Art and Christianity Enquiry (ACE)

ACE is the leading UK organisation in the field of visual art and religion. ACE offers stimulating educational projects and publications, advice, information and skills.



In glass thy story: a two-day symposium addressing over 70 years of innovation and iconography in the glass art of British and European churches and cathedrals

In the course of the last 70 years some astonishingly inventive solutions have been found for commissions for stained glass and other forms of glass art in churches and cathedrals. Yet public and academic discussion of this work has been sporadic: it has often focused on individual buildings or individual stained-glass makers and produced surprisingly little in the way of a sustained body of knowledge and understanding about glass art, in terms of patronage, technical developments, use of iconography, and its role or purpose in relation to liturgy or the needs of the congregation. Consequently, proposals for new commissions for glass art in this country often reflect only limited understanding of the practice, possibilities and purpose of stained glass, and of the many traditions which lie behind it.

This two-day symposium, to be held on 8/9 September 2017, seeks to redress this situation. The symposium will take place at Robinson College (where John Piper's Light of the World window can be seen in the Chapel) and it will explore the shifts in methods, style, and iconography found in glass art for churches and cathedrals over the last 70 years.  It will make reference to European models and influences, and will also address particular exemplars from British churches and cathedrals of all denominations, through which to understand better the challenges and opportunities that are present in the exceptional medium of glass, coloured or plain. The symposium will seek to draw out what glass means theologically as an integral part of a place of worship, a vehicle of light, and a boundary between within/without.

The symposium begins at 11am on 8 September and concludes at 4.30pm on 9 September 2017.

Click here for the full programme

Click here for the booking form

For accommodation at Robinson College use the code 30282 and this link: 

NB you must use the code to be able to see available rooms.

Supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Glaziers Trust and the Gibbs Trust.

Out now: Art and Christianity no89 (Spring 2017)

  • Letter from Havana: Charles Pickstone looks for Utopia in Cuba's society and culture
  • Josephine Neil on Caravaggio
  • Andrew Bick revels in the paintings of James Ensor
  • Lucy Newman Cleeve reconnects
  • Tina Beattie and Laura Moffatt discuss Bill Viola's Mary

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