collections to learn more. Also at the Corning Museum of Glass is the Rakow Research Library housing the world’s most comprehensive collection of materials on the art and history of glass and glassmaking.
The J. Paul Getty Museum and Center in California has historic stained glass collections and resources well worth exploring. The basic search term ‘stained glass’ on the website will reveal a list of previous exhibitions and publications of interest while the museum collections search facility has numerous illustrated entries.
Opened in 1981, the Vitromusée Romont in Switzerland houses, manages and showcases important glass collections including stained glass windows, reverse paintings on glass, objects in glass and graphic works, as well as tools and materials related to the glass arts. In addition, there are several thousand fragments of ancient windows and glazing schemes. Regular exhibitions are held and databases relating to the collections are added online periodically via the Vitrosearch platform, a virtual research space that will encompass both Switzerland’s glass heritage still in situ and other institutions. Working closely in conjunction with the Vitromusée is the Vitrocentre Romont devoted to researching the art history, conservation and technology of stained glass, reverse painting on glass and other glass arts.
The Musée de Vitrail à Chartres and Centre International de Vitrail has a collection of seventy Renaissance stained glass windows and holds regular exhibitions devoted to the medium of stained glass.
IMPORTANT STAINED GLASS RESEARCH RESOURCES
The Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi: Medieval Stained Glass in Britain is part of the international research project dedicated to recording and publishing medieval stained glass. Their website includes a picture archive of over 25,000 images of medieval stained glass and is searchable by county and location.
The only online magazine devoted to medieval stained glass, Vidimus hopes to encourage interest in medieval and later stained glass, and to promote the work of the CVMA (GB), the national survey of medieval stained glass. Currently edited by Anna Eavis, the Vidimus website includes a rich variety of articles and reports, with accessible back issues.
Church Stained Glass Windows Recorded by Robert Eberhard
Based on thorough research and documentation, this website offers a searchable database of 32,253 records of stained glass windows in 5415 churches in the South and East of England, identifying details of artists, makers and the dates of windows. New information is added periodically.
James Powell & Sons Whitefriars
The stained glass commissions by this important London firm operating 1834-1980 were carefully recorded by BSMGP member, the late Dr Dennis Hadley, from the Powell’s archives held at the Archive of Art & Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum and at the Museum of London. Dr Hadley also contributed several major articles on work by the studio in the UK and the USA to The Journal of Stained Glass. Working with the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, Dr Hadley’s lists were typed by NADFAS Member and Church Recorder Wendy Woods and published as several PDFs on The Arts Society’s website. Please visit theartssociety to download these very useful PDFs:
‘How to Use the Lists of James Powell & Sons Orders’
‘James Powell & Sons Orders (England)’
‘James Powell & Sons Orders (Miscellaneous & Domestic)’
‘James Powell & Sons Orders (Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland)’
‘James Powell & Sons Orders (USA)’
‘James Powell & Sons Orders (Overseas excluding the USA)
Stained Glass in Wales
Assembled by authority Martin Crampin, the website offers an invaluable database of stained glass windows in Wales dating from the 14th century to recent commissions. It searchable by date, artist, subject and location, and lists about 2700 windows with over 7000 photographs from more than 500 sites across Wales.
Sussex Parish Churches
This website aims to provide a study of the architectural development of each Anglican parish church and as many subsidiary chapels as possible in Sussex, including notes on architects and/or designers of fittings and stained glass. It features a search engine for churches in East and West Sussex and a handy alphabetical index of architects and artists, each with a potted biography indicating where their work can be found.
The Journal of Stained Glass
Published annually since 1924, The Journal of Stained Glass includes many thousands of pages recording both historic and contemporary stained glass, as well as stained glass conservation. Did you know that the tables of contents for each volume are listed on our website and that the contents and indexes are searchable by key words? To explore further click here.
Please also see our page for External stained glass resources
We will be adding to these listings, if you have any recommendations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org