Wilhelmina Geddes (1887-1955) was a vital figure in the Irish Arts and Crafts movement and the 20th century British stained glass revival. Born in County Leitrim, she trained at Belfast School of Art, where she came to the notice of Sarah Purser, who would become a lifelong mentor. Geddes continued her studies at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and joined the artists’ co-operative of An Túr Gloine, which had been established by Purser. Geddes remained in Ireland until 1925, when she moved permanently to London and established a studio at The Glass House. Her last large work was her window for the Church of St Peter, Lampeter, installed in 1946. On her death she was described as ‘the greatest stained glass artist of our time’.
On 25th January 2022 The Stained Glass Museum successfully acquired at auction the last window designed and cartooned by Wilhelmina Geddes. The subject, three seated female figures representing Faith, Hope & Charity was designed for St Paul’s Church, St John’s Hill, Clapham Junction, London, and was made after her death by her great admirer, Charles Blakeman, in 1956. The window had been commissioned by the vicar of St Paul’s, the Revd Chad Varah, founder in 1953 of the Samaritans.
Wilhelmina Geddes: Life and Work by Nicola Gordon Bowe (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015)
Arts & Crafts Stained Glass by Peter Cormack (Yale University Press,2015)