Charles Eamer Kempe was an influential but controversial figure in the world of Victorian stained glass. His friendship and collaboration with the architect George Frederick Bodley helped to establish a distinctive High Anglican aesthetic that has yet to disappear entirely, but his life and legacy continue to divide opinion. This lecture will focus on the work of his Studio from the late 1860s onwards, looking at the evolution of the Kempe style in its Anglican context and assessing the contribution of those friends and close associates who worked for him up to his death in 1907 and beyond. In doing so, it will offer a reassessment of Kempe’s achievement and reputation today.
The speaker will be Adrian Barlow, who has long experience of lecturing and writing on literature, architecture and stained glass, with a particular emphasis on the nineteenth century. Past President of the English Association, his books include Extramural: Literature and Lifelong Learning (2012), Kempe: The Life, Art and Legacy of Charles Eamer Kempe (2018) and Espying Heaven: the Stained Glass of Charles Eamer Kempe and his Artists (2019), all published by the Lutterworth Press.
You can purchase Adrian Barlow's 'Espying Heaven' book through our online store.