The Royal Exchange, City of London


GLASS/LIGHT was the most extensive exhibition of stained glass of the 20th century. A collaborative project between Martin Harrison, artist John Piper, and Brian Clarke, it included Harry Clarke's The Eve of St Agnes; Edward Burne-Jones' first-ever design for stained glass, Christ as Good Shepherd; and works by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jean Cocteau, Fernand Leger, Le Corbusier, Theo van Doesburg, Marc Chagall, and Brian's window for the Nottingham Queen's Medical Centre Chapel. Held at The Royal Exchange from 18 July to 12 August 1978 as part of the the Festival of the City of London, the exhibition was sponsored by Thorn Lighting in conjunction with The Times and Sunday Times. The exhibition introduced to England for the first time the works of the West German school of stained glass, with panels shown by artists Johan Thorn Prikker, Georg Meistermann, Ludwig Schaffrath, Johannes Schreiter, and Jochem Poensgen. Filmed by the BBC as part of the BBC1 Omnibus series of arts documentaries, it was followed by the publication of the book Architectural Stained Glass in 1979. Following its exhibition in GLASS/LIGHT, The Eve of St Agnes was purchased by the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, and the Victoria and Albert Museum made its first acquisitions of works by Thorn Prikker, Schreiter, and other artists of the West German school.

"The research from the Clarke's two Churchill Trust Fellowships led to the Arts Council of Great Britain-funded exhibition of stained glass GLASS/LIGHT, co-curated by Clarke, British war artist John Piper and art historian Martin Harrison, with the collaboration of Marc Chagall, and produced the book Architectural Stained Glass. GLASS/LIGHT, part of the Festival of the City of London."

The catalogue for the exhibition, with an introduction by John Piper, an essay by Clarke, and texts and photographs by art historian Martin Harrison, was published in the same year.