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Karla Whitmore

Heaton, Butler and Bayne’s work in New South Wales can be found in seven locations, four in Sydney and three in the regional towns of Young and Scone and Goulburn’s Anglican Cathedral. In Sydney they are in St Augustine’s Church, Neutral Bay, All Saints Church, Woollahra, St Martin’s Church, Killara and St Andrew’s Cathedral.[1] Although a relatively short list, it includes examples of styles from the 1860s to the early twentieth century plus some interesting local references.

St Augustine’s Church, Neutral Bay has twelve windows installed from 1926 to c.1940. The 1926 windows were reported in the press as far afield as Cairns and Hobart. The majority of the windows follow the firm’s Gothic Revival style with groups of carefully modelled figures whose gestures and flowing robes create a sense of movement, decorative architectural canopies and borders and bright attractive colours. A three-light window in the north transept, Sermon on the Mount, (Fig. 1) has waratahs, Christmas bells and bottlebrush nestled in foliage beneath the figure of Christ. A two-light window on the north wall Christ Preaching from the Boat (Fig. 2) c.1940 recalls the clear colours and linear painting of Robert Bayne’s earlier designs.

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Fig. 1: Sermon on the Mount, St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, Neutral Bay, NSW c.1932     Photograph: Karla Whitmore

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Fig. 2: Christ Preaching from the Boat, St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, Neutral Bay, NSW c.1940     Photograph: Karla Whitmore

Bayne joined Clement Heaton and glazier James Butler in their London studio becoming a partner and their designer of ecclesiastical windows from 1862 producing aesthetically pleasing designs. Three years earlier they shared premises with Clayton & Bell whose designs they executed for a time. Clement Heaton designed secular and heraldic windows and pursued research on techniques of glass making and pigmentation, considerably expanding the range of colours available. The firm increased in size and range to include church decoration, mosaics and tiles and memorial brasses. Its artists trained at art school at the same time as they trained with the firm.[2] It continued into the twentieth century with the involvement of the sons of the founders finally closing in 1953.

First World War memorial windows on the south side at St Augustine’s are of particular interest. The 3-light window at the entrance to the church depicts Christ with figures representing the branches of the armed services and, prominently, a nurse. The significance of the iconography has been discussed in detail in a thesis.[3] Heraldic motifs feature in the tracery and lower band: the State Badge of Western Australia and South Australia, the arms of Victoria and Tasmania, New South Wales, Australia and Queensland[4] and Australian Military Force badges. In the south nave is a memorial to William Charles Jones (Fig. 3) whose death in 1919 the inscription places at Chanak. It includes the arms of New South Wales and Australia and Christmas bells. The style of figures in both windows is similar to those of the firm’s contemporary war memorial windows in English churches.

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Fig. 3: William Charles Jones Memorial, St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, Neutral Bay, NSW 1926     Photograph: Karla Whitmore

St Martin’s Church, Killara has six windows dating from c. 1930-1940, two of which are signed.   In the two-light window, I am the Resurrection and the Life, (Fig. 4) the figure of Christ is again shown in a red robe beneath stylised architectural canopies and the background colours denote early morning. Interestingly, the window based on the Pre-Raphaelite artist’s Holman Hunt’s celebrated painting The Light of the World (Fig. 5) is not dark and atmospheric, places Christ further forward and includes a snake at his feet. The same figure, without the snake, appears in an earlier Heaton, Butler and Bayne window in the Church of St Cadfarch, Penegoes, Wales c.1904.[5]

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Fig. 4: I am the Resurrection and the Life, and detail of Heaton, Butler and Bayne signature, St. Martin’s Anglican Church, Killara, NSW 1935 Photograph: Karla Whitmore

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Fig. 5: The Light of the World, St. Martin’s Anglican Church, Killara NSW 1930s     Photograph: Karla Whitmore

The artistic value of contemporary movements such as the Pre-Raphaelites and Arts and Crafts Movement exemplified by William Morris was acknowledged by the firm and some influence can be seen in their work in Sydney. Although the impressive window of St Martin (Fig. 6) on the west wall at St Martin’s Church is undocumented there are stylistic pointers to its being by Heaton, Butler and Bayne. The life-sized figures of St George, St Martin and St Michael have some of the romantic flourish of Morris & Co. That of St George is seen in some of the firm’s English windows dressed in the same garments and in St Peter’s Church, Glenelg in South Australia.[6] The crown with shimmering stars appears in the Jones window at Neutral Bay and in English windows which have similar foliage and background treatment. The window commemorates Lieutenant Geoffrey Campbell Scarr RAF who was killed in an aircraft accident in England in 1918.  Above the figure of St Martin is the RAF insignia of gold crown and bird with outstretched wings over four feathers. During the Second World War the window was removed and stored for safekeeping.[7]

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Fig. 6: St. Martin, St. George and St. Michael, St. Martin’s Anglican Church, Killara NSW 1922     Photograph: Karla Whitmore

