The Ancestors Exhibition Of Stained Glass Canterbury Cathedral

Jan Leeming

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THE ANCESTORS - Exhibition of Stained Glass - Canterbury Cathedral

Date: 14th May 2015

On Monday 18th May (incidentally my son's Birthday) an exhibition opens in The Chapter House of Canterbury Cathedral.  it is a unique opportunity to see Mediaeval Stained Glass 'up close'.  I can do no better than post the information which explains the Exhibition and why it has come about.

The Ancestors will exhibit a series of life-size figures representing the Ancestors of Christ, which date from  the 12th and early 13th centuries.

These beautiful examples of medieval stained glass have been temporarily removed from the Cathedral’s Great South Window, while conservation work is carried out on its crumbling stonework.

Recent research indicates that amongst the late Romanesque glass there may even be a few survivors that pre-date the great fire of 1174. This would make them by far the oldest painted windows in Britain. Detailed examination has always been hard as such windows are installed at a high level. Their removal has created a unique opportunity to see the dazzling medieval art displayed at ground level.

After two hugely successful exhibitions in the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the exhibition now gives British and continental audiences the opportunity to ‘meet the Ancestors’ face-to-face, before they return to the re-built Great South Window.

Because we will be on duty and Guardians of the Ancestors, we Canterbury Cathedral Guides and Assistants have been privileged to attend a tutorial by Leonie Selliger. our indefatiguable Head of Stained Glass.  I don't think I've ever heard such an excellent and enthusiastic speaker - she is devoted to her job of Stained Glass restoration and her love of the subject and sense of fun are contagious.  She has made the 'Stained Glass' come alive for me and I'm sure for all my colleagues.

For more information go to

There are several evening lectures over the next few months which will be well worth attending.

THE ANCESTORS - Exhibition of Stained Glass - Canterbury Cathedral

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