Tonight! In Conversation: Lucy Reynolds & Sarah Neely on ‘A Feminist Chorus’


Find out more about Lucy’s use of Glasgow School of Art’s archives on our previous post

Presenting our New Acquisitions

Although the fire has meant that the Archives and Collections office is currently closed to visitors, we are still happily pursuing a broad collection that shows the work of students and the school across its life span. This year, to this end, the school approved new funding to enable the purchase of work from graduating GSA students in Fine Art, Architecture and Design. This year has seen some very interesting additions to the collection. We acquired:

  • Two screen prints from Alex Kuusik who won this year’s Newbery Medal.




  • An architectural model by Joshua Doyle won the Chairman’s medal for architecture.
  • ‘Vinewood’ by Tim Dalzell. A topographical sculpture of one of the hills from the Grand theft Auto series, this model depicts the sediment layers beneath the virtual world. Many of Tim Dalzell’s pieces seem to draw on inspiration from virtual worlds and environments resulting in quirky referential work. Much of this can be seen on his website found here.  For this work he received the Chairman’s Medal for fine art.


  • Three brooches by Ciara Stapleton who took the Chairman’s Medal for design.
Ciara Stapleton

Ciara Stapleton

Image courtesy of The Justified Sinner

Image courtesy of The Justified Sinner

  • A coloured longitudinal drawing and CAD file copy by the WO Hutchison Prize winner Catriona Liggat.
  • The PW Davidson prize went to Liu Tong who produced a variety of playful pieces of jewellery that incorporate a number of plastic animals. This particular piece is going to join part of our collections hosted in Window on the Mack to continue the progression of the school’s timeline through its historical collections.
Image Courtesy of The Justified Sinner

Image Courtesy of The Justified Sinner

  • Finally the other WO Hutchison prize was won by Sonia Hufton. Sonia is going to provide a choice of drawings for the archive to choose from for our collections in the near future.

All of these pieces will be added to our collections to continue recording the progression and results of the school’s work.

Getting in Touch: Fred Pollock

We were recently contacted by a relative of Glasgow School of Art alumnus Fred Pollock, who was a student at the School in the 1950s. Ronan Pollock (Fred’s son) very kindly sent us a link to a short documentary film he has made about his father called Portrait of an Abstract Artist. The documentary gives an insight into the work of Fred Pollock, and perspective on what it was like to be an art student in Glasgow in the 1950s.

Fred Pollock, No.1 Sunspots, 150×232 cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 1987-1998.

Fred Pollock, No.1 Sunspots, 150×232 cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 1987-1998. Image sourced from ‘Abstract Critical’.

While we were aware of artists like John Byrne and Alasdair Gray who were students at the School around this time, and have annual reports, prospectuses and other documentation for these years which provide a flavour of what the School was like then, we don’t have very much in the way of artwork in our collection from this period so it’s exciting to see examples of Fred Pollock’s work in the film. We also know little about what the School was like in terms of its relationship with Glasgow more widely during this period, so it’s interesting to get a sense of the juxtaposition between art and the industrial landscape that must have been so apparent in the city at this time.

You can find Portrait of an Abstract Artist here.

For more information please go to Abstract Critical.

Artists using archives: ‘A Feminist Chorus’ by Lucy Reynolds in collaboration with MAP

Illustrated Woman's Almanac, Lippincott Company, 1976. Courtesy Glasgow Women's Library Collection

Illustrated Woman’s Almanac, Lippincott Company, 1976. Courtesy Glasgow Women’s Library Collection

One film, two sound works & one performance across three Glasgow venues from 4 to 21 April 2014

Adding a communal voice to Glasgow’s feminist history, ‘A Feminist Chorus’ is created by Lucy Reynolds in collaboration with MAP. Reynolds is interested in the collective power of the Women’s Movement, (with Greenham Common as the subject of her film installation ‘Silo Walk’, 2009) tracing it on this occasion through the spaces, writings and memories of the city.

The chorus will feature readings from Glasgow School of Art’s student registers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries

The full spoken word score for the chorus brings together three connected narratives of women’s histories in Glasgow for a one-off live performance at Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL) in Bridgeton during the launch weekend of Glasgow International. Drawing on the collection of GWL and the city’s archives, it includes personal texts, readings of historic registers from Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Blythswood Square, and extracts from historic and contemporary writings. Participants have been invited from a wide community across Glasgow. A film of this performance will be sited among the books in the library for the duration of Glasgow International to become thereafter part of the archive, so creating a legacy of the event, which will find new resonances beyond Glasgow, in libraries and women’s resources centres across the UK.

