‘Coronation of The Blessed Virgin’ stained glass window by the famous deceased Irish Artist Harry Clarke has a new home in the Art Galleries, Kelvingrove Glasgow, Scotland.
The feast of the Assumption, August 15, 2015 was the official date and celebration for this outstanding sophisticated three light window to be proudly displayed , thus allowing viewers to marvel at this magnificent vibrantly coloured window of the Virgin Mary in deep blue garment being crowned Queen of Heaven by Christ her Triumphant Son. Mary is surrounded by many saints, mostly women and angels who are adorned in delicately floral patterned vestments of many colours .
The amazing and intricate design of the window which displayed innovative technics in stained glass was one of Clarke’s early works which was commissioned in 1923 by Sister Mary of St Wilfrid of The Sisters of Notre Dame for the Convent Chapel in the Teacher Training College in Dowanhill Glasgow, Scotland where she was Principal.
It was no wonder that it was mentioned in the ‘ Irish Times ‘of the day that this masterpiece , which shows the genius of Clarke should be kept in Ireland .
It was amidst great rejoicing and jubilation that about 200 former pupils,college students and lecturers , friends and members of the public came to celebrate this glorious and amazing window on the day chosen for it to be on display permanently. The daily organist played appropriate music as did the violinist, who ended with Salve Regina which resounded throughout the extensive building . All sang this in Latin with such devotion and reverence.
Harry Dunlop, the Learning and Access Curator in Glasgow Museums organised the event and gave an excellent power point telling of the life and works of Clarke and also of the history of the Sisters in Scotland . A most fitting and beautiful tribute !
Harry Dunlop with Dorothy Gunnee MBE ( former Notre Dame pupil) always showed great interest and worked tirelessly, to successfully release the window which was in storage in a Glasgow Museum.
As the window was a memorial one for WW1 funding was granted in this centenary year to allow for its release and go on display at the Art Galleries.
When the window was sold by the sisters to Glasgow Museums in 2002 it was hoped that it would remain in the city of Glasgow for all to view. This wish has come true and hopefully the many who come to admire the beauty of this masterpiece will also find it a useful source of meditation and prayer.
All staff members at the Galleries are delighted to have such an outstanding precious gem in their midst .The Galleries attract thousands of visitors every year. Hopefully this new addition will be a favourite for all who appreciate the beauty of the Divine in Art.