Stained Glass Studies


About Stained Glass Studies

The city of York and its environs have unparalleled resources for the study of stained glass. The Minster and city churches contain the largest collection of medieval glass in Britain, and later periods are represented by magnificent examples in the region. Leading national conservation studios are located in and around the city. The medium has been a feature of art-historical study at York since the university was established, and is among the research interests of three staff members.

The stained glass research school is an outstanding advertisement for the department’s commitment to stained glass studies. Peer review statements for 2 successful CDA applications have commented positively on the supportive research environment provided thereby. Significant grants have also been secured for student bursaries in no small measure as a consequence of our ‘visibility’.1

The research school’s objectives include:

  • Promotion of stained glass as the subject of sustained art historical scholarship
  • Integration of stained glass research into the study of the material culture of all periods of art historical enquiry
  • Promotions of research collaborations between scholars working in the field, nationally and internationally2
  • Supporting and empowering our graduate students by creating a research culture which encourages and facilitates their participation in scholarly activities at home and abroad
  • Creating and sustaining research networks through the international CVMA
  • Improving the employability of our graduates by promoting the automatic inclusion of art historical research into all conservation projects, and to promote a better understanding of conservation issues among art historians working in the field
  • Promotion of the University of York as a world-leader in art historical and conservation education and scholarship in this field

1 Most recently, £40k from the Headley Trust for conservation students in 2012-13/2013-14.

2 Past, recent and continuing collaborations include the BEGLARES research project on twentieth-century dalles de verres windows, with Glasmalerei Peters, Paderborn and BAM, Berlin; Lichfield Cathedral stained glass research with Belgian CVMA; Wragby Swiss glass collections with Swiss CVMA; York Minster, Great East Window conservation and research.

Our research

The Heritage Lottery Funded conservation of York Minster's Great East Window continues to provide many opportunities for study. In addition, AHRC funded-doctoral research sees the History of Art Department working closely with the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, with the Yorkshire Museum and with English Heritage.

Our lecture and seminar programmes regularly bring external scholars and practitioners from home and abroad to the Department and together with collaborative research projects with colleagues in Belgium, Switrzerland and Germany, underline the international scope of our research interests.


Research staff


Research students

Current students

  • Oliver Fearon
    Banners, Badges and Beasts: Illuminating the art and craft of heraldic stained glass, c1250-1600 (AHRC-funded CDA with Glasgow Life (The Burrell Collection))
  • Katie Harrison
    Illuminating Narrative: An Interdisciplinary Investigation of the fifteenth-century St Cuthbert Window at York Minster. (Wrocah-funded PhD)
  • Keith Barley
    Man in a Red Hat, St, Mary’s Church, Fairford: The Creation of a Remarkable Late Medieval Glazing Scheme
  • Jo Dillon
    The Lost Dimension: Medieval Window Lead – A Study of Sources, Craft and Conservation (AHRC funded CDA)
  • Marie-Helene Groll
    William Burrell, Thomas & Drake, and the Transatlantic Trade in Stained Glass 1900-1950 (AHRC funded CDA)
  • Louise Hampson
    The history and development of the stained and painted glass of York Minster from the late fifteenth century to 1829
  • Anya Heilpern
    The painted glass of Winchester Cathedral: c.1495-c.1528
  • Emma Woolfrey
    Illuminating Benedictine Monasticism: Stained Glass, Monastery and Society in Late Medieval England

Recent postgraduates

  • David Reid
    The history of the re-used twelfth-century glass of York Minster
  • Jasmine Allen
    Stained Glassworlds: Stained Glass and the International Exhibitions, c.1851-1900
  • Peter Martin 
    The European stained glass trade, with Special Reference to the trade between the Rhineland and the United Kingdom 1820-1835
  • Philippa Turner
    Image and Devotion in Late Medieval English Cathedrals
  • Heather Gilderdale-Scott and Jerzy Jakub Kunicki-Goldfinger
    Composition, Corrosion and Origins of Medieval Stained Glass*

* This three-year project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2008-2011), analysed the chemical composition of the medieval glasses in the east window of York Minster.



Undergraduate modules

  • Stained Glass in the Great Church, c.1150-1350

Postgraduate modules

  • Art and Imagery in York Minster
  • Painting on Light: Stained Glass in the Medieval Tradition, c.1150-1900


We also offer an MA programme, led by lecturers in the History of Art and Archaeology departments.


Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi

The department is the centre of operations for the British Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA), the national arm of an international project for the study of medieval stained glass, and a British Academy research project.

We maintain a fruitful partnership with the Courtauld Institute, in London.

CVMA (GB) personnel

  • Sarah Brown
  • Anna Eavis
    Project director
  • Heather Gilderdale-Scott
    Project secretary
  • Friederike Hammer
    Database manager
  • Dr Joseph Spooner
    Project editor


Upcoming Events
Past Events
For up-to-date listings and details of all History of Art Department events visit the News and Events page.