Quigly, Kathleen (1888–1981), artist, was born 6 March 1888 in Dublin, daughter of Richard Quigly, civil engineer. After travelling abroad with her family in her early years, she attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, and enrolled c.1906 in the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. Under Alfred Ernest Child, the school's first stained-glass master, she discovered a talent for illuminating glass and began working occasionally at the Túr Gloine, a cooperative artists’ workshop founded by Sarah Purser (qv) and Edward Martyn (qv) in 1903. While still a student, she showed a copper cup and stand, decorated with figures and trees in enamel, for the fourth exhibition of the Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland (1910), and the following year contributed pages to the ‘Address of welcome to Queen Mary from the women of Ireland’, an illuminated album consisting of panels and borders of colourful Celtic ornament. She first exhibited at the RHA in 1917, showing two works from her address at 5 Clareville Road, Dublin. That year she also contributed a wood-block print, ‘Girl with two lamps’, to the arts and crafts exhibition.
In January 1919 she began working for Harry Clarke (qv) in his studios in North Frederick St., and by October 1921 was entered as a full employee. Reckoned his most valued assistant, she remained with him till 1924 and worked on numerous projects, including the ‘Angel of peace and hope’ window in Holy Trinity church, Killiney, Co. Dublin, and the St Stephen's window in a church in Gorey, Co. Wexford. A lantern with the signs of the zodiac, which she executed to Clarke's design, was shown at the 1921 arts and crafts exhibition; and she provided three windows for Sir Neville Wilkinson's miniature masterpiece, ‘Titania's palace’ (1907–22), now in Denmark. Her most celebrated work with Clarke was the ‘Eve of St Agnes’ window, designed for a site in Ailesbury Road. Divided into two sections and twenty-two panels, it illustrated Keats's poem and created a sensation when it was shown in August 1924 at the Aonach Tailteann art exhibition, where it won a trophy gold medal. The Irish Times (7 Aug. 1924) called it a ‘revel in blue’, and Thomas Bodkin (qv) wrote of its ‘microscopic delicacy and dazzling richness of hue’ (The Studio, lxxxix, 164). It is located in Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane.
An ‘Annunciation’ window was shown at the 1925 arts and crafts exhibition, which she helped organise. That year she showed three works, one of them priced at £3.10s., at the RHA from an address at 14 Westmoreland St., Dublin. Never a prolific exhibitor, she showed only seven more works at the RHA between 1930 and 1934. Her commissions continued to be interesting: in 1926 she completed windows, depicting scenes from Greek mythology, for the treasure house of Eu Tong Sen, a wealthy Singapore merchant; another window was designed for the chapel at the Sacred Heart Convent, Newton, near Boston, Massachusetts, in 1927, and two years later she was responsible for three of the decorative borders in the official handbook for Dublin civic week. One border had an inset of the Rotunda hospital.
After showing five works – one portrait and four stained-glass panels – at the Oireachtas art exhibition in 1932, she emigrated two years later to South Africa, where she spent the rest of her life. Working initially as a painter, she exhibited in the South African Academy in Johannesburg in 1935, 1936, and 1939, and also showed with the Transvaal art society. Settling in Johannesburg, she began working with A. L. Watson in a stained-glass studio situated in a dingy suburb, and made in total over a hundred windows, including a window depicting Elizabeth of Hungary for the chapel at Groote Schuur hospital, Cape Town. During the 1950s she was said to be the only stained-glass woman artist in South Africa. Retiring to Rhodesia, she died 15 August 1981 in Marandellas. Although her name often appears as ‘Quigley’, she signed it ‘Quigly’.