Two separate sound installations are sited within five minutes walk of each other in city centre locations historically connected with working women artists over the past 100 years. The first installation is sited at Glasgow School of Art in the ‘Hen Run’ (reflecting the predominance of women students in the adjacent studios) and is based on the names of women students from the school’s early years in the 1880s, brought forth in the voices of contemporary GSA students. The other installation is sited at 5 Blythswood Square, a luxury office which was from 1882 to 1971 home to the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists. In a telephone booth there—designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for the Lady artists in the 1890s—the Society’s unique programmes of exhibitions, tableaux and soirees will be remembered in the recitations of current women artists working in Glasgow.

Lucy Reynolds works as an artist, curator and academic explores the questions of feminism, political space and collectivity through a practice of film, performance and sound – which often invites and involves others. Her films and performances seek to excavate the rich seams of memory and experience inscribed in sites of a feminist resonance: from Greenham Common to the Glasgow Women’s Library, bringing these pasts into a contemporary register through the collective voice and memories of current day women. She is interested in the potential of creative collaboration for generating new ways of making art, and re-imagining what a feminist practice might be in the future.

MAP publish artist writing, film, video, performance, audio and readings, alongside interviews, conversations and critical essays. Working across on-and offline situations, MAP curates an expanded site for re-examining and developing practices of active looking, reading, creating and sharing. We regularly commission and distribute new work online and programme concurrent events.

Exhibition and Performance
Glasgow Women’s Library
23 Landressy Street
Glasgow, G40 1BP
Exhibition 4 to 21 April—Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 5pm, Tues 9.30am to 7.30pm
Performance—Sat 5 April, 5 to 6pm
To book

Sound work at the Glasgow School of Art, 4 to 21 April
‘Hen Run’
167 Renfrew Street
Glasgow, G3 6RQ
20 minute tours leave daily at 12.15pm and 4.15pm
To book

Sound work at 5 Blythswood Square, 4 to 17 April
Glasgow, G2 4AD
Mon—Fri 11:00—11:50am, 3:00—3:50pm
Ten minute appointments with max 2 people per booking

To book

For more information on this project, including a full biography on the artist, please contact or

Works from GSA’s collection on display at The Dick Institute

Two works from our collection, The Two Roberts by Ian Fleming and Interested and Disinterested by John Laurie, will be on display as part of a new exhibition on Robert Colquhoun at The Dick Institute in Kilmarnock.

GSAA/NMC 020, The Painters Colquhoun & McBryde  (The Two Roberts), by Ian Fleming, 1937-38

GSAA/NMC 020, The Painters Colquhoun & McBryde (The Two Roberts), by Ian Fleming, 1937-38

Comprising works from the East Ayrshire collection and loans from collectors and institutions across the UK, including GSA’s Archives and Collections, this exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Colquhoun, will feature drawings, paintings and prints by Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde, his long time collaborator, alongside a display of work by some of the Neo-Romantic painters and other contemporaries who influenced their work.

GSAA/NMC 027, Interested & Disinterested, by John Laurie, c1939

GSAA/NMC 027, Interested & Disinterested, by John Laurie, c1939

Colquhoun was born in Kilmarnock in 1914 and educated at Loanhead Primary School and Kilmarnock Academy, where he showed early promise as an artist. Despite the economic pressures of the time, Colquhoun’s family received financial support from local benefactors which allowed him to remain at school and go on to study at Glasgow School of Art in 1933. There he met fellow artist and Ayrshire native Robert MacBryde, with whom he would form a lifelong partnership, the ‘Two Roberts’ living and working together for almost 30 years. After graduating, and a short period travelling and producing art in mainland Europe, the pair returned to Britain in the run-up to WW2 and settled in London, immersing themselves in the bohemian community of painters and writers, and were on familiar terms with Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Dylan Thomas and others. They were soon influenced by the group of artists known as the Neo-Romantics – painters of visionary and imaginative landscapes of sombre tone.

The Burns Monument Centre will host a display about Robert Colquhoun and the Kilmarnock Academy archives complementing the Colquhoun & MacBryde exhibition and showcasing the significant archives of Kilmarnock Academy, from the school’s earliest years through the 20th century, including records and photographs of some of its famous ex-pupils (See here for more information).

