Calling all Russian speakers!

The catalogue for the Mackintosh exhibition, The Kremlin Museum

The catalogue for the Mackintosh exhibition, The Kremlin Museum

Glasgow School of Art’s curator Peter Trowles, or Питер Троулес, as he is known in Russian, has recently returned from a trip to Moscow where he gave a lecture on the architecture of Mackintosh’s masterpiece The Glasgow School of Art, as part of an international Mackintosh exhibition at The Kremlin Museum. Crucially, this was first time Mackintosh’s work has been seen in Moscow since 1903. The exhibition included works loaned from around the world, including many from Glasgow Museums. Sadly as a result of the fire that occurred in the Mackintosh Building earlier this year we were no longer able to loan works to this exhibition as planned, however Peter was still able to visit the exhibition, which has also seen the publication of a beautiful catalogue (see above) – unfortunately only available in Russian – and to give his lecture as part of a series of talks by British Mackintosh experts.

Glasgow School of Art's Curator Peter Trowles prepares for his Russian screen debut

Glasgow School of Art’s Curator Peter Trowles prepares for his Russian screen debut

During his time in Moscow, in a surreal twist to proceedings Peter appeared on the Russian equivalent of Newsnight to speak about the School’s Mackintosh collection and the relationship between Mackintosh and the city of Glasgow. You can watch a video of Peter’s debut on Russian television here – though sadly it’s been dubbed so will only make sense to those of you who can speak Russian! We’re sure however that what Peter had to say was very interesting…

You can find out more about the exhibition, which ran from 5th Sep 2014-9th Nov 2014, here.

Upcoming Lunchtime Talk – The Graham Fagen Exhibition

When: Wed 30 July 2014, 12.30-1pm
Where: Reid Gallery, Reid Building, The Glasgow School of Art, 164 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RF
Free Admission, no booking necessary

Next week Glasgow School of Art’s Exhibitions Director, Jenny Brownrigg and Archivist, Susannah Waters will be giving a lunchtime talk about Graham Fagen’s GENERATION project at The Glasgow School of Art.

GSA alumnus, Graham Fagen, has been invited by The Glasgow School of Art Exhibitions Dept to research Charles Rennie Mackintosh through the GSA Archives & Collections Centre, and to create a solo exhibition of new work to be featured as part of GENERATION. Through the research project, Fagen has examined the work of Mackintosh and his peer group, focusing particularly on concepts of form and place, and has used his findings as a catalyst for the creation of a body of new artwork.


Graham Fagen's Work

Image courtesy of ‘Cabbages in an Orchard; The Formers and Forms of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Graham Fagen Flickr.


Early Mackintosh plant drawings were collated with the work of his peers to form a DIY publication called ‘The Magazine’.  Featured works such as ‘Tree of Influence’ or ‘Cabbages in an Orchard’, had text as part of the artwork which taken together with the image offer an insight into the creative thought process.  For this exhibition Fagen aims to present original works by Mackintosh and his peer group alongside the new pieces inspired by his own research. The Mackintosh works will be borrowed from a number of sources including GSA Archives & Special Collections. A book work, influenced by the DIY concept of ‘The Magazine’, will also be produced.

Mackintosh Watercolours

Image courtesy of ‘Cabbages in an Orchard; The Formers and Forms of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Graham Fagen Flickr.

GENERATION is a programme across Scotland led by National Galleries and Glasgow Life, aiming to tell the story of 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, to a local and visiting audience for the Commonwealth Games. GSA is part of this programme with this project.

Photographic Documentation

View a slideshow of exhibition documentation images on Flickr.

Short film about the exhibition

Watch a short film about the exhibition featuring interviews with artist Graham Fagen, Exhibitions Director Jenny Brownrigg and Mackintosh Curator Peter Trowles: Vimeo.

More information about the exhibition

Visit the GSA website for more information:

Moving the Crouching Venus

At the beginning of this week the Crouching Venus from GSA’s plaster cast collection was transported over to The Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow for their ‘Picturing Venus’ exhibition (9 March 29 June 2014).

Whilst a seemingly simple task, enormous care had to be taken whilst transporting the piece between the two sites due to the fragility of the sculpture. The sculpture first had to be removed from its plinth and wrapped by art transporters, who then used a specialist trolley to lower it to the ground and move the Venus outside.


The sculpture was then driven over to The Hunterian Art Gallery to be installed as the centrepiece of ‘Picturing Venus’, a focused exhibition between The Hunterian and Glasgow University’s History of Art department that presents new research examining the occurrence of Venus’s image in art and the myths associated with her.

GSA’s Crouching Venus is believed to be a copy of the Crouching Venus in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence where it was taken in 1787. Also known as the Venere nel bagno and Vernere nella conchigla this version of the figure (of which there are a large