Veronica Whall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Veronica Whall
Born 1887
Died 1967 or 1970
Education L.C.C. Central School of Arts and Crafts
Movement Stained glass artist

Veronica Mary Whall (1887–1967) was an English illustrator, painter and successful stained glass artist. She was the daughter of Christopher Whall, who was a leader of the Arts and Crafts Movement in stained glass. With him, she was co-director of the Whall & Whall stained glass studio.[1][2][nb 1]

Personal life[edit]

Window in St John's Church, Keswick, Cumbria

Veronica Whall was born in 1887 in Stonebridge, near Dorking, Surrey. She showed artistic talent at a very young age and was only 13 when she drew Saint Catherine as part of a window for the Lady Chapel of Gloucester Cathedral.[1][4][nb 2]

Whall attended the L.C.C. Central School of Arts and Crafts, including classes run by her father.[4][5]

In 1953, after closing Whall & Whall, she moved to Huntingdonshire, devoting much of her time to goat-keeping. She died in 1967[4][5] or 1970.[1]

Paintings and illustrations[edit]

In addition to the successful career that Whall enjoyed as a stained glass artist, she also painted. One of her works, The Elf Hour, was a Victorian fairy watercolour painting. In 1907 it was exhibited during the summer at the New Gallery in London.[6] She also made a set of four watercolour and chalk works of the seasons.[7]

In the 1911 census, Whall gave her occupation as a self-employed "Artist in water colour".[2] She made the illustrations for the 1912 and 1913 editions of Ships. Sea Songs and Shanties. W.B. Whall was the author[8][9] and her uncle.[10] In 1912 she illustrated and coloured by hand a limited edition book for John Lyly entitled Cupid & Campaspe.[11] She also wrote, illustrated and coloured by hand her own book, The Story of Peterkin in the Wood, which was printed by her brother Hew B. Whall in 1912.[12][13][nb 3][nb 4]

Like her father, she collaborated with Charles Sydney Spooner, who taught at the Central School of Art.[2][17] In 1916, Spooner led the team who worked on the Apsidal Chapel created for display at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society 11th Exhibition, October–November 1916 at the Royal Academy of Arts. Veronica and her father worked on the chapel's frieze.[18]

She exhibited some of her works at the 1914 Decorative Arts exhibition in Paris.[19]

Stained glass[edit]

Veronica Whall, St John the Baptist window, 1933, Westfield, Sussex

Whall worked as a designer in her father's studio from 1914 through to 1918.[1] Otherwise, there were few opportunities for women stained glass artists to work in "the male-dominated commercial studio system".[20]

Whall & Whall[edit]

She was co-director, with her father, of Whall & Whall Ltd in London, which was established in 1922. Edward Woore was the studio-manager, with whom she did some works. Whall & Whall made stained glass works for cathedrals in England, Australia and New Zealand. After her father's death in 1924, she continued the company, assisted by her brother Christopher John, until it closed in 1953.[1][5][21]


Many of her works outside the United Kingdom are to be found in New Zealand, such as those at the Christchurch Nurses' Memorial Chapel ,[7] which are good examples of her work with Priors Slab glass.[22] In 1889 architect E.S. Prior developed Priors glass, which is similar to the "luminosity and varied colouring of early medieval glass." Christopher Whall was a pioneer of the use of slab glass in his works.[23][nb 5]

Commissioned by Joseph Davis, Whall made for Whalley Methodist Church St. Francis of Assisi and The Madonna and Child windows, which are said to be among her best works.[4]

She created 73 windows for King Arthur's Hall, Tintagel, Cornwall, that opened in 1933. As of 1997 it is considered to be the largest collection of stained glass panels of King Arthur made in the 20th century and a great example of Arts and Crafts workmanship.[24][25][nb 6]

Regarding the art of stained glass making, Whall said:

The three things technically essential to the making of a stained glass window are glass, lead and light... for lead is our medium, and light is our colour.[1]

See also[edit]


Image of Christopher Whall's four panel work with slab glass at St Andrew's, Chippenham.
  1. ^ Her year of death is also given as 1967.[3]
  2. ^ Christopher Whall's work at Gloucester Cathedral was considered among the best of his career.[1]
  3. ^ She is said to have run the small private printing press, the Stonebridge Press, with her brother Bernard.
  4. ^ Stonebridge Press was used to print some of Christopher Whall and Whall & Whall publications.[14][15][16]
  5. ^ Also known as Prior's Early English glass or simply slab glass:

