“Creation worships the lamb” - newly conserved panel on display in The Orb at York Minster
A new treat awaits visitors to York this December, as The Orb – York Minster’s domed stained glass gallery – displays a medieval masterpiece, the newly conserved “Creation Worships the Lamb”.
On public display from Monday 3 December, the work of art is the second of 36 that will be displayed as ‘Panel of the Month’ in The Orb, giving visitors a chance to see conserved works from the Great East Windows at close range for the first time in 600 years. In an intricately designed scene from Revelation Chapter 5, all creatures on earth kneel to worship, although the subject of their worship is revealed in another panel.
“This panel highlights the amazing skill of the artisans at York Glaziers’ Trust as they work on the Great East Window. It had been repaired several times over the centuries, each time incorporating more lead which covered and obscured the beautifully-painted glass,” comments Mark Hosea, project director of the York Minster Revealed restoration and conservation project. “The panel also illustrates the mastery of the original artists; for example, five distinct, recognisable species of fish appear at the bottom of the panel, which gives us an idea of the care and research that went into the creation of the window by medieval designer John Thornton and his team of glaziers.”
When all the conserved panels are returned to the Great East Window, this and all the other panels in the same row - will be in a slightly different place, one position to the left. This is because when the glass was removed to safeguard it from bombing during the Second World War, it was put back in the wrong place!
“As we head into mid-winter, this is a wonderful time to come and visit York Minster – and our Orb looks particularly dramatic as it becomes dark outside, and the projections onto its metallic surface become more obvious,” says visitor operations manager, Michael Constantine. “Spending an afternoon in York Minster, looking round The Orb towards the end of the afternoon and then staying for the beautifully-sung Evensong has to be the ideal antidote to the frenetic rush of Christmas shopping. And as one of our visitors commented, The Orb looks like the biggest Christmas bauble you’ll have ever seen!”
The Orb, and the new interactive galleries in York Minster’s East End, are just one part of the York Minster Revealed project, which will see all the Apocalypse panels from the Great East Window – the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in Europe – conserved, restoration of the stonework of the East Front, the construction of a new Piazza by the South Door, and the creation of a new visitor experience in the underground chambers beneath York Minster, set to open in late Spring 2013. The project has been generously supported by a £10.5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
York Minster is open daily. Admission prices are £9.00 for adults and £8.00 for concessions, with children admitted free of charge. The ticket is valid for a full year, enabling visitors to return to see the new panels each month.
For more information, please visit www.yorkminster.org
About York Minster Revealed
The York Minster Revealed project is a five-year project scheduled for completion in early summer 2016. It is the largest restoration and conservation project of its kind in the UK. The cost of the whole York Minster Revealed Project is £20 million, of which £10.5 million has been generously supported with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The remainder of the funding has been raised by York Minster.
State-of-the-art multi-media galleries, new displays of historic collections and interactive interpretations will create new learning opportunities for all ages. Also improved access to and from the South Transept, Undercroft, Treasury and Crypt will totally transform the experience of visiting York Minster.
The most recent part of York Minster Revealed was launched to the public in October 2012 and includes the contemporary elliptical stained-glass orb and interactive galleries in the East End of the Minster. Allowing visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see, at close range, some of the magnificently restored panels of the Great East Window, England’s artistic equivalent to the Sistine Chapel.
Coming soon in Spring 2013 will be the opening of the Undercroft; visitors can take an inspirational journey into the underground chambers of the vast Undercroft and Treasury, revealing York Minster’s past, present and future. Dynamic, new interactive displays will reveal the significance behind York Minster’s most treasured artefacts as never before, in fascinating two thousand-year journey.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 33,000 projects with more than £5 billion across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk .
For further media information, please contact:
Jay Commins – PRO (Special projects) for York Minster
Tel: 01904 500698
Mob: 07810 546567