The exhibition preview  is this evening at the Dick Institute, Elmbank Avenue, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, KA1 3BU but will be open to the public  from 25th January – 19th April 2014 (free, 11am-5pm, closed Sundays). Call 01563 554300 or visit the Dick Institute website for more information.

Joan Eardley exhibition at The Lillie Art Gallery, Milngavie

A selection of artwork by the artist Joan Eardley is currently on display at The Lillie Art Gallery in Milngavie.

NMC 077, Church interior, Basilica di San Marco, Venice, by Joan Eardley,completed during her GSA Travelling Scholarship in Italy, 1948-1949

NMC 077, Church interior, Basilica di San Marco, Venice, by Joan Eardley, completed during her GSA Travelling Scholarship in Italy, 1948-1949

Joan Eardley – Sketches by a Master will see works from the gallery’s permanent collection go on display, some for the first time. (See our previous posts about Joan Eardley’s connection with GSA).

Alongside the Eardley exhibition, material by other GSA graduates will be on display at the Lillie’s Gifted Christmas Art Exhibition. This fellow exhibition, where paintings, ceramics, jewellery, textiles, glass and photography will be shown, also includes works by Alasdair Gray, John Byrne, Elizabeth Blackadder, Phillip Reeves, Diane Dawson and Sharon Thomas.

The Eardley exhibition runs from Saturday 16th November – Wednesday 11th December, and the Gifted Christmas exhibition from Saturday 16th November – Thurdsay 19th December, both at the Lillie Art Gallery, Station Road, Milngavie G62 8BZ.

For more information, see the gallery’s website.

Tel: 0141 956 5536
Open: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Exhibition featuring items from GSA’s collection currently on at the Fleming Collection

An exhibition entitled Learning to Draw/Drawing to Learn is currently on in Gallery Two at The Fleming Collection in London. Focusing on the practice of drawing, past and present staff and students of Glasgow School of Art reflect on traditional and current drawing practice and its place in art and art education. The works, selected for this exhibition by Professor Roger Wilson, Head of the School of Fine Art, and Stuart Mackenzie, Senior Lecturer in Painting and Printmaking, demonstrate drawing’s capacity for the exploratory, experimental and observational.

NMC 055, life drawing by William Somerville Shanks, c1910

NMC 055, life drawing by William Somerville Shanks, c1910

In preparing for Learning to Draw/Drawing to Learn Wilson and Mackenzie were fortunate to have access to an extensive archive of past work, including many items from GSA’s Archives and Collections. Indeed several items from our collections feature in the exhibition. These include a stunning, highly finished, life drawing by GSA student and tutor William Somerville Shanks from c1910; several small sketches completed by GSA tutor Fred Selby during his travels in Italy and the Middle East in the 1940s (see here for our previous post about him); and a recently acquired sketchbook featuring landscapes by former GSA 2nd headmaster Robert Brydall from 1873 (again, see here for our previous post about this item).

NMC 085, Farm wagon, Lincolnshire, by Joan Eardley, 1948-1949

NMC 085, Farm wagon, Lincolnshire, by Joan Eardley, 1948-1949

There are also two works by Joan Eardley who was a student at the school in the 1940s; a male nude by James McIntosh Patrick who studied at GSA in the 1920s under the artist Maurice Greiffenhagen (the work on show actually bears his corrections); and some sketchbooks by William Gray dating from 1916-1918, as well as the evening school medal he won in 1914.

NMC 605, Male figure study by James McIntosh Patrick, featuring corrections by Maurice Greiffenhagen, c1927

NMC 605, Male figure study by James McIntosh Patrick, featuring corrections by Maurice Greiffenhagen, c1927

Recent GSA graduate Vanessa Larsen's work will feature alongside items from the Archives and Collections

Recent GSA graduate Vanessa Larsen’s work will feature alongside items from the Archives and Collections

As well as these items from GSA’s Archives and Collection, the curators were also able to borrow from a growing community of artists who are increasingly electing to stay and work in Glasgow. The exhibition coincides with the development of new academic programmes centred on drawing, confirming GSA’s engagement with this highly relevant medium. All of the works in Learning to Draw/Drawing to Learn use the language of drawing across divergent artistic practices.

The Fleming Collection is at 13 Berkeley Street, London W1J 8DU (nearest tube: Green Park). The exhibition is on from 3rd September – 9th October. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 10.00am-5.30pm (last entry is at 5.00pm) and admission is free.

