Discussion of Joan Eardley on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour

Italian Farmhouse, by Joan Eardley, 1948-1949

Italian Farmhouse, by Joan Eardley, 1948-1949

Friday’s Woman’s Hour looked back on Joan Eardley, one of the most celebrated painters to live and work in Scotland during the last century. It’s 50 years since she died and there have been various events recently to celebrate her life and work.

Joan Eardley (1921-1963) graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 1943 and went on to secure a post-diploma scholarship in 1948–1949 that enabled her to travel to Italy and France, the subjects of many of the pieces we have by her in our collection. In 1955 Eardley was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy, and was made into a full member in 1963. She was at the time the youngest female artist to achieve this.

Catterline, Aberdeenshire, by Joan Eardley

Catterline, Aberdeenshire, by Joan Eardley

In 1950 she ‘discovered’ and began to paint at Catterline, on the coast between Inverbervie and Stonehaven. She moved there in 1956, using a deserted cottage as a studio and base whilst she worked outside. The landscapes that were completed at Catterline provide an interesting contrast to her studies completed in Glasgow which often featured children living in deprived areas.

You can listen to the programme here. The discussion of Joan Eardley is around 32 minutes in.

Joan Eardley

Andy MacMillan of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia on BBC Radio 4

There’s still a few days left to catch a BBC Radio 4 programme The Concrete and the Divine exploring the church architecture of Isi Metzstein and Andrew MacMillan, the innovative partners of renowned Glasgow firm Gillespie Kidd & Coia during the second part of the 20th century.

Andy MacMillan (left) and broadcaster Jonathan Glancey examining Gillespie, Kidd & Coia architectural drawings in our office

Andy MacMillan (left) and broadcaster Jonathan Glancey examining Gillespie, Kidd & Coia architectural drawings in our office

In the programme we hear architectural historian and broadcaster Jonathan Glancey interview Andy MacMillan at the sites of some of his most recognisable buildings, and also here in the Archives and Collections Centre at Glasgow School of Art, where the pair swilled whisky as they pored over some of the many architectural drawings and plans that feature in the Gillespie, Kidd & Coia Archive – at a safe distance from the material, of course.

St Peter's Seminary, Cardross

St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross

Isi Metzstein and Andrew MacMillan seized on the momentary experimentalism of the Catholic Church after World War II to revolutionise church design. This was a brave new world and the Catholic Church wanted their places of worship to meet the needs of a new era. In a culture never quite comfortable with the high modern influences of Europe and America, Metzstein and MacMillan drew on the ideas of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright with unparalleled freedom. While most of their churches are still in use, their masterpiece St Peter’s Seminary at Cardross, which stood out like a spaceship in the modest construction yards of British architecture, is a ghost space now, abandoned in 1980 just 14 years after completion.

As we mentioned in a previous post, a selection of material from the Gillespie, Kidd & Coia archive is currently on display alongside GSA Library holdings at the entrance to GSA Library.

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 programme here.

Click here for more information about the Gillespie, Kidd & Coia Archive.

Archive of diplomatic dispatches discussed on BBC Radio 4

Two episodes of a programme on BBC Radio 4 entitled The Spanish Ambassador’s Suitcase: Stories from the Diplomatic Bag have delved into the archive of diplomatic dispatches.  In the shows, Matthew Parris opens the diplomatic bag to reveal some of the funniest, most striking and memorable despatches sent home by British diplomats down the ages.

John MajorIn an interview for this programme, Sir John Major recalls the curious tale of a racehorse given to him as a gift by the President of Turkmenistan in 1993. The stallion had to make an epic train journey across the former USSR, overcoming an attack by bandits! Despatches by a junior diplomat recounting her subsequent efforts to rescue the horse from the clutches of the Moscow railway bureaucracy – aided only by her ingenuity and a carriageload of melons which had also made the journey – reached 10 Downing Street.

These new programmes follow a previous BBC Radio 4 series Parting Shots, which looked at the last despatches ambassadors sent before quitting a post.

For more information and to listen to the programme click here.