Author Archives: hughessg

BROOKS, Edward

b. 1809, Hampshire UK d. 28 May 1874, Mount Barker SA.

Edward Brooks arrived in South Australia on 22 March 1839, having completed his apprenticeship as a painter and glazier with his uncle, John Beare of New Sarum, and probably to join another uncle, Thomas Hudson Beare already living in Adelaide.

He immediately gained employment as a painter and glazier but also provided leadlight windows for clients.  He appears to have entered business on his own behalf around 1851 when he advertised his Oil, Colour, Glass and Paint Warehouse in Rundle Street, and Kermode Street, North Adelaide in the South Australian Register.  He touted his experience in ‘the three oldest shops in the mother-country, conducted by his relatives’ and expressed a wish ‘to give entire satisfaction in all work entrusted to his care, having determined to execute all work in pure English style’.

In 1855 he executed a single-light window, Faith, Hope and Charity, for Mr. F.T. Dutton, as a memorial to his late wife, which was erected in Christ Church Anglican, North Adelaide.  The window was made up largely of gilded text and was replced in 1901 by a figurative window, Justice and Charity, designed and made by James Powell & Sons in London, a memorial to Mr. and Mrs. Dutton.

The majority of Edward Brooks windows appear to be relatively simple leadlights or zinc lights that were in keeping with the modest buildings of that time and, as was the case at Christ Church, many of his windows have been replaced with figurative stained glass as donors and funds allowed.  However, extant examples can be seen in churches at Robe, Burra, Gawler, Moonta as well as inner city Adelaide.  A series of windows dedicated to his uncle, Thomas Hudson Bearre, was installed at Yankalilla in 1861 and St. John’s at Salisbury contains nine windows by Brooks.

It seems that it was not all plain sailing for Brooks as he appeared in the Insolvency Courts in 1852 and did not appear to declare a final dividend until 23 May 1954.  Apparently he continued to trade, as in 1853 he took an employee, Frederick Sutch, to court for embezzling monies ‘from his master’ in January and February of that year.  The man pleaded guilty of theft of 36 shillings and 18 shillings on two separate occasions, which resulted in a prison sentence of six months.

Brooks lived at Kermode Street, North Adelaide with his wife Rachel (d.1900) and had two sons, Charles Henry and William Hudson.   Brooks died unexpectedly while supervising the installation of windows at the Mount Barker Catholic Church; William continued the business for some time after his father’s death.  It seems that William generally maintained the 1860s style and techniques of his father and was responsible for glazing the windows at the Stirling Catholic Church in 1883.


Donovan and Donovan, 150 Years of Stained & Painred Glass, pp.32-33

South Australian Register, 1850-1901

Last updated 18/02/12




Active 1941

Few details are known about F.G. Anderson and the editor would be pleased to receive information that could be added to this entry.

F.G. Anderson was a resident of Essendon when he designed a window as a memorial to his mother, Mrs. L. J. Anderson, which was installed in the Forrest Street Methodist Church, Bendigo. She had been an active church worker and teacher in the Sunday school. The window was unveiled and dedicated by the Rev. T.H. Indian on Sunday 15 June 1941.

Reference: The Argus, 16 June 1941, p.2.

Last updated13/02/12


AKERBLOM, Peter (Lennart Per-olof)

b. 1950, Lysekil Sweden

Immigrated with his father, Per Ivar Akerblom, to Australia post-Second World War.  Arrived at Maribyrnong Migrant Hostel in Melbourne on a Sunday and used the local ‘Pink Pages’ telephone directory to find suitable employment.  He began working at E.L. Yencken & Co. immediately, watching the experienced hands at first, before moving to cutting blocks of glass – 66 sheets in a block.  His father worked for the window manufacturer, Stegbar and later Peter joined him there, cutting glass for house lots.

Akerblom started making leadlight windows in his spare time and Akerblom Snr. opened Leadlight and Art at North Road, Ormond where both men worked before Akerblom Snr. founded Armadale Stained Glass with Bruce Jones in 1974, then based in High Street, Armadale.  Akerblom Snr. retired and Norman Beilby joined the firm.  Akerblom, Beilby and Jones worked together for eight or nine years.

Akerblom ‘retired’ in 1986 and was working as a builder when he answered an advertisement for a leadlight craftsman at Caulfield Leadlight.   He entered a short-term partnership with Warren Scanlan which lasted for the next 15 years, until Warren retired.  The firm became Caulfield Leadlight Pty. Ltd. in 2002 and continues to operate under this name, although it is now based in the Berwick/Narre Warren area of Melbourne.

Last updated 10/o2/09


BEH19 Jan 2011

DANCEY, George Henry

Cartoon for St. Mary's Catholic Church, Kyneton by George Henry Dancey c.1910

b. 1865 [U.K.] d. 1922 Melbourne, Vic.

George Henry Dancey was cartoonist, mural and stained glass designer, apprenticed to a leading London ecclesiatical designers, Clayton & Bell from the age of 13.  He is rumoured to have worked on the windows for St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Melbourne, before leaving London for the colony due to ill-health, arriving in 1891. By 1894 he was employed as a political cartoonist at the Melbourne Punch, and chief cartoonist from 1998, a position he held (except for further periods of ill-health) until 1919.  His skillful comments on the issues of the moment show his wit was equal to his artistic talents, with notable examples during the First World War.  In 1916 he and Charles Nuttall held a major exhibition of their cartoons which travelled to London after a successful showing in Melbourne.

