The following historical tabloid transcriptions contain a wealth of clues for my research on Ferguson & Urie stained glass.
In 1867 James Urie has traveled to Tasmania on the quest to further the company’s interests. By all accounts it would seem that his business acumen was extremely successful and there have been quite a few tabloid articles written which trace his movements. For many years after his venture to Tasmania the company would receive commissions from all over the state.
Each of the obscure clues in the following articles has been researched in great depth and links to other detailed posts on the windows mentioned have been included.
The Mercury, Hobart Tasmania, Wednesday 7th August 1867, page 2.
“DECORATIVE ART – The admirers of art workmanship will be glad to hear that there has for the last couple of weeks been sojourning in Tasmania, a partner of the Victorian firm of Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon, to whom many ecclesiastical and private edifices in this and the neighboring colonies are indebted for some of the finest specimens of pictorial decoration on glass, of which they have yet become the possessors. The objects of the visit have been to fulfil some orders previously given and to obtain others, and it is satisfactory to know that in the latter design the gentleman referred to, Mr. Urie, has not been unsuccessful. The name of the firm of which Mr. Urie is a member will be familiar to all visitors to the late Intercolonial Exhibition in Melbourne, in which a court furnished by them to illustrate the ornamentation of churches constituted a very interesting and pleasing feature. Mr. Urie has brought with him a portfolio of designs prepared in his establishment for the embellishment of ecclesiastical windows, and inspection of which is quite sufficient to establish the claim of the house he represents to consideration at the hands of all persons of cultivated taste, who may have made this branch of the art a subject of special study. The appropriateness with which the conventional religious symbols of the ancient church are introduced, the fidelity with which scriptural incidents are treated, and the beauty of the drawing and colouring combine to render the collection at once suggestive to the mind, and pleasing to the eye; and a familiarity with it, on the part of the rising generation of Tasmanians, would do much towards engendering and fostering a healthy appreciation of one of the highest forms of art workmanship amongst the community. The decorations already supplied by Messrs. Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon to churches in Tasmania, include a stained window erected in St Luke’s Church, Launceston, and another which has been placed in the Episcopalian Church, New Norfolk. The former contains a representation of the “Ascension,” supplemented by groups of the apostles, the entire constituting a most ornate adjunct of the building, and being completed at a cost of £130. The latter has been contributed by Dr. Moor as a memorial of gratitude for his preservation from shipwreck in the City of Launceston, steamer. The central group of figures in the latter represents the baptism of Christ. In addition to these the firm are in receipt of commissions from John Foster, Esq, for a memorial window to be placed in All Saints’ church, Hobart Town, remembrance of the donor’s deceased son, and from A. Kennerley Esq, for other decorated windows for the same church. They have also executed commissions for hall and staircase windows, some of them of highly artistic design, for R. Q. Kermode Esq, of Mona Vale, which afford evidence of the attention paid by them to the profane as well as to the religious style of decoration in the branch of pictorial art to which they devote themselves.”
“A Tasmanian paper thus refers to the success of an enterprising Melbourne firm: -“Mr Urie, of the firm of Ferguson, Urie and Lyon, of Melbourne, who, it will be remembered, designed and executed one of the stained-glass decorations in St. John’s Church, is now visiting Hobart Town, having fitted up a window in the Episcopalian Church, New Norfolk, which has been contributed by Dr Moore as a memorial of gratitude for his preservation from shipwreck in the City of Launceston steamer. The central group of figures represents the baptism of Christ. In addition to these the firm are in receipt of commissions from John Foster, Esq., for a memorial window to be placed in All Saints’ Church, Hobart Town, in remembrance of the donor’s deceased son, and from. A. Kennerley, Esq., for other decorated windows for the same church. They have also executed commissions for hall and staircase windows, some of them of highly artistic design, for R. Q. Kermode, Esq, of Mona Vale.”
All the windows mentioned in the historical articles are extant:
1. St John’s window Launceston (incorrectly mentioned as St Luke’s in the first article).
2. The Episcopalian Church, New Norfolk, is St Matthews and has the Moore window.
3. The Foster memorial window at All Saints Anglican Hobart.
4. The A. Kennerley windows are in the ‘Kennerley’ aisle in All Saints.
5. The Kermode window at Mona Vale is extant but only copyright photos exist.
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