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BSMGP Conference & Journal Publication
The British Society of Master Glass Painters held a two-day international conference 28th February – 1st March, on 19th century glass in the Glaziers Hall, London.
The conference coincided with the launch of its 28th journal, an America Issue, special edition. There is a major feature on Moment of Impact 9/11 see: publications and provided a fascinating opportunity to discuss my work with fellow practitioners and conservationists from around the world.
The highlight of the conference for me was an opportunity to hear lectures by two leading American experts, Julie L. Sloan and Dr Jim Yarnall, on the major figure of ‘American Stained Glass’, John La Farge. Furthermore, it was an opportunity to meet others who have been involved in the conservation of La Farge’s work.
The guest editorial for 28th journal is also by Julie L. Sloan, and she and Yarnall had an article entitled ‘John La Farge’s patent for the American opalescent window’, published in the 28th journal. Dr Jim Yarnall presented a conference paper on a comparison of two styles of La Farge’s work by concentrating on an early example from 1879 and a later one from 1902. Julie L. Sloan focused her talk on materials and techniques.
I was most intrigued to hear detailed accounts of La Farge’s ‘mosiac glass’. But it was not the spectacular effect of combining opalescent glasses with glass jewels and the excitingly ‘expressive’ lead lines that appealed to me, rather it was the description of the multi-layering of glass that La Farge employed and the subsequent conservation techniques that were more akin to an archeological dig. This complexity appealed particularly because of what was involved in the making of Moment of Impact 9/11.
Also, Sloan’s survey of the poor state of the history of American stained glass compared to that in Britain was interesting. I found it hard to imagine that there are ‘no books on Tiffany glass that includes the work of La Farge, Lamb or Armstrong’ but apparently it is part of the ‘paucity of cultural awareness’. See: Publications
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