Paisley Shawl from our Stoddard-Templeton Collection

Following on from our previous blog about our collection of Paisley shawl designs, today we’ve been admiring a real jaquard-woven, mid-19th Century Paisley shawl.

Stoddard-Templeton Paisley Shawl

Stoddard-Templeton Paisley Shawl

The shawl comes from Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collection’s Stoddard-Templeton collection of carpet, tapestry and textile samples.

The Stoddard Templeton Archive was split up amongst various institutions in Glasgow a few years ago. GSA’s library holds the design library of the company (the volumes and folios were originally used by in-house designers as a reference tool and as inspiration, and they are still an important resource for designers today); Glasgow Museums hold the carpets, and Glasgow University Archive Services hold the Design Archive and Corporate Archive. All are invaluable tools for research in a variety of areas including economic and social history, art history and, most appropriately, for creative practice (see, for example, our post about Panel’s project Carpets of Distinction which saw the creation of new carpets designed using the Design Archive at GUAS as inspiration).

Glasgow University Archive Services have a blog featuring gems from the Design Archive and another blog with more information about both the Design Archive and Corporate Archive.

Stoddard-Templeton Paisley Shawl

Stoddard-Templeton Paisley Shawl

 

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Forever changing : Original Mackintosh architectural detail exposed

Original (hidden) glazing

Original (hidden) glazing

Although the Mackintosh Building has been heavily researched and importantly is still widely used, it has an unerring knack of regularly throwing up surprises that offer an intriguing insight into how the School initially functioned when it first opened and how, over time, many of the physical (internal) spaces have changed substantially as the operational needs of the School have also changed.

The recent fit out of the former mail room (just off the main foyer) into new offices has unearthed, what we believe to be, an original internal glazed wall that had seemingly been covered over for a very long time. Prior to becoming the School’s mail room, the space had, since 1986, been home to GSA Enterprises and the first ever Mackintosh shop and before that, yet another office. However, no one seems to have ever seen the glazed wall fully exposed and as with so much of the building, there is no visual record of how the space once was.

Design proposal June 1907

Design proposal June 1907

Design proposal c.1908

Design proposal c.1908

In an original drawing of the School dated June 1907 Mackintosh planned to introduce an office and materials shop into the foyer itself, reducing the central circulation space by almost half. This plan was never seemingly carried out, perhaps for that very reason, but the rediscovered glazing seems to have acted as a partition wall in a small office space, accessed directly from the foyer but one that looked out on Studio 24 next door!

This arrangement was itself short lived for within months a large part of Studio 24 was taken over and modified to create the wood-panelled Board Room (or Secretary’s Room) that we now have today. Dark wood panelling was installed into this new Board Room to Mackintosh’s specification and this inevitably covered over the glazed west wall of the adjoining office. Once done, it was no longer possible to see through the glass so the decision was taken to board over the glazing on the office side of the wall too, albeit with plain timber sheets, thereby hiding the original feature completely.

As built, November 1910

As built, November 1910

As it is, the need for the new office space in 2013 has meant that timber panels have now been placed over the original glazed wall yet again. However, the important thing is that the School know it’s there, it’s safe, and there’s now photographic evidence to prove it!

The Glasgow Miracle: Materials for Alternative Histories

The Third Eye Centre. Image courtesy of the Third Eye Centre/CCA

The Third Eye Centre. Image courtesy of the Third Eye Centre/CCA

In case you don’t already know, Glasgow School of Art, in partnership with CCA (Centre for Contemporary Arts), has been awarded a grant by the AHRC for a speculative research project that will open up previously inaccessible archive material to assist research and reflection upon the causes and conditions which encouraged the renaissance of the visual arts in Glasgow since the late 1970s.

The project is well underway now, and archive and research volunteers have been busy blogging about their work on the project. Visit the Glasgow Miracle blog for more information about the project and to read about what volunteers have been up to.

Artists using archives: James Frew

Glasgow School of Art BA Fine Art Painting and Printmaking student James Frew visited us last year to look at our photograph collection. We thought you might like to see an artwork he made that was inspired by a photograph he came across in the archive.

James Frew, 5' x 4', oil on board

James Frew, 5′ x 4′, oil on board

The work is 5′ x 4′, which is pretty huge! James found his trip to the archives really useful and inspiring…

I found out about the archives through my tutors in first year, so thought it would be beneficial to check it out as I was told it was a rich resource.

I liked the photograph because it was bold, with a strong sense of contrast that I felt would translate into paint very well.

I decided to work with the archives because I felt I could get first hand access to primary resources that would give my work a well informed look; I have recently revisited the archive for further inspiration, and plan to do so again to enhance my work.

Anne Howatson modelling Alex Gourley's Pringle cashemere sweater

GSAA/P/1/238 Anne Howatson modelling Alex Gourley’s Pringle cashemere sweater, c1960, the inspiration for James’ artwork

100 Years of Personal Pocket Diaries

Dylan Stone: 100 Years of Personal Pocket Diaries

Dylan Stone: 100 Years of Personal Pocket Diaries

British artist Dylan Stone has created an installation at Ruth Phaneuf Fine Art in New York entitled 100 years of personal pocket diaries, 100 years of receipts and invoices, 100 years of printed programmes.

