Christopher Whitworth Whall

(1849—1924) stained-glass artist and craftsman

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(b Thurning, Northants, 16 April 1849; d London, 23 Dec 1924). English stained-glass artist and teacher. He worked for a time for the glass manufacturers James Powell & Sons as a freelance designer while teaching himself the technical processes of stained glass and in 1887 set up his own studio-workshop near Dorking, Surrey. In 1890 the architect J. D. Sedding (1838-91) asked Whall to design and make a window for St Mary's, Stamford, Lincs. It was the first of many collaborations with leading architects who, like Whall, were active in the Art Workers’ Guild and the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society. In 1896 Whall was appointed the first teacher of stained glass at the newly founded Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, and later taught at the Royal College of Art, London. His teaching methods and aesthetic philosophy are contained in his influential book Stained Glass Work (1905). The Lady Chapel and Chapter House windows (1898-1913) at Gloucester Cathedral, which Whall made with his pupils and apprentices, are his most important work. In creating a style sympathetic to the architectural context he developed a distinctive vocabulary of forms derived from nature and from the study of medieval glass and combined these with superlative materials and craftsmanship. Whall's many pupils included his daughter Veronica Whall (1887-1967), Karl Parsons (1884-1934) and Paul Woodroffe (1875-1954). In the USA his influence was transmitted through the work of the Boston artist-craftsman Charles Connick (1875-1945).

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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