Archive Research: John Piper

The new volume of Wiltshire Studies (WAM) includes an article researched and co-authored by Dr Andrew Plant and myself. I first met Andrew when we were working at the Britten-Pears Foundation in Aldeburgh. He was Curator of Art, and we connected over our appreciation of the artist John Piper, whose works featured in the BPF collection.

Whilst undertaking the position of Archivist and Librarian at Wiltshire Museum (Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society headquarters) in Devizes, I discovered the little-known collection of Piper correspondence in the archive. More significantly of course, the Museum has its very own John Piper window and cartoon design.

Wiltshire Museum, Devizes

The Piper archive, which consists largely of correspondence between Piper, Bonar Sykes (WANHS President) and Patrick Reyntiens (Piper’s glass-maker), documents the commissioning, design, realisation and installation of the Piper window in the 1970s and 1980s. Our article brings these processes to light for the first time.

Piper Window. Photograph Copyright Wiltshire Museum

Thanks to Jo Hutchings for her excellent photography.

Plant A., Pridgeon, E., ‘Archaeological Chess: John Piper and the Wiltshire Museum Window’, Wiltshire Studies, Vol. 107, 2014.


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