Veronica Whall

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Veronica Whall
Veronical Whall portrait.jpg
Veronica Whall, 1915
Stonebridge, Surrey, England
EducationL.C.C. Central School of Arts and Crafts
Known forStained glass
MovementArts and Crafts Movement

Veronica Mary Whall (1887–1967) was an important stained glass artist, painter, and illustrator associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement. Her father, Christopher Whall, was the leader of the Arts and Crafts Movement in stained glass. She was educated in the techniques of painting and stained glass making in her father's studio-workshop. She later became his studio assistant and designer for his studio in 1914. In 1922, Whall and her father co-founded a stained glass studio together, which she managed for nearly thirty years after his death in 1924.[2][3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

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.[2][5][nb 1] Whall, her mother, and her siblings were often used by her father as models for his stained glass designs.[6]

Whall attended the L.C.C. Central School of Arts and Crafts, including classes taught by her father. Like other talented students at the school, Whall worked as a student apprentice at her father's studio-workshop.[5][7]


Whall was employed by her father, Christopher Whall as a studio assistant after she graduated from the Central School of Arts and Crafts. She and other assistants worked with Christoper Whall in completing the many stained glass commissions that Whall's studio-workshop created.[6] In addition to the successful career 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.[2]

St John the Baptist window, Sussex, 1933

In the 1911 census, Whall gave her occupation as a self-employed "Artist in water colour".[3] In 1912 she illustrated and coloured by hand a limited edition book for John Lyly entitled Cupid & Campaspe.[8] 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.[9][10][nb 2][nb 3] She exhibited some of her works at the 1914 Decorative Arts exhibition in Paris.[14]

Like her father, she collaborated with Charles Sydney Spooner, who taught at the Central School of Art.[3][15] 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. Whall and her father worked on the chapel's frieze.[16] She was promoted to designer in her father's studio in 1914, and worked as designer until 1918.[2]

In 1922, Whall and her father opened a studio together which they both co-directed. When Christopher Whall died in 1924, Whall managed the studio, assisted by her brother Christopher, until the studio closed in 1953. Whall & Whall, during its time, completed numerous stained glass works for cathedrals in England, Australia and New Zealand.[6]

In 1953, Whall moved to Huntingdonshire, devoting much of her time to goat-keeping. She died in 1967.[5][7]

Stained glass works[edit]

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.[2]

— Veronica Whall
St John's, Keswick, Cumbria

Whall was a prominent and well respected stained glass artist during her career. She completed many stained glass commissions during her lifetime, initially working for Christopher Whall's studio workshop and later at the Whall & Whall studio.[6] Many of her works outside the United Kingdom are to be found in New Zealand, such as those at the Christchurch Nurses' Memorial Chapel,Commissioned by Joseph Davis, Whall made for Whalley Methodist Church, St. Francis of Assisi and The Madonna and Child windows. These windows are said to be among her best works.[5]

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.[17][18][nb 4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christopher Whall's work at Gloucester Cathedral was considered among the best of his career.[2]
  2. ^ She is said to have run the small private printing press, the Stonebridge Press, with her brother Bernard.
  3. ^ Stonebridge Press was used to print some of Christopher Whall and Whall & Whall publications.[11][12][13]
  4. ^ King Arthur author Mike Ashley states that there were 72 panels made.[19]


  1. ^ Register of Deaths for Cambridge Registration District, volume 4A (1967), p. 194: "WHALL, VERONICA K, 80"
  2. ^ a b c d e f Panel. Whall, Veronica, born 1887 – died 1970 [sic]. Victoria and Albert Museum. 30 September 2012.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b c d History. Whalley Methodist Church. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d Cormack, Peter (2015). Arts & Crafts Stained Glass. Paul Mellon Centre.
  7. ^ a b Halls: Stained Glass Windows by Veronica Whall. The Fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table of King Arthur. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  8. ^ John Lyly (author); Veronica Whall (illustrator). Cupid & Campaspe. London: Stonebridge Press, 1912.
  9. ^ William Ridler. British Modern Press Books: A Descriptive Check List of Unrecorded Items. Covent Garden Press; 1971. p. 273.
  10. ^ Veronica M. Whall. The Story of Peterkin in the Wood. privately printed; 1912.
  11. ^ Whall & Whall, Ltd. St. Michael & All Angels, Bournemouth: Description of the West Window. Stonebridge Press; 1914.
  12. ^ Christopher Whall. An Imaginary Conversation: Bellini, Carpaccio and Titian. Stonebridge Press; 1924.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Anthea Callen. Women Artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, 1870–1914. Pantheon Books; 1979. ISBN 978-0-394-50667-8. p. 175.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Mee, Arthur (1937) Cornwall. London: Hodder & Stoughton; pp. 280–281
  18. ^ Norris J. Lacy. The Arthurian Handbook, Second Edition.. Taylor & Francis; 1 October 1997. ISBN 978-0-8153-2082-1. p. 236.
  19. ^ 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]

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