Karl Bergemann Parsons (1884-1934) was born in Peckham, south London, and, like his friend Edward Woore, graduated in his craft from Christopher Whall’s studio, which he had joined directly from school. Having completed his apprenticeship he remained with Whall until setting up his own studio at The Glass House in 1908. During this time he was able to work with Whall on some of his most important commissions, including the windows of the Lady Chapel at Gloucester Cathedral, and also supplying some drawings for Whall’s book ‘Stained Glass Work’ (1905).
Parson’s time with Whall included attending Whall’s classes at the Central School of Arts & Crafts, where he himself would subsequently teach. He also taught at the Royal College of Art.
Parson’s style evolved noticeably from the mid-1920 following a visit to Chartres Cathedral and under the influence of his friend, Harry Clarke. His sometime pupil and later assistant, E Liddall Armitage commented some years later that “He was an extremely competent designer, an excellent draughtsman and a fine colourist.”
Arts & Craft Stained Glass by Peter Cormack (Yale University Press, 2015)
Stained Glass – History, Technology and Practice by E Liddall Armitage (Leonard Hill (Books) Ltd, 1960)