Stained Glass and Leadlight


Art collector, Thomas Murrell in front of his historic stained glass by noted glass artists Montgomery and Grimbly, originally from Peppermint Grove circa 1896, and now installed at the historic home “Fairview” in Subiaco.


Leadlight window researcher, Sandy Curtis in front of a historic leadlight panel by noted glass artist Howard Cavaliero Escourt (1888-1948), famous for his blue sparrow motifs from the Barnett Brothers studio in East Perth. The panel is at the historic home “Fairview” in Subiaco.


Shenton Park architect, Sam Teoh, in front of an historic stained glass panel by noted glass artists Frederick Ashwin (1833-1909), from the Falconer and Ashwin studio in Sydney. The panel is at the historic home “Fairview” in Subiaco.

Myra Staffa

Subiaco glass artist Myra Staffa with glass flowers commissioned for Fairview’s new kitchen to match the colours in an original Arthur Clarke double leadlight panel in background.


Leadlight window researcher, Sandy Curtis in front of a historic leadlight panel by noted glass artist Howard Cavaliero Escourt (1888-1948), famous for his blue sparrow motifs from the Barnett Brothers studio in East Perth. The panel is at the historic home “Fairview” in Subiaco.

Golden Light: The Legacy and Future of Subiaco’s Historic Stained Glass and Leadlight

Subiaco has one of the best-preserved collections of leadlight in the world. It was an early form of street art where the emerging middle-class expressed their wealth through ornamentation.

Fairview, built in 1915 for a Scottish Ice Engineer at the peak of his career running the Perth Ice Works has some of the best-preserved examples. These include works by Howard Cavaliero Escourt (1888-1948) and Arthur Clarke (born 1902 in Kent England and arrived in Fremantle in 1922) from the Barnett Brothers studio in East Perth, which began in 1896 as its founders followed the gold boom west from Melbourne. Barnett Bros was chosen to represent Western Australia In the 1900 Paris Exhibition because of the quality of their work. During the 1970’s nickel boom when everything had to be shiny and new again, many historic Subiaco leadlights were removed, with some even being buried in the backyard or broken down for their lead value. Despite their visibility and beauty, the majority of leadlight is unsigned, so the stories and talents of their creators remain hidden to the general public.

The United Nations International Year of Glass in 2022 and World Heritage Day on Tuesday April 18th 2023 provided a timely opportunity to bring Subiaco’s rich heritage of stained glass and leadlight to local, state, national and international prominence.

This was achieved with this message reaching 650,00 people via four radio interviews (ABC Radio, 6PR, Curtin Radio and RTR FM) and four media stories (West Australian Newspaper, Western Suburbs Weekly, Subiaco Post and The National Indigenous Times) and four online channels (Perth Now article, National Trust WA website, Hidden Talent Podcast and The Australian Institute of Architects eNewsletter).

The United Nations International Year of Glass Developmental Goals in their 2030 Agenda of responsible production and sustainability; innovation and infrastructure; affordable and clean energy; climate action; unpolluted water and oceans; sanitation; health and well-being; education and gender equality was highlighted in a video presentation by President/Chairperson of GLAAS Inc Dr Bronwyn Hughes OAM.

View the link here:

The workshop was free to attend and sold out with 63 attendees plus eight speakers.

The workshop also allowed for facilitated input from delegates to come up with ideas and strategies to promote, preserve and celebrate Subiaco’s rich heritage of stained glass and leadlight.

The event was organised by Fairview owner Thomas Murrell with a City of Subiaco Community Development grant auspiced through the Rotary Club of Subiaco.

President/Chairperson of GLAAS Inc Dr Bronwyn Hughes OAM

Dr. Bronwyn Hughes has spent thirty-five years as a glass artist, lecturer, and historian of stained glass. Since the 1990s she has increasingly focussed on documenting Australian stained glass in order to highlight the importance of historical understanding as one tool to ensure successful conservation of glass for future generations. She holds the most significant personal collection of stained-glass images in Australia.

In 2008 she curated a major exhibition on First World War commemorative windows by William Montgomery at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne. Over the next few years she undertook a comprehensive study of stained-glass memorials throughout Victoria, supported by a grant from the Army History Unit, Department of Defence: the material has been published by the Victorian Veterans Unit, Department of Premier and Cabinet as part of Victoria’s War Heritage Inventory.  The research has since expanded into all states and culminates in Lights Everlasting, the first publication about Australian commemorative-stained glass.  Her completed manuscript, “Yrs affectionately Mont”, based on the First World War letters of William Montgomery Junior, is pending publication.

She was a founding board member of The Duldig Gallery (2002-2014); a long-standing member of the National Trust Public Art Committee and continues as editor of the first encyclopedia of Australian stained-glass makers, an on-line project.  Her volunteer work in Manuscripts and Picture Library of the State Library of Victoria includes describing collections of stained-glass artists and firms in preparation for catalogues and digitisation.

In 2019 she was awarded the Order of Australia medal for services to the Visual Arts.

