A Friend who is also a Museum volunteer writes:
This exhibition, ‘Heavenly Lights’, featuring the life and work of Margaret Rope, a native of Shrewsbury, ran from September 12th 2016 to January 15th 2017.
The Friends gave £5,000 towards the costs – the most we have ever given for an event like this. And we were well rewarded for our support. The number of visitors was high and people came from all over the country and even a few from abroad.
This was the first-ever retrospective of the life and works of Margaret Agnes Rope, who was one of the leading stained glass artists of the early twentieth century.
Exhibitions of stained glass are rare because of the obvious problem of acquiring appropriate exhibits, but the Museum overcame this by installing a state-of-the-art projection system to show giant images of windows on the Museum’s walls, including the Saint Winefride window from Newport RC Church (below).
They also worked co-operatively with Shrewsbury Catholic Cathedral which has seven beautiful windows made by Margaret Rope, including her first commission.
The Museum staff and Mark Stewart & Arthur Rope did a large amount of research and begged and borrowed exhibits from private collections all over the country, including photographs, original documents and letters. Rare glass panels made early in her career were on show, as were her sketches and designs, which gave a valuable insight into how stained glass artists work.
A local glass artist, Nathalie Hildegaard Liege, was also on hand to lead workshops.