Ad Code: 4
Royal Air Force, stained glass, 71" x 20"
Courtesy of Mountainside United Church, Montreal, Quebec
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Charles William Kelsey was a designer of stained glass windows,
painter, muralist, graphic artist and illustrator. He was born in
London, England and died in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He emigrated to
New York City in 1911 and lived and worked there until returning to
England in 1919. He emigrated to Montreal in 1922 where he lived
and worked for the rest of his life (1). |
His mediums included
oil, watercolor and most famously stained glass windows. His
stained glass designs were all commissions many having to do with,
memorials for soldiers in World War I and II, religion, allegory*,
symbolism* and history. They can be found in churches, public
buildings and homes in Canada, England, Australia, Belize and the
United States. It is estimated he designed over 300 windows in
His art education includes studies at Camden School of
Art, London (1896 - 1903) and apprenticeship with several firms in
England. He also taught drawing and gave lectures in Canada and
the United States.
He exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy
of Arts* (1922 - 1947), the Canadian Society of Graphic Art* (1924 -
1927) and the Art Association of Montreal (2) (1923 to 1941 and 1943 to
The McCord Museum of Canadian History, Montreal is the
home of his archives. A master’s thesis done by Shirley May Baird
titled “The Stained Glass War Memorial Windows of Charles William
Kelsey” (1994) also includes a comprehensive study of his life and work
based on interviews with his daughter and family archives. It is
on file at Concordia University, Montreal available in PDF at -
Since Charles Kelsey was primarily a stained glass artist, photo examples of works in museums are non existent. The photo on his AskART summary page one was taken off the site of the Mountainside United Church site (formerly the The Erskine and American Church, Montreal, Quebec). The site documents 41 windows of the church, 11 done by Kelsey, 23 by Tiffany and the rest by others. They appear to be also recorded by the Metropolitan Museum, NYC. The one attached is the best image of a Kelsey window and illustrates the discussion in the biography.
He returned to New York to work from 1925 to 1926 and from 1939 to 1940
however his family remained in their Montreal home. Source: Shirley May
Baird (see above noted thesis).
(2) The AAM became the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1948.
For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see
and contributed by M.D.Silverbrooke with research assistance by Cheryl
Siegel - Librarian, Vancouver Art Gallery.
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|