    It was made by blowing glass into a rectilinear box and then cutting off the sides. This yielded flat panes of uneven thickness, often streaked with colour. Whereas the prevailing style of glass relied on meticulous draughtsmanship and line control to create rich backgrounds of flat surface decoration such as gothic mouldings or foliage, the new glass could be used to create backgrounds with a more abstract pattern, as in the St Pancras roll of honour, or combined with lead alone to create bold and dramatic effects such as the wings of the four archangels at St Andrew's, Chippenham.[23]

  6. ^ King Arthur author Mike Ashley states that there were 72 panels made.[26]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Panel. Whall, Veronica, born 1887 – died 1970. Victoria and Albert Museum. 30 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Veronica Whall. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  3. ^ Gordon Campbell. The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts: Two-volume Set. Oxford University Press; 9 November 2006. ISBN 978-0-19-518948-3. p. 550.
  4. ^ a b c d History. Whalley Methodist Church. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Halls: Stained Glass Windows by Veronica Whall. The Fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table of King Arthur. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  6. ^ The Elf Hour. Christie's. Sale 7087; The Sunday Sale; 31 July 2011; London, South Kensington. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  7. ^ a b Spring; Summer; Autumn; and Winter. Christie's. Sale 5971; An English Look – Robert Kime, Piers von Westenholz, David Bedale and James Graham-Stewart; 8 July 2009; London, South Kensington. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  8. ^ W.B. Whall (author); Veronica Whall (illustrator). Ships. Sea Songs and Shanties. Glasgow: James Brown & Son, 1913; Third Edition (1913) ASIN B000R4TOEW
  9. ^ W.B. Whall (author); Veronica Whall (illustrator). Ships. Sea Songs and Shanties. James Brown & Son; Second Edition. Enlarged edition (1912) ASIN B004R86IO8
  10. ^ Pacific Steam Navigation Company. Sea Breezes: The Ship Lovers' Digest. C. Birchell; July 1951. p. 391.
  11. ^ John Lyly (author); Veronica Whall (illustrator). Cupid & Campaspe. London: Stonebridge Press, 1912.
  12. ^ William Ridler. British Modern Press Books: A Descriptive Check List of Unrecorded Items. Covent Garden Press; 1971. p. 273.
  13. ^ Veronica M. Whall. The Story of Peterkin in the Wood. privately printed; 1912.
  14. ^ Whall & Whall, Ltd. St. Michael & All Angels, Bournemouth: Description of the West Window. Stonebridge Press; 1914.
  15. ^ Christopher Whall. An Imaginary Conversation: Bellini, Carpaccio and Titian. Stonebridge Press; 1924.
  16. ^ Whall & Whall, Ltd. St. Stephen's Church, Brough, Notts, in the Diocese of Southwell: Tablet and Windows in Memory of Thomas Cecil Smith Wooley. Dedicated at Evensong on Sunday June 28th, 1914. Stonebridge Press; 1914.
  17. ^ Charles Sydney Spooner. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  18. ^ Apsidal Chapel. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  19. ^ Anthea Callen. Women Artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, 1870–1914. Pantheon Books; 1979. ISBN 978-0-394-50667-8. p. 175.
  20. ^ Sarah Brown; Sebastian Strobl. A Fragile Inheritance: The Care of Stained Glass and Historic Glazing: A Handbook for Custodians. Church House Publishing; 22 November 2002. ISBN 978-0-7151-7600-9. p. 12.
  21. ^ Architects and Artists W-X-Y-Z: V Whall. Sussex Parish Churches. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  22. ^ Stained Glass. Archived 4 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Christchurch Nurses' Memorial Chapel. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  23. ^ a b Lest We Forget. Building Conservation. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  24. ^ Mee, Arthur (1937) Cornwall. London: Hodder & Stoughton; pp. 280–281
  25. ^ Norris J. Lacy. The Arthurian Handbook, Second Edition.. Taylor & Francis; 1 October 1997. ISBN 978-0-8153-2082-1. p. 236.
  26. ^ Mike Ashley. The Mammoth Book of King Arthur: Reality and Legend, the Beginning and the End—The Most Complete Arthurian Sourcebook Ever. Running Press; 20 April 2005. ISBN 978-0-7867-1566-4. p. 507.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]