London History Day – Beryl Dean

Beryl Dean is best noted for her ecclesiastical cope, which can be seen in St Paul’s Cathedral. Its a exquisite fabric depicting many of London’s churches around St Paul’s and beyond:

Its a reflection of days gone by, evoking those images painted by Canaletto and others showing the skies of London punctuated by dozens and dozens of church spires. Dean’s work similarly approaches but groups them around St Paul’s, and essentially what London’s been like until perhaps the later part of the 20th Century.

Dean’s amazing work reflects my City Spires and Towers Series. Her spires crowd around a main focal body – the cope itself – which represents the cathedral. In the realism of today as shown in my series, the City’s spires (and St Paul’s too as the protected sightlines get compromised) find themselves crowded by different types of singular large bodies – the skyscrapers – which are taking over London’s skyline completely.

Some other examples of her work:

Beryl Dean’s book on ecclesiastical embroidery was written in 1958:

Beryl Dean website

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