Feathered Regulars

Updated: Jul 20, 2019


In the same week I have found the latest Margaret Rope of Shrewsbury - Stained Glass Artist of the Arts & Crafts Movement by Arthur Rope, as well as Women Stained Glass Artists of the Arts & Crafts Movement by Peter Cormack published 30 years ago for an exhibition at the William Morris Gallery.

Women Stained Glass Artists of the Arts & Crafts Movement by Peter Cormack

After more research on web pages, I noticed, that Marga and her cousin Tor have a wildlife bestiary that no other stained glass artists of the Arts & Crafts movement seem to have. I will, however, say that I do not have the knowledge of all artwork in the movement and leave this observation open to critics.

Marga’s windows have birds as the regulars of her house! She does not seem to limit their use for just Christian Symbolism either. In her window for her niece and nephew I study further down the page, the black bird, the owl and the woodpecker don't appear to be presented as 'baddies' as they typically are in Catholicism (The blackbird represents the darkness of sin (black feathers) and the temptations of the flesh (its beautiful song). Once, while Saint Benedict was praying, the devil tried to distract him, appearing as a blackbird. St. Benedict, however, was not fooled, and sent him on his way with the Sign of the Cross - catholism.org).

The black contre-jour (silhouette) of medium size birds just above horizons or behind figures (seen at St Peter and St Paul in Newport, Shropshire), a few flights of white doves or flocks of other birds may have meaning I am not aware of (seen in the Visitation window in Shrewsbury Cathedral).

Flights of birds - Visitation window Shrewsbury Cathedral (tail's end black common gull, ochre wings song thrush)