He was able to utilise his extensive skills as a artist and cartoon maker for windows and murals at Brooks, Robinson & Co., Melbourne, probably on a freelance basis.  His most successful collaboration was with Brooks, Robinson’s resident stained glass artist, William Wheildon (1873-1941) who joined the firm in 1905 and became his close colleague and friend; Wheildon preparing the initial scale drawing and Dancey making the full-sized cartoon.  They produced many of the firm’s most successful windows of the early twentieth century.

Dancey’s cartoons were so prized by the firm that they were stored carefully and re-used on numerous occasions until the 1960s when the firm closed.  His cartoons reveal his obsession with drapery, believed to have been ignited by the Classical style of Sir Frederick Layton RA.  Among his most successful cartoons was the Light of the World, his ‘Leighton-like’ draping of Christ’s robe distinctly different from Holman Hunt’s original that was Brooks, Robinson’s most popular subject of the first half of the twentieth century.  It was only surpassed in the latter years of the firm by Dancey’s Good Shepherd.

Dancey’s designs for stained glass and murals usually appeared under the name of Brooks, Robinson & Co. however, his signature did appear on some of his murals, including the Hector Algenon Tause memorial (1916) at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, Mentone (Vic.) and St. Michael Honour Roll at Christ Church Anglican, St. Kilda (Vic.) (1921).  A few of his beautifully drawn cartoons survive in private collections.

He was an exhibiting member of the Victorian Artists’ Society c.1901-1910; Councillor VAS 1905.

Major Works:

Reaper and Sower, St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Woodend, Vic.

The Life of Christ, Our Lady of the Rosary, Kyneton, Vic. 1911

St. George, Christ Church, Murchison, Vic. 1915

Transfiguration of Christ, St. John’s Anglican Church, Toorak Vic. 1921


McCulloch, The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, 3rd ed. 1994, p.22; Fred John’s Annual of 1914; Age, 26 December 1922; Argus, 26 December 1922; Australian, 30 December 1922; Joan Kerr, ‘George Henry Dancey’,


BURNS, Vic (Victor Edward)

b. 1924 Richmond Vic.

It was not until 1980 that Vic Burns became a student of Klaus Zimmer’s at Caulfield Institute of Technology. His first commission was eight stained glass windows for a (unamed) Thornbury church which began a 26-year career making 123 windows for 32 churches, chapels and schools. He has always worked in a home-based studio without assistants using leadlight, stained glass and dalle de verre methods of construction.

In 1986 Burns designed a stained glass window of ‘The Nativity at Uluru’ to be the cover of The Advocate Press. It received the Religious Press Association award for the Most Original Design of 1986.

Major Works:

Portrait of Graham Arthur (Capt. 1961), Hawthorn Football Club, Waverley, Vic. 1990

Christ Child with the Elders in the Temple, St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Camberwell, Vic. 1993

Christ; Madonna (dalle de verre), Jesuit College Chapel, Kew, Vic. 1993

Mary McKillop and Caroline Chisholm; Portrait of Rev. Fr. Pedro Arrupe, St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Richmond, Vic. 1994, 1996

41 dalle de verre windows, St. Peter’s Chanel Catholic Church, Deer Park, Vic. 1997-2006

Christ’s Supper at Emmaus, St. Columb’s Anglican Church, Hawthorn, Vic. 2000

Stained glass window, Kilbreda College, Mentone, Vic. 2002

A Missionary Journey, Convent, Highgate, Perth, WA. 2002

Single dalle de verre window, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Malvern, Vic. 2006

Current studio:

Retired in 2008

Last updated 10/9/2009


LE CORNU, Leonie

Nee: Piper; Matthews

b. 1954 Broken Hill, NSW

Attended Art School Wollongong Technical College, 1971.

Employed at Victorian Leadlight Magic Studio in 1992 as artist and maker of domestic and ecclesiastical stained glass. From 1993 to 2000 she ran Leonie Matthews Stained Glass, Wodonga, Vic. and has been in Sydney since 2000.

Major Works:

The Resurrection and six altar windows, Christ Church, Tallangatta, Vic. 1994

Jasper Memorial window (St. Cecelia), St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Rutherglen, Vic. 1995

Entire church, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Albury, NSW. 1995-2001

Kiln-formed tiles with inclusions, Border Medical Imaging (reception desk), Albury, NSW. 1996

Lieschke Family Memorial windows, St. Barnabas’ Anglican Church, Henty, NSW. 1996-7

Habermann Memorial windows (Jesus and Child); Wenke Memorial windows (Angel), Zion Lutheran Church, Walla Walla, NSW. 1997, 1998

Mary McKillop window, St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Nurmurkah, Vic. 1998

Voyage of St. Brendan, St. Brendan’s Primary School Library, Shepparton, Vic. 1999

Jesus and the Children, St. John’s Anglican Church, Corowa, NSW. 2002

Stephenson and Davey Memorial windows, St. John the Baptist Anglican Church, Lennox Head, NSW. 2003

Current studio:

Leonie Le Cornu Stained Glass

141 Kingsway Cronulla NSW 2230



Last updated 18/1/09


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