An Túr Gloine (Irish for "Tower of Glass") was a cooperativestudio for stained glass conceived in late 1901 and established January 1903 at 24 Pembroke Street, Dublin, Ireland, on the site of two former tennis courts. It was active throughout the first half of the 20th century. Affiliated artists included Michael Healy, Evie Hone, Beatrice Elvery, Wilhelmina Geddes, Harry Clarke and founder Sarah Purser. The original impetus for the project, spurred by the Irish cultural activist Edward Martyn, was the building of the Roman Catholic cathedral in Loughrea, County Galway, which was to become St. Brendan's. Purser and Martyn hoped to provide an alternative to the commercial stained glass imported from England and Germany for Irish churches and other architectural projects. Purser's knowledge of French and English medieval glass, together with her social connections and organizational skills, were crucial to the success of the cooperative.
A writer for The Studio, a magazine of fine and applied art, called the recently formed An Túr Gloine "perhaps the most noteworthy example of the newly awakened desire to foster Irish genius," describing it as "at once a craft school, where instruction in every detail connected with the designing and production of stained glass is given to the workers, and a factory from which some beautiful work has already appeared." The writer also extolled the economic benefits of an Irish glass industry to supply churches. The studio is regarded as part of the Arts and Crafts Movement, but was infused also with the contemporary spirit of Irish revivalism and drew on the artistic tradition of Celticmanuscript illumination. Ireland became an internationally renowned center of stained-glass art at this time, to a large extent as a result of An Túr Gloine.
Galwayconvent a little time ago refused a fine design for stained glass, sent from Miss Sarah Purser's studio, because of the personal life in the faces and in the attitudes, which seemed to them ugly, perhaps even impious. They sent to Miss Purser an insipid German chromo-lithograph, full of faces without expression or dignity, and gestures without personal distinction, and Miss Purser, doubtless because her enterprise was too new, too anxious for success, to reject any order, has carried out this ignoble design in glass of beautiful colour and quality.
Bowe, Nicola Gordon. "The Tower of Glass: An Túr Gloine and the early 20th century stained glass revival in Ireland." Buildingconservation.com. With several full-color examples of works by the cooperative.