Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005

Detail of plate from ‘Flore naturelle - plates 1-40’, Henry Lambert, Paris, Ch. Claesen, c.1890.  Courtesy The Glasgow School of Art Library, Special Collections, Stoddard Design Library.

Detail of plate from ‘Flore naturelle – plates 1-40’, Henry Lambert, Paris, Ch. Claesen, c.1890.
Courtesy The Glasgow School of Art Library, Special Collections, Stoddard Design Library.

Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005, a new exhibition curated by Dr Helena Britt from the School of Design at The Glasgow School of Art, previews this evening.

The Stoddard Templeton companies were Scotland’s most prominent carpet manufacturing innovators. They designed and supplied many iconic carpets, including those for Glasgow Cathedral, the White House, the Titanic and Queen Mary liners and for events such as the Royal Coronations and Festival of Britain.

This exhibition focuses on the Stoddard Templeton Design Library, a unique resource used by designers to inspire and aid the design process. The Library contains a rich array of material amassed from the mid-nineteenth to early twenty-first centuries. Through folios, books, designs, films and samples, the exhibition will provide insight into the Design Library’s contents, the Stoddard Templeton design studio, the designers, carpet designing and Design Library utilisation in the creative process. As well as many wonderful folios and books from GSA Library’s Stoddard Templeton Design Library, the exhibition will also feature a number of carpet samples from GSA’s Archives and Collections.

Some of the carpet samples from GSA’s Archives and Collections awaiting installation in the exhibition

The exhibition is set to be an explosion of pattern and colour. It presents a wealth of archival material, which has never before been made public and has been conserved since the sad demise of Stoddard International PLC. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue enhances understanding of carpet design in Scotland and therefore contributes to textile design history.

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). The exhibition includes items loaned from the Glasgow School of Art Library; The Glasgow School of Art Archives & Collections Centre; Glasgow University Archive Services; The Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster, and private collections.

The exhibition runs from 9 Nov 2013 – 11 Jan 2014 (except 24 Dec – 2 Jan inclusive) and is open Mon-Sat 11am-5pm and on Sundays from 11am-4pm at The Mackintosh Museum, The Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ. The preview is this evening, 8th November, from 6pm-8pm.

For more information about the exhibition, see the event website and the BBC’s article about the exhibition.

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