‘An extraordinarily rich, evocative and psychologically penetrating study of a powerful artist and the times she lived through. Nicola Gordon Bowe has restored Wilhelmina Geddes to a central place in the Arts and Crafts movement and drawn a vivid portrait of the difficult life and personality of an original and uncompromising talent …
Bowe’s beautifully produced and illustrated book is a major addition to the artistic history of the era, and the part played by women in it; it is also a labour of love’, R.F. Foster, Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford. ‘This magnificent book restores an almost forgotten figure to the history of modern art. Working in a medium that presents huge challenges and which is invariably neglected by mainstream art history, Wilhelmina Geddes emerges as a great creative force, a major artist. What Geddes achieved was extraordinary and in Dr Gordon Bowe she has found the perfect biographer’, Tanya Harrod, design historian and co-editor of the Journal of Modern Craft. <; Nicola Gordon Bowe’s magisterial new biography landed in bookshops last week with the force (and some of the weight – it’s about 2.5kg) of a small meteorite .. [it] makes for a fascinating tale … the text is shot through, as it should be, by glorious colour reproductions of the artist’s work, illuminating the narrative as her windows did churches … [it is] an epic work of scholarship, now published as Wilhelmina Geddes: life and work. Thanks to that, the Ireland of 2015 AD has reclaimed a long-lost daughter’, Frank McNally, Irish Times (November 2015). ‘Dubbed the “greatest stained glass artist of our time” upon her death in London in 1955, the Leitrim-born and Belfast-raised Geddes has been terribly overlooked since.
This stunningly illustrated, exhaustively researched and engagingly written book is clever and beautiful enough to spark a revival of appreciation,’ Cristín Leach Hughes, Sunday Times (November 2015). ‘As this marvellous book demonstrates, Wilhelmina Geddes was a forceful, original, modern artist of internationally important stature. Beautifully written and sumptuously illustrated, the book not only celebrate the achievements of – arguably – Ireland’s greatest 20th-century artist, but also reveals the epic potential of stained glass as an art form, one that can be equally powerful on the most monumental or miniature scales’, Peter Cormack, author of Arts & Crafts Stained Glass (2015). ‘What a monument of a book! So well-made and well-printed it shows [Geddes’] vast oeuvre … excellent photos … A book to read in one shot for all interested in or studying stained glass, as Geddes is a serious inspiration for future generations’, Angela van der Burght, Glass is More (November 2015). ‘An excellent new book … Gordon Bowe’s meticulous recovery of original material parallels her rewriting into history of this dazzlingly talented artist who was always an outsider’, Medb Ruane, Irish Arts Review (Dec. 2015/Feb. 2016). ‘An immense work, richly illustrated and deeply researched … it is a revelatory work, a beautifully produced showcase of an artist’s work … the images in this book, often of strong saints and prophets, forceful and determined characters such as Ulster still produces, provide more than enough for the reader at home to realise that here indeed was a truly great religious artist’, Peter Costello, Irish Catholic (November