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Icon Stained Glass Group Conference and AGM

Icon Stained Glass Group

From: Friday 04.10.19
at 9:45am
To: Friday 04.10.19
at 5:00pm

Gloucester Cathedral
12 College Green


Early bird ICON member £50

Early bird non-ICON member £70

Early bird student £30

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Icon Stained Glass Group Conference: Accommodating the Past

Event description: 

The ICON Stained Glass Group Conference will be held on Friday 4th October 2019 in the Chapter House at Gloucester Cathedral.

Glass is a fragile medium and historic windows are likely to have been restored multiple times prior to any contemporary conservation project. During these previous restorations, many materials and techniques may have been introduced to the window (e.g. infills, cold-paints, consolidations, plating and structural changes). Papers on this theme of “Accommodating the Past” will highlight the many issues that arise during the conservation of historic stained glass. These projects showcase how the conservation methodology of a project is unique to the individual characteristics of the window or object.

The conference offers the opportunity to hear formal presentations on a diverse range of stained glass and multi-disciplinary projects, as well as the chance to take part in discussions, and enjoy a tour of the cathedral’s wonderful stained glass collection and the cathedral stone-yard.

Registration opens at 10am in the Chapter House. Buffet sandwich lunch and refreshments are included in the price of the ticket, please let us know of any dietary requirements when booking your place.



09:45 Registration with Tea and Coffee

10:20 Welcome address – Sarah Jarron MA ACR, Chair of ICON SGG

10:30 Anthony Feltham-King RIBA GradDiplCons AA AABC, Gloucester Cathedral Architect

10:45-12:15 Session One

10:50 Keynote Presentation - Leonie Seliger MA ACR, 'Mistaken Identities and the Need to See a Face'

11:25 Emily Yates MA, 'Finding Faces'

11:50 Katie Harrison MA, 'Problematic Past or Historic Value? The Impact of Previous Interventions upon the St Cuthbert Window, York Minster'

12:15-13:00 Lunch

13:00-14:40 Session Two

13:05 Chris Chesney ACR, 'If only they knew what we know now!'

13:40 Linda Cannon AMGP ACR, 'A Case Study of a Case to be Studied'

14:05 Finola O’Carroll MA MIAI MRPA and Katya Madrid, 'Shedding light on shady practices in conservation and archaeology - lessons from Black Friary, a medieval Dominican Friary in Trim, Ireland

14:30 Closing Remarks - Sarah Jarron

14:40-15:00 Tea Break

15:00-15:55 Tour of Gloucester Cathedral Stained Glass – Cathedral Guides

16:00-17:00 AGM of the ICON Stained Glass Group


Leonie Seliger MA ACR, 'Mistaken Identities and the Need to See a Face'

Missing faces in historic stained glass windows have been a knotty problem since the Middle Ages. Using the example of the Great East Window of Gloucester Cathedral, the issue of the ‘honest repair’ is explored through the responses from the 14th century onwards. What makes a successful repair changes according to the prevailing Zeitgeist. Looking at past examples, the talk will explore how our own perception of what is acceptable may be coloured by fashionable trends, and why treating the replacement of faces along exactly the same principles as other elements may have surprising and unintended results.

Emily Yates MA, 'Finding Faces'

Emily Yates is an MA graduate from the University of York and currently works as a stained glass conservator at Naumburg Cathedral, Germany. In her presentation Finding Faces, she will discuss the treatment of eight featureless "cloud heads" which were introduced into Naumburg's medieval west choir windows during two previous restorations in the 1940s and 1960s. The case in Naumburg especially highlights the often complex issues of integrity and the designation of value when replacing lost detail where no original cartoon or archival evidence exists. 

Linda Cannon AMGP ACR, 'A Case Study of a Case to be Studied'

Linda was commissioned in 2018 to restore and install the original Charles Rennie Mackintosh Salon-de-Lux doors, made in 1903 for the Willow Tearooms, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. The doors, well used by both staff and customers of the tearooms, have been removed, exhibited, stored and conserved by experts during their century-long lifespan. In their new setting, they are sealed into a hermetically-controlled, fire-proof, 15mm thick toughened glass, stove-enamelled steel case. Linda will delve into the project to explore the questions and challenges which arose during the conservation project. 

Chris Chesney ACR, 'If only they knew what we know now!'

An insight into the various innovations in stained glass that have proved to do more harm than good ranging from the reactivity series of metals, use of Hydrofluoric Acid and how to avoid it, protective glazing systems both Utopian and working class. The lecture will present a brief summary of a study from St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow carried out 2017/18 on heat monitoring of external protection and the effect of high temperatures of the disassociation of water. 

It is hoped that this will dispel some myths and enable young conservators (and perhaps some older ones) in the built heritage sector to understand modern conditions across mainland Britain and how they affect historic materials and architectural fittings.

Katie Harrison MA, WRoCAH-funded PhD Candidate, The University of York, 'Problematic Past or Historic Value? The Impact of Previous Interventions upon the St Cuthbert Window, York Minster'

This paper will explore the challenges faced by conservators of monumental narrative windows, as well as the opportunities they present for new approaches, using the fifteenth-century St Cuthbert Window, York Minster, as a case study. Originally comprising seventy narrative panels, the St Cuthbert Window has been extensively disarranged and its narrative structure significantly disrupted. Additionally, it now incorporates eleven nineteenth-century panels designed to fit within an erroneous order introduced in 1886-8. Consideration of its current condition demonstrates the additional damage which can result from ill-informed attempts to restore ‘originality’. An examination of the historic value of these past interventions, particularly the nineteenth-century arrangement and panels, will inform a discussion of how best to preserve and convey the window’s identity. Drawing upon well-established conservation guidelines, especially the 2004 CVMA Guidelines, the necessity and potential impacts of future interventions upon the window’s significance will be considered, and a range of solutions presented. 

Finola O’Carroll MA MIAI MRPA, Principal Investigator/Excavation Director/Co­Founder/Director, Blackfriary Archaeology Field School, Katya Madrid, 2nd year MSc candidate in Conservation Practice at Cardiff University, 'Shedding light on shady practices in conservation and archaeology– lessons from Black Friary, a medieval Dominican Friary in Trim, Ireland'

Current excavations of Black Friary, in Trim, Ireland, have yielded the largest repository of window glass fragments in any single medieval site in Ireland. Much of the glass bears grisaille surface decoration, some is pigmented, and there is evidence of silver stain on a fraction of the samples analysed. The glass is currently undergoing conservation and analysis at Cardiff University. This presentation will delve into the complexities of archeological conservation of freshly excavated
stained glass. Conservation decisions impact research possibilities, as scholars and archaeologists will not have the ability to reverse a treatment to accommodate their needs without calling in conservators, which is usually financially prohibitive. The authors shed light on how the needs of each discipline impact the work of the other in order to strengthen multidisciplinary bonds and improve outcomes. The exciting benefits of cross training will be discussed.

Finola O’Carroll will describe the excavation site, the finds, their context and significance, and Katya Madrid will discuss the conservation of the glass, will present data of XRF analysis, and its implication for dating the material.