Francis Howard Spear ARCA, FRSA (1902-1979) and his work are beginning to be recognised for the beauty and innovative qualities.
His place of work was mainly Edgware in London and Reigate in Surrey, with his early glass being created at the Glass House, a purpose-built studio in Fulham run by Mary Lowndes and Alfred John Drury. He taught lithography and stained glass at the Royal College of Art, where he had also been a pupil under Martin Travers, and was recognised as a leading lithographer during the inter-war years, with several of his lithographs being held by the Devenish Collection.
There are examples of his stained glass in some very prestigious places, reflecting the respect in which he was held as an artist-craftsman. Amongst others:
- His 1958 work The Creation fills the four panels of the west window of Glasgow Cathedral.
- Three panels from 1954 are now installed in All Saints, Gobowen, Shropshire, having been brought from a redundant church in the London area.
- Three panels from 1959 are in St John the Baptist, Eton Wick, Buckinghamshire
- Two panels from 1950 are in St Mary, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire
- Three panels (The Conversion of St Paul, St Agatha, and St Faith) in the Christchurch Nurses Memorial Chapel, New Zealand have been atrributed to him.
- A single panel in eight sections representing St John the Baptist, made in 1938 for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society show, was designed by Spear and made by John Barker and was given by Spear in 1979 to the Victoria and Albert Museum where it is presently stored.
- And, of course, the three windows on the theme of Easter Morning which were installed in the then St Ninian's Presbyterian Church (now Wilbraham St Ninian's United Reformed Church) during its construction between 1949 and 1951.
A book by Alan Brooks about Francis Spear was published in June 2012 and is available from from the author directly.