Keith Barley ACR
I have been conserving stained glass windows for churches and cathedrals across the UK for more than 50 years. Throughout my career, my aim has been to treat stained glass windows as works of art rather than merely objects of antiquity; respecting their imagery, meaning, and above all the intentions of the original artist. I pioneered the use of environmental protective glazing in the UK to preserve vulnerable medieval (and later) windows, an approach which has now been followed by practitioners across the UK and beyond.
I am the Founder, Managing Director and Head Conservator of Barley Studio in York, which is internationally renowned for stained glass conservation, creation and protection. I was awarded the MBE in in 2015 ‘for service to cultural restoration and conservation’, in particular for my work at St Mary’s Church, Fairford, which also formed the subject of my MA by Research awarded by the University of York in 2017.
I was honoured to be the Master of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass for 2017-18, one of the few practising glaziers to hold this position. I am an ICON accredited conservator (ACR), conservation adviser to the UK Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA), external assessor for the Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC), Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters (FMGP) and of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (CF).
I have acted as consultant for churches, cathedrals and museums throughout the UK and beyond, including Ely Cathedral, Lichfield Cathedral, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, and the Cathedral of Sienna. I have published widely on the conservation and protection of stained glass.
We discussed at length the philosophical approach to all aspects of proposed conservation so as to retain not only the glass, but as much of the lead work as possible…. The result of all this care and analysis is a scholarly exemplar of conservation work that deserves significant recognition.
Robert KilgourCathedral Architect for Lichfield Cathedral
I have really valued the expertise and advice of Barley Studio, and look forward to working with them on future projects. I often recommend them as the preferred specialist for historic glazing repair.
Christopher Cotton, PurcellCathedral Architect for Durham Cathedral
We were very pleased with all aspects of Barley Studio's work ... representatives made significant efforts with the church officers to explain to them the conservation process, and went as far as inviting members of the church congregation to their workshops to see work in progress. The quality of the work was absolutely superb.
Kevin AtkinsonChurchwarden, St Lawrence's Church York
The restoration of the window has been hugely impressive. We were amazed at the skill and dedication of the whole team - the finished window is a testament to the restorers’ craftsmanship.
Vice-ChairPCC of Stow Minster, Lincolnshire
MA by Research, History of Art, University of York My thesis " 'Man in a Red Hat': St Mary’s Church, Fairford, the creation of a remarkable late medieval glazing scheme" presents insights gathered during my twenty-five year campaign of conservation and restoration at Barley Studio. The first part covers the materials and techniques used by the glaziers, while the second part covers a speculative proposal that Michel Sittow (c. 1469 – 1525) was the primary designer of the scheme.
Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship European tour studying protective glazing systems, with emphasis on 'isothermal' systems for environmental protection of stained glass.
First Apprentice at the newly formed York Glaziers Trust.
Founder and Managing Director of Barley Studios Limited, York.