See The Fleming Collection’s website for details.

New acquisition: Robert Brydall sketchbook

Detail of a landscape from Robert Brydall's sketchbook, 1873

Detail of a landscape from Robert Brydall’s sketchbook, 1873

Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections has recently acquired a sketchbook by Robert Brydall, a student and tutor at the School in the mid-late 19th century. The sketchbook is dated 1873, and contains landscape sketches completed during travels around Scotland. This new acquisition is a very welcome addition to our holdings, which until now featured very few examples from this early period of the School’s history.

Robert Brydall's sketchbook, 1873. The unassuming cover belies the charming landscape sketches within

Robert Brydall’s sketchbook, 1873. The unassuming cover belies the charming landscape sketches within

Robert Brydall

Robert Brydall

Robert Brydall (10th May 1839-6th April 1907), was a Glasgow-born painter, who worked predominantly as a lithographer and engraver, and taught for many years at Glasgow School of Art, where his students included David Murray, John Lavery, James Paterson and E. A. Walton. In 1889 he published “History of Art in Scotland,” at that time the only book dealing with the subject. It was characterised by the London Quarterly Review as “one of the best and most interesting histories of art ever written.”

The Archives and Collections Centre holds records which show that Robert Brydall was a staff member at the School from 1863-1881, during this time he held the following positions: Pupil teacher, Glasgow Government School of Art – 1863; 3rd Master, Glasgow Government School of Art – 1863-1877; and 2nd Master, Glasgow Government School of Art – 1877-1881. There are also a few letters addressed to Robert Brydall in the late 1800s Secretary & Treasurer’s correspondence.

Brydall left GSA to set up a private art school, the St George’s Art School, in Newton Terrace in 1881. It is unclear when the School ceased operating, but it was still being run by him in 1896.

He was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Glasgow Institute (1862-1907), and also showed work at the Royal Scottish Academy (1862-1887), as well as the Royal Academy (1906) and the RSW. The subjects of Brydall’s exhibited works included historical genres, landscape, and latterly views of Venice. He also showed a number of fairy subjects, including The Elf Dance (GI, 1871) and Fairy Treasure, (RSA, 1874) as well as works inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, such as Bottom, the Weaver (GI, 1871), Titania Enamoured (GI, 1876), and Oberon & Titania (GI, 1894).

Recent GSA graduate Vanessa Larsen's work will feature alongside items from the Archives and Collections

Recent GSA graduate Vanessa Larsen’s work will feature alongside items from the Archives and Collections

This very recent acquisition is actually to form part of a forthcoming exhibition at the Fleming Collection in London. Learning to Draw/Drawing to Learn: Glasgow School of Art, which runs from 3 September – 9 October 2013, is a reassessment of the practice of drawing by Glasgow School of Art students and staff, past and present, selected by Head of the School of Fine Art, Professor Roger Wilson and Stuart Mackenzie, Senior Lecturer in Painting and Printmaking. As well as the Robert Brydall sketchbook, the exhibition will also feature other works from our holdings, such as sketches by the architect Fred Selby, and an awe-inspiring life drawing by GSA student William Somerville Shanks from around 1910.

For more information check the Fleming Collection website.

Search our artwork on the UMIS Revealing the Hidden Collections website

UntitledIt’s now possible to search the records of our artwork on the new UMIS (University Museums in Scotland) Revealing the Hidden Collections website.

Scottish universities hold a high proportion of Scotland’s nationally important collections – more than 1.8 million items. Over 60% of Scottish University Museum collections are uncatalogued, with information on just 7.5% available on the web. Collections in five of the universities, including the entire holdings of the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow and select collections from the Glasgow School of Art, University of St Andrews, and University of Edinburgh have been designated as Recognised Collections by Museums Galleries Scotland.

Revealing the Hidden Collections is bringing the treasures held by university museums across Scotland, including our own, into the light of the 21st century.

A handy tip: enter your keywords in the search bar and be sure to select “item records” before hitting “search”. You can filter your search to include only items from our collection by choosing “select collections” and choosing “Glasgow School of Art” from the dropdown menu.

Happy searching! If you find anything of interest do get in touch with us to learn more.


Curator Peter Trowles on Czech TV

Glasgow School of Art’s Curator Peter Trowles was recently on Czech TV in a broadcast about Glasgow and Mackintosh. Jump to the 3:50 mark to see Peter get a few words in before the dubbing starts…!