Turner Memorial Lecture
Thursday 12th November 2015
article posted 30 Nov 2015
On Thursday 12th November 2015 the 18th Turner Memorial Lecture was presented by Dr Charles Hajdamach. 2015 is the centenary of the founding of a department of Glass Technology at the University of Sheffield by Prof Turner and the Lecture was the first of a series of events celebrating both the Department and the Society of Glass Technology created in 1916. The subject: "British Glass Designers & Artists, The Genius Years 1875-1939" was chosen to overlap with the years in which Professor Turner himself was most active. The newly constructed Diamond Building at the University of Sheffield was a fitting venue.
The evening began with a reception in the Turner Museum of Glass. This was attended by around 40 people, several of whom had contributed to the move of the Turner Museum from its first home in Elmfield to the Hadfield building in 1993. The latest changes made in 2014 were well received.
The group then moved on to the Diamond Building and were joined by many more to give a total attendance approaching 100 people. Dr Hajdamach spoke in depth and with great enthusiasm of the many inventive and imaginative designers that pursued their trade in the chosen period. For example we were first introduced to John Northwood and his creation of a copy of the Portland Vase. We went on to see examples of cameo ware with up to 5 different coloured layers that now sell for fabulous sums. Dr Hajdamach concluded the evening by extolling the design skills of Helen Munro Turner, Prof Turner?s second wife, whose glass fibre wedding dress is still on display in the Museum. She both taught in Edinburgh and also worked for Edinburgh Crystal. In between Dr Hajdamach mentioned his passion for collecting Pyrex Cooking Ware and his attempts to hide this predilection from his wife. He talked about Fred Carder of the UK and later Steuben Glass in the USA. Carder was much admired by Prof Turner, each having a similar tenacity in problem solving on the journey to perfection. Dr Hajdamach used an excellent set of slides to illustrate the work of these and also many more designers.
Among those attending were Prof N Hyatt, the head of the current department of Materials Science and Engineering and now responsible for the Glass interests in the University. Joe Scarborough, a well-known local artist, also joined the celebration.
The President of the Society of Glass Technology, Prof Russell Hand, another member of the Materials department, gave a vote of thanks to Dr Hajdamach after the lecture and handed over a token of our appreciation. At the small post-lecture dinner, Dr Bill Brookes, an alumnus of the department, proposed a toast to the department celebrating its 100 years of teaching glass technology.
We were also delighted to welcome 3 members of the Turner family, two grandchildren and one spouse. Four more members sent their apologies.