The Women at the Sepulchre (Fig. 7), a 3-light chancel clerestory window nearest the south transept in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, commemorates Michael Metcalfe, businessman and active supporter of the cathedral and church organisations who died in 1890. The window was the gift of Metcalfe’s eight children and the design was selected by one of his daughters during a visit to England.[8] The window is a Pre-Raphaelite style depiction of the Women at the Sepulchre, Mary Magdalene in the central light with the Virgin Mary, Mary Salome to their right and the angel and tomb to their left. Behind the figures is a landscape of hills, trees and three crosses in the distance. The figure of Mary Magdalene also appears in the window by Heaton, Butler & Bayne c.1893 at Christ Church, Chalford in England and the same angel and Mary Magdalene, mirror reversed, are in two lights of their west window at St Mary Magdalene Church, Chewton Medip.[9]  

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Fig. 7: The Women at the Sepulchre, St. Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral, Sydney NSW 1894     Photograph: Karla Whitmore

The window has deep colouring of browns, greens and yellow with white to suggest sunrise.  The figures are expressively drawn with great attention paid to folds of garments which swirl around the bodies. Above the figures are tracery windows containing symbols relating to Metcalfe’s business and religious affiliations: a crossed hammer and pliers indicating industry and honour and a shield with spear and sponge, the instruments of the passion of Christ.  The shield also has the Latin SPQR (the Senate and People of Rome) indicating the Roman state.  Gold crowns are in the two outer tracery windows.

The largest number of windows were made for All Saints Anglican Church, Woollahra, and installed over a long period of time from 1876 to 1926. On their completion one interstate news report suggested that church authorities may be unaware of the capability of local firms when they continue to approach English ones.[10] However, as with St Augustine’s, the idea was to have a uniform set of windows from the same studio which is seen in the city’s cathedrals rather than churches. The scheme of the All Saints’ windows as laid out by the first rector, Canon Mort, was adhered to; the only modification was that one figure was redone by Sydney artist Norman Carter.11[11] Two windows by him were added in the 1930s.

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Fig. 8: Ascension, All Saints Anglican Church, Woollahra NSW 1876   Photograph: Karla Whitmore

The longevity of manufacture is evidenced in some variations of style. The five 3-light chancel windows from 1876, including the central one of the Ascension, (Fig. 8) are brightly coloured as is the south transept window. Twelve 3-light nave windows with sextfoil tracery mostly have saints depicted sedately in more muted colours including Moses, David and Melchizedek (Fig. 9). Some are more animated biblical scenes such as the Martyrdom of St Stephen (Fig. 10) and St Paul Preaching at Athens. Two adjacent windows on the north wall differ again, one in using light bright colouring and decorative rather than architectural canopies above Saints Matthew, Mark and Luke. The other has richer colouring, particularly an undecorated ultramarine background, to frame St John the Baptist. Stylistically, this window may have come from another firm, possibly Mayer of Munich.

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Fig. 9: Moses, David and Melchizedek, All Saints Anglican Church, Woollahra NSW   Photograph: Karla Whitmore

Three narrow lancet windows on the west wall sit below a rose window with strongly defined sandstone tracery. It depicts Christ in Glory above the Angel of Judgement surrounded by archangels. Overglazing was applied to the rose window in 1934 and in 1946 a fire destroyed the roof and two small window panels at the western end, the stained glass otherwise escaping damage.

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Fig. 10: Martyrdom of St. Stephen, All Saints Anglican Church, Woollahra NSW     Photograph: Karla Whitmore

Heaton, Butler and Bayne’s windows in Sydney display their ability to produce attractive, varied and high quality windows over half a century. Also notable amongst their Australian windows during this period are the 7-light east window at St Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulburn in New South Wales (1885) and the Great West Window at St Peter’s Glenelg in South Australia (1913).

[1] Mrs S.B.M. Bayne (1986), Heaton, Butler & Bayne: Un Siecle d’Art du Vitrail, Mrs S.B.M. Bayne, Switzerland.

[2] Advertiser (Adelaide). 2 January 1900, p.5

[3] Susan Kellett, ‘Australia’s Martial Madonna: the army nurse’s commemoration in stained glass windows (1919-1951)’, PhD thesis, the University of Queensland, 2016, p.67-74. www:espace.library.uq.edu.au

[4] Email from Stephen Szabo, Secretary of the Australian Heraldry Society, 12 September 2017.

[5] http://stainedglass.llgc/org/uk/person/188.

[6] Heaton Butler and Bayne photo pool. www/flickr.com/groups.

[7] St Martin’s Church, Killara Record of Church Furnishings, Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society 2003.

[8] Clarence and Richmond Examiner, 17 February 1894, p.7.

[9] Heaton, Butler and Bayne photo pool. www/flickr.com/groups.

[10] The Advertiser (Adelaide), 16 June 1926, p.11.

[11] Watchman, 29 April 1926, p.8.