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Wilhelmina Geddes

Wilhelmina Geddes (1887–1955) was an Irish stained glass artist. She had a workshop at the An Túr Gloine and was a member of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Important achievements included windows at St. Bartholomew’s in Ottawa, Canada.

Geddes was born on 25 May 1887, the eldest of four children, in County Leitrim, in what is now the Republic of Ireland. She was educated at Methodist College Belfast before she studied as an artist at the Belfast School of Art[1] and in Dublin under William Orpen. She was invited by Sarah Purser to join An Túr Gloine (Tower of Glass) which was a cooperative stained glass studio in Dublin, where she learned stained glass techniques from others in the cooperative. On her 38th birthday she moved to London where she had a studio at the Glass House in Fulham, which had been set up by Mary Lowndes and Alfred J. Drury where her pupils included Evie Hone.

Her work was considered pioneering and represented a rejection of the Late Victorian approach.[2] She created a new view of men in stained glass windows, portraying them with close-shaven crew cuts. Her three-light window for Ottawa had already attracted considerable attention in London, where it was briefly exhibited en route from Dublin to Canada. It is known worldwide to stained glass connoisseurs as the “Ottawa Window”.

Always known as erratic, Geddes had a nervous breakdown in 1925 and spent six months in hospital under medication.[3] She had fears of contact with comets or dead stars. Indeed, she had included coloured shooting stars in her windows from 1914.

Other stained glassEdit


  1. ^ Devlin, Patrick. "Wilhelmina Geddes (1887 - 1955): Stained Glass Artist". The Dictionary of Ulster Biography. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Shirley Anne Brown. “Wilhelmina Geddes Ottawa Window”. Irish Arts Review 1994 Vol 10.
  3. ^ Nicola Gordon Bowe, “A window with a punch”

Further readingEdit

  1. Nicola Gordon Bowe. “Wilhelmina Geddes 1887-1955: Her Life and Work – A Reappraisal”. Journal of Stained Glass. Vol XVIII, 1988
  2. Nicola Gordon Bowe. “Wilhelmina Geddes : Life and Work. Four Courts Press. Pub 2015. ISBN 978-1-84682-532-3