.Yesterday I attended the launch of a new book, Stained Glass Window Makers of Birmingham School of Art. Written by Roy Albutt (who is a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Society), the book examines the work of 11 stained glass makers all affiliated to the School of Art, some of whom may be familiar names to visitors to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, such as Florence Camm and Sydney Meteyard. The book offers information on each individual, including a brief biography and the other arts in which they worked, and cover their training at and relationship to the School of Art in some detail, alongside a description of their works and a helpful Gazetteer which details where their work may be found. Importantly, for a book of this kind, it is also well-illustrated, with 51 colour plates which demonstrate the vibrant appeal of these works. It is likely to appeal to enthusiasts of stained glass and ecclesiology, as well as those interested in Pre-Raphaelite-style work, but it also offers the challenge to those in the Midlands to visit the places listed and admire the beautiful works in person.
Roy is keen to stress the importance of the Birmingham School of Art. Certainly, from the nineteenth century until well into the twentieth, the Arts and Crafts-style work it produced was hugely popular and influential, and Roy hopes that his book will inspire others to research this overlooked area of art history. He made considerable use of the archives and researchers at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), part of Birmingham City University, which carries forward the work of the School of Art, and I hope his work will inspire further interest in this area. Years ago I did some work on The Quest, the Pre-Raphaelite-style magazine produced by the School of Art, and I am inclined now to consider returning to it.
The book is available from Roy’s website for £12.95.