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The Glory of Medieval Stained Glass

Filtering sunlight into prisms of color, stained-glass windows have captured the imagination since their inception in the later Middle Ages. Abbot Suger, whose 12th-century church at Saint-Denis was one of the first to house a full-scale installation of stained-glass windows, recalled that the effect caused him to “see myself dwelling, as it were, in some strange region of the universe which neither exists entirely in the slime of the earth nor entirely in the purity of Heaven.” In her talk, Mary Shepard will introduce the aesthetic and spiritual philosophies guiding the creation of medieval stained glass, the critical role it plays in Gothic architecture, and how it was made—well before the advent of the diamond glasscutter. She’ll also discuss the remarkable survival of the medieval rose windows following the 2019 fire at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, including the methods being used in their conservation and reinstallation.

Mary B. Shepard is Professor Emerita at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and author of numerous publications on medieval art and medieval stained glass. Shepard is Vice-President and President-Elect of the American Committee of the Corpus Vitrearum, the international organization dedicated to the study and documentation of stained-glass windows created before 1700. She is a former President of the International Center of Medieval Art and head of Education at The Cloisters–the branch museum of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her research interests include French and English medieval stained glass as well as the history of collecting medieval art and its display. Recent publications and lectures focus on the stained-glass windows of the parish church of St. Michael-le-Belfrey, York—the last program of stained glass created in York before Henry VIII broke with Rome.

Host Village: Northwest Neighbors Village
Limited to 100.
Registration deadline: 3-29-23.
Zoom link will be sent the day
Thursday, March 30, 2023, 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Event Contact NNV
Village Events
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Washington Area Villages Exchange
P.O. Box 7464
Alexandria, VA 22307-0464