Throughout his career, Keith has been instrumental in challenging and developing the accepted ethics of conservation, restoration and preservation of stained glass. His pioneering work promoting the use of environmental protective glazing to preserve vulnerable medieval (and later) windows has been followed by practitioners across the UK and beyond.
His approach to conservation and restoration, carefully considered and adapted for each individual project, and involving collaboration with expert art historians, has also informed conservation projects elsewhere. As Sarah Brown, Director of the York Glaziers Trust, has commented: ‘The sensitive approach to the balance between conservation and restoration achieved by Barley Studio at Stanford on Avon and Fairford revealed to many the capacity of stained glass conservation to transform public engagement with the medium. Both projects also highlighted the importance of collaboration between conservators and scholars, an approach very much in step with the way we now work at the York Glaziers Trust.’
Keith was ‘surprised and enormously delighted’ by the honour. He is particularly pleased with the citation for both restoration and conservation, as this recognises his desire to treat stained glass windows as a work of art rather than merely an object of antiquity; respecting their imagery, meaning, and above all the intentions of the original artist.