Travers, Martin

Howard Martin Otho Travers (1886-1948)was a significant stained glass artist and church furnisher. He was educated at Tonbridge School before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. At the RCA he took classes in stained glass painting by Christopher Whall, although he would subsequently reject much Arts & Crafts thinking. After completing his training he spent some time in the office of Ninian Comper, before setting up on his own account. Although Comper’s influence is evident in some early windows, Travers own style was markedly different. There is a careful depiction of the subject along with a vitality that others of his generation lack. A traditionalist in many way, especially in his rejection of any form of abstraction, he was nonetheless not bound by tradition, but used it as a base from which to move forward. While admired by his pupils, Travers’ work is rarely found in high profile locations, although there were signs that his neglect by the Establishment was ending by the time of his untimely death.

Martin Travers was an important teacher both through his work at the RCA and through those who worked with him. They included Joseph E Nuttgens (c.1920–1922), Francis Spear (1922–24), John E Crawford (1924–1948), and Lawrence Lee (1946–1948). The latter two would go on to complete the commissions outstanding at the time of his death.

Source: Martin Travers His Life and work by Michael Yelton (Spire Books, 2016)

This artist's work is mentioned at the following locations