In this installation, Stone has assembled an archive of prints and diaries from the past century.  For each year of the 1900s there is a corresponding pocket diary, receipt, invoice and printed program. Stone’s work is often large in scale and involves systems of organization and cataloguing. The museum and the library have been a constant source of fascination for him. For him, they represent the emblematic repository of knowledge and taxonomy, using systems of display that combine refinement, order and reverence.

100 Years of Personal Pocket Diaries

100 Years of Personal Pocket Diaries

For more information about the exhibition visit Ruth Phaneuf Fine Art or see this article from Design Observer.

Artists using archives: Gabriella Marcella DiTano, Risotto Studio

Gabriella Marcella DiTano is a graphic designer and publisher. She recently founded Risotto Studio, a risograph print and design specialist based in Glasgow.

She visited GSA Archives and Collections recently to look at our photography collection, specifically at the archive photographs we have featuring the Mackintosh Building.

GSAA_P_7_76GSAA_P_7_122

She was given a brief to transform the images using her risograph printing technique. The images she produced are fantastic…

Gabriella Marcella DiTano

Gabriella Marcella DiTano

Here’s what she had to say about her experience of using our archives:

I thought the archives had such an interesting selection, it proved hard to shortlist the images (hence there are three, and not just one!)
A few of the compositions were really unusual and showed me totally new sides to the building. It was great to work with such a unique collection, especially as I don’t normally work from found images.

The Risograph is a screen printing press from the Japanese company Riso. Similar to a photocopier, it permits high-speed printing in screenprint quality. It is not only much more environmentally friendly than other printers, but also more cost effective. This process is therefore ideal for graphic arts applications such as posters, zines, print editions and cards.

For more information about Gabriella and her work visit her website or the Risotto Studio website.

Artists using archives: Les Bicknell, unpicking and rebinding

Creased archive volumes provide inspiration

Creased archive volumes provide inspiration

Artist Les Bicknell is working on an Arts Council funded project called unpicking and rebinding which seeks to map and present the making of and thinking behind a body of new work that explores the fold.

Archive materials inform Les Bicknell's creative process

Archive materials inform Les Bicknell’s creative process

Working with a number of archives and collections in the Eastern Region the project aims to present the idea of an entry point for exploring and utilising the collections. He is working in partnership with The Museum of East Anglian Life (MEAL) Suffolk, Carrow House – Norwich, Norwich Castle Museum, Suffolk County Council Archives and Norwich University College of the Creative Arts (NUCA).

For more information about the project visit the unpicking and rebinding blog.

Architectural Association Archives: Lecture & Open Evening, 5th Feb

Celebrating the Architectural Association Archives’ first birthday in its new home at 32 Bedford Square, a Lecture and Open Evening is being held on 5th February.

Open Lecture: Brief Encounter: From Bedford Square to the Oscars. 5th Feb, AA Lecture Hall, No. 36, Bedford Square, 5pm.
For a period of approximately five years, from c1972-32, a succession of AA graduates embarked upon careers within the British Film Industry. Employed primarily as Art Directors, they dominated the field, setting new standards well into the 1950s, working with directors such as Hitchcock, Powell & Pressburger, David Lean. Lawrence Olivier and Joseph Losey. Using original archival material, this talk will trace their careers, examining the impact and the role of their architectural training at the AA.

Open Evening: AA Archives. 5th Feb, No. 32, Bedford Square, 6:30-9:00pm
A chance to further explore what is one of the most significant collections of original material related to the history of UK architectural education. Displayed within the Archives rooms will be some of the major new acquisitions received over the past 12 months, including the Otto Koenigsberger Archive and work by Peter Wilson (Bolles + Wilson), Robin Evans, Mehmet Konuralp, Bill Greensmith and Paul Shepheard.

More information about the Architectural Association Archives can be found on their website.

Donald Melvin: GSA student material

This week we’ve been cataloguing and repackaging a collection of works by Donald Melvin completed during his time as a student at Glasgow School of Art in the 1960s. The collection includes works carried out as part of classes such as, for example, Interior Design, the History of Furniture, Environmental Study and Woodcarving.

Environmental Study, Hilstons The Chemists Lanark, c1965-66

Environmental Study, Hilstons The Chemists Lanark, chalk on paper, c1965-66

The collection also includes sketches carried out during GSA summer schools abroad in Florence and in Norway, and some sketches of the area around the Glasgow School of Art campus in Garnethill.

Sketch of Florence, GSA Summer School, c1967-68

Sketch of Florence, GSA Summer School, c1967-68

View from Top Floor Studios, c1960s

View from Top Floor Studios, c1960s

The sketches for interiors are overtly typical of their time and feature iconic furniture such as chairs designed by Charles Eames and chaise lounges by Mies van der Rohe. It’s great for us to have this material as Interior Design was, until now, rather under-represented in our collections.

Flat for Henry Hellier, Interior Design Dept. GSA, 1967

Flat for Henry Hellier, Interior Design Dept. GSA, 1967

The catalogue will be available to view on the Archives Hub soon.