This installment of the occasional images of stained glass I post, mainly (but not exclusively) from Tipperary, has a little more detail than usual. The last Tipperary post I made was on the unexpected delight of discovering the stained class in the Church of the Visitation in Cloneen. Today I made another delightfully unexpected discovery. I took some shots of the stained glass in the Chapel of St Anthony in the Franciscan Abbey, Clonmel. In the corner of the one of the panels was the following:
This allowed me to find out the glass was made by Murphy Devitt studios. From that page:
In the early 1950s at Harry Clarke Studios, Dublin, John (Johnny) Murphy and John (Des) Devitt first met. By 1958 Johnny and Des along with Johnny’s wife Róisín Dowd Murphy decided to strike out alone and immediately started to create some of the most stunning stained glass ever seen in Ireland and beyond. It was a relationship that lasted almost fifty years, most notably in the form of Murphy/DevittStudios Limited from 1969-1990. In 2006, shortly after the passing of Des Devitt, Johnny was quoted as saying “we only ever wanted to create the best work we possibly could and we were happy that we did”. Within 2006 Des, Johnny and Róisín all passed away but their legacy of literally hundreds, quite possibly thousands, of the most avant-garde, radical and truly beautiful stained glass windows live on in the churches, public buildings and homes of Ireland and beyond.
And so to the present day. Reiltín Murphy and Anthony Devitt are delighted to bring you this website dedicated to the work of these wonderful characters and talents. As we build the site we look forward to crediting every person who worked with the Murphy/Devitt partnership over the years. We welcome all contact from anyone with any information or stories you would like to share with us. Please click on the Contact tab above to get in touch.
The ultimate aim of our project is to provide a comprehensive catalogue and history of this incredible, life-long, partnership which continues to this day between the Murphy and Devitt families. Reiltín is immersed in hundreds of original cartoons and drawings and chasing down locations while Anthony is sifting through documentation, slides and photographs. If you have any information please DO contact us and don’t assume we know as we are finding out new things every day.
There is also a wonderful gallery of some Murphy Devitt work on the homepage of John Murphy’s daughter, Reiltín.
So, even more so than usual, it is with some embarrassment that I post my not very well taken photos of the beautiful work made by the Murphy Devitt studio. These wonderful pieces were created by artists whose techniques and approaches I know very little about. And my smartphone camera skills are probably adequate for family shots, but not to do this work justice. But here goes…: