Murphy-Devitt Studios produced a lot of work over nearly sixty years during which they worked under that name between 1958-1978 and as a looser arrangement between 1955 and 2004.
Artist John Murphy joined the Harry Clarke Studios c. 1952 and soon married the painter Roísín Dowd whom he had known from their Dublin Art College days. Johnny Murphy had met the Harry Clarke Studios master craftsman John A (Des) Devitt and in 1955 they decided to strike out on their own taking two of their friends from the Harry Clarke Studios with them. Johnny and Des, with Roisin Dowd Murphy, Paddy McLoughlin and Micky Watson, set about doing something entirely new and different in stained glass in Ireland, bringing with them their art training, their modern aesthetic sensibilities, and their deep knowledge of and commitment to their craft. Des Devitt had a couple of years of Art College training but his genius lay in management - he pitched for business, kept the budget under control, delivered work on time and ran the Studio. The early 1960s brought a huge church building boom and the small Murphy-Devitt Studios was extremely busy making windows for Ireland and abroad. Johnny was the main designer, hugely respected by Róisín, Des and anyone he worked with. His was the overall vision for a whole scheme for a church or for a one-off window - this gave Johnny the opportunity to excel at what he did best; to devise an overall vision for a large number of lights, sometimes including clerestory windows and walls of glass, all contained within a contemporary space. Johnny taught stained glass at the National College of Art and routinely invited his best students to work for the Studios in the summer. The first Murphy-Devitt Studios window that we are aware of is in Wah, Pakistan and dates to 1955 - their final window is in St. Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast and dates to almost sixty years later; by then, the Studios had long been dissolved, but Johnny and Róisín continued to work with Des under a loose arrangement covered by ‘J A Devitt and Associates.’ Johnny, Róisín and Des all died in 2006.
Dr. David Caron’s article “Stained Glass: Book of Revelation” in The Irish Arts Review of Summer 2019.
The forthcoming “Gazetteer of Irish Stained Glass” by Dr. David Caron.
A full list of windows is at the end of this page.
The images below are:-
St. Ita from the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St. Senan, 1963, Kilkee, Co. Clare.
Abstracts from the Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven, 1976, Doonbeg, Co. Clare.
St. Peter from the Church of the Sacred Heart, 1963, Rath, Co. Cork.
St. Brendan from the Church of Our Lady & St. Brendan, 1970, Tralee, Co. Kerry.
Nativity from the church of Church of Our Lady Crowned, 1962, Mayfield, Cork.
Sowing & Reaping from the Presbyterian Church, 1956, Malahide, Co. Dublin.
Abstracts from the St. Anthony Chapel, 1958, Franciscan Church, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Holy Family from the Church of St. Joseph, 1961, Carras, Co. Mayo.
Madonna & Child from the chapel, 1963, Ballinafad House, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo.
LIST OF STAINED GLASS
Antrim, Belfast, St. Peter’s Cathedral, 2004
Antrim, Cushendall, St. Mary’s Church, 1958
Antrim, Glengormley, St. Bernard’s Church, 2003
Armagh, Lurgan, St. Paul’s Church, 1966
Carlow, Tullow, Parish Church, c1962
Clare, Doonbeg, Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven, 1976
Clare, Ennis, Franciscan Friary,1967
Clare, Kilkee, Church of the Immaculate Conception and St. Senan, 1963
Clare, Knockerra, St. Senan’s Church, 1961
Clare, Labasheeda, St. Kieran’s Church, 1976
Clare, Lisdeen, Church of St Flannan, 1963/2011
Clare, Lisseycasey, Church of Our Lady of the Wayside, 1979
Clare, Monmore Church, 1960
Clare, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 1971
Clare, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Carrigoran House, Sisters of Charity, 1974
Cork, Ballyhooly, Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1969
Cork, Blackrock, St. Michael’s Church, 1964
Cork, Caheragh, Church of the Holy Family, 1963
Cork, Holy Trinity Church,1968
Cork, Crosshaven, Presentation Convent Chapel,1974
Cork, Lowerton, Church of the Seven Sacraments, 1967
Cork, Mallow, Church of the Resurrection, 1967 & 1989
Cork, Mayfield, Church of Our Lady Crowned, 1962
Cork, Rath, Church of the Sacred Heart, 1963
Cork, Rochestown, Capuchan Friary, 1961
Derry, Coleraine, Causeway Hospital Chapel, 2001
Donegal, Creeslough, Ards Friary, 1966
Dublin, Ashling Hotel, 1968
Dublin, Ballyroan, Church of the Holy Spirit, 1967
Dublin, Dalkey, Our Lady’s Manor, 1965
Dublin, Donneycarney, Church of Our Lady of Consolation, 1968
Dublin, Drumcondra, Corpus Christi Church, 1991
Dublin, Dunlaoghaire, St. Michael’s Church, 1973
Dublin, Greenhills, Church of the Holy Spirit, 1969
Dublin, Malahide, Presbyterian Church, 1956
Dublin, Parnell Road, Christian Brothers, c1968
Dublin, Rathmines, St. Louis High School, 1963/4
Dublin, St Declan’s School, 1959
Galway, Dunmore, Church of Our Lady & St. Nicholas, 1967
Galway, Tuam, Bon Secours, 1962
Galway, Galway Cathedral, 1964 & c1995
Galway, Presentation Road, St. Joseph’s Church, c1960
Kerry, Ardfert, St. Brendan’s Church, 1978
Kerry, Killarney Cathedral, 1972
Kerry, Tralee, Bon Secours Hospital Chapel, 1963
Kerry, Tralee, Church of Our Lady & St. Brendan, 1970
Kildare, Cooleragh, Church of Christ The King, 1963
Kildare, Curragh Camp, St. Brigid’s Church, 1959
Kildare, Newbridge, Patrician Monastery, 1963
Kildare, Newbridge College Chapel, 1966
Kilkenny, Villa Maria, Mercy Convent Chapel, 1984
Laois, Portarlington, Mount St. Anne’s Retreat Centre, 1964/5
Laois, Mountmellick, Presentation Convent, 1958
Limerick, Castleconnell, Castle Oaks Hotel formerly Presentation convent, c1960
Limerick, Dominican, Blessed Martin Chapel, 1959 & c1980
Limerick, Our Lady Perpetual Succour, Redemptorist Retreat House, 1960 (gone)
Limerick, Our Lady of the Rosary, 1979
Limerick, Dominican Oratory, 1980
Limerick, Lisnagry, St. Vincent’s Centre, 1969
Limerick, Milford, Our Lady Help of Christians, 1981
Longford, Ardagh, St. Brigid’s Church, 1977
Mayo, Ballinrobe, Ballinafad House, 1963
Mayo, Carras, St. Joseph’s Church, 1961
Mayo, Roundfort Church, 1960
Meath, Carnaross, St. Kieran’s Chuch, c1956
Meath, Kilberry, Church of St. John The Baptist, 1964
Nigeria, Emekuku, Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 1966
Nigeria, Mokola, Church of St. Gabriel, 1971
Nigeria, Ogoja, St. Benedict’s Cathedral, 1957
Pakistan, Wah, Presentation Convent Chapel, 1955
Sligo, Holy Cross Priory, 1973 (gone)
Tipperary, Borrisokane, Church Ss Peter & Paul, 1974
Tipperary, Cahir, St Mary’s Church, 1969
Tipperary, Cashel, Chez Hans Restaurant, 1968
Tipperary, Clonmel, Church of Ss Peter & Paul, 1956
Tipperary, Clonmel, Kickham Barracks, 1956
Tipperary, Clonmel, Franciscan Church & St. Anthony Chapel, 1958
Tipperary, Killenaule, St. Mary’s Church, c1970
Tipperary, Newtown, Yaughelarra, Church of the Holy Spirit, 1970
Tyrone, Ackinduff, St. Joseph’s Church, 1960
UK, Kent, Farnborough, Church of St. Michael & All Angels, 1964
UK, Sussex, Patcham, Church of St. Thomas More, 1969
UK, Sussex, Lancing, Holy Family Church, 1970
UK, Worthing, St. Mary’s Convent Chapel, 1967
Wales, Llanrwst Church, (formerly in Betws-y-Coed Church,) 1960
Waterford, Dungarvan, Sisters of Mercy Primary School, 1965
Wexford, New Ross, Good Counsel College Chapel, 1984
Wexford, Inch Church, 1984