Academic qualifications: PhD (Melb 2007); MA (Melb 1997); Dip Ed (Melb 1986); Grad Dip (Chisholm IT 1982); BA (Caulfield IT 1980)

Sandra Curtis, Leadlight window researcher

Leadlight windows captured Sandy's attention in 2008 while completing a practicum unit at the Subiaco Museum, where she was researching the significance of leadlight windows in Subiaco. At the time Sandy was completing her undergraduate studies in Cultural Heritage, with a Major in Architecture at Curtin University, as a mature aged student. Since then, Sandy has extended her research into leadlight windows. Her endless research has resulted in, written materials and articles, the development of exhibitions and several walking tours.

This work has seen Sandy build strong relationships with several leading, but retired, glass artists in Western Australia, who have imparted an unending supply of reliable information on the early practices of glass art and glass manufacture in the state. In a time where little has been collected by collecting agencies and little was known about the creators of domestic leadlight windows, these relationships have proven to be a valuable resource to the research topic that has a long way to go in paying homage to glass artists of the past. Most importantly, these ongoing relationships have contributed to Sandy's understanding of the social meaning of leadlight windows.

Prior to her university journey, Sandy held a 34-year career working in the built environment, where much of the work she coordinated involved heritage homes, many of which were in Subiaco. Sandy was working on a Subiaco heritage house when the “Subiaco Gone Mad” movement occurred. In fact, it was this movement that moved Sandy towards becoming a Heritage Practitioner and attaining the correct qualifications, in the hope to provide some clarity around the ensuing confusion stemming from this time.

Sandy is now a well-recognised leader in the social significance of domestic leadlight windows.

Kim Fitzpatrick, Fourth Generation Glass Artist and Restorer

Kim Fitzpatrick is an internationally recognized glass designer and master craftsman.

His 110-year old family company is based in Perth and he has worked internationally in places like Dubai, Hong Kong and Europe.

It was while living in Canada that he first discovered his personal love of art glass technique and design.

His artistic effort is found in cathedrals, hotels and Houses of Parliament as well as in some of our finest private homes, including those in Subiaco.

Sam Teoh, Owner and Principal of Sam Teoh Architects, Shenton Park

Sam Teoh is from Chinese Malaysian cultural background and has worked in the restoration and renovation of some of Subiaco’s most notable historic homes.

He uses historic glass in unique and exciting ways, especially using modern lighting to create memorable spaces for contemporary living.

Teoh’s Chinese Malaysian heritage influences his design style. He incorporates modern design and layout principles while incorporating the true ethos of eclecticism. His award-winning trademark eclectic style, combines historic high-end architectural salvaged elements with his signature straight lines and crucible axis.

He is a graduate of the University of Western Australia and has been operating out of his Shenton Park office since 1996.

Tyson Foster, Professional Art Photographer, Fox Lab Fine Art

Tyson is an expert at capturing the beauty of art through a photographic lens. He has been working in the photographic community for more than 10 years and in that time has been directly involved in the evolution of Perth’s Art Reproduction services. Since creating Fox Lab Fine Art out of the need for a more collaborative approach to art reproduction, publishing and print making, he has been able to offer the artists of Perth and Australia a service that goes above and beyond the way art has been documented and printed in the past. Working with some of Perth’s most distinguished artists has given Fox Lab Fine Art a reputation as Perth’s leading Art Reproduction Studio.

Tyson is continuing to further the way we document and print artwork by introducing new and exciting additions to printing as well as new technology to capture and create the best reproductions possible.

Amanda Bell, Noongar Artist

A striking neon glass sculpture from Badimia and Yued woman Amanda Bell is the emerging artist’s first acquisition into the State Art Collection currently on display at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Titled From our lip, mouths, throat and belly, the bright pink work takes the form of the Noongar word “Moorditj”, which means good or awesome in English.

A sound work accompanying the sculpture plays the voices of Aunty Gloria Hill and Aunty Lola Garlett sharing their stories. The work reflects on the weight of words, and the power of language in connecting with one’s cultural and familial heritage.

From our lip, mouths, throats and belly premiered at Fremantle Arts Centre’s (FAC) 2021 Revealed Exhibition, an annual showcase of Western Australia’s emerging Aboriginal artists. The work has gained iconic status and is an innovative use of neon glass. She is a finalist in the 2022 John Stringer Art Prize.

Shannon Clohessy, Noongar Artist

Shannon grew up between Perth and Busselton. After studying environmental science in  Perth, she moved back down too Busselton, spending her time reconnecting to Country and assisting her family as a Wadandi custodian, She focuses her time working at the int6erface of cultural and contemporary environmental management.

Drawing on her experiences growing up, and the connection she has always had to places along the coast, Shannon’s work is intrinsically linked to family, Country and the salt water. Shannon specialises in glass, acrylics, carved wood, clay and the weaving of natural fibres in her work on Country. She has held recent exhibitions at the Janet Holmes a Court gallery and Fremantle Arts Centres.

On the night she displayed one of her works. Pictured below.