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Camm family, of Smethwick

The Camms were a family of stained glass artists.

Thomas William Camm (1839-1912) worked for the precision glass manufacturers Chance Brothers of Smethwick before setting up his own company, Camm Brothers, with two of his brothers John Matthew and Henry Charles. Subsequently he worked as T.W. Camm as an independent designer. (There developed an element of friction and confusion between the continuing company of Camm & Co. and his new firm of T.W. Camm.) His work won international acclaim and he won Medals at exhibitions in Paris, Sydney and Turin. His iconography remained traditional, with an emphasis on blues, lilac and purples. He became a local preacher in 1859, contributed financially to the foundation of three chapels in Smethwick and remained in Methodism throughout his life.

Three of his nine children joined him in the business and continued the firm after his death, retaining the name of T.W. Camm. Even greater success was achieved than under their father with commissions form the USA, Spain, New Zealand and India.

Florence Camm (1874-1960) produced designs not only for stained glass but also enamel work and decorative metalwork. She exhibited 43 times at the Royal Academy. Her stained glass shows exquisite painterly detail of faces and backgrounds which reflected her general training in painting and drawing at the Birmingham School of Art. Some consider her work to be reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts Movement. An example of her work in a Methodist church is at Byfleet (1939).

Walter Herbert Camm (1881-1967). His stained glass designs exhibit a distinctive use of white and clear glass for faces and backgrounds with the use of colour predominantly, though not exclusively, in garments.

Robert Camm (1878-1954) appears to have been involved in the administrative rather than design aspects of the business.

Sources

  • Sandwell Community History and Archives Service (Black

Country History); T.W. Camm, stained glass artist, Smethwick.

  • fineart.ac.uk for Florence Camm.

Entry written by: NM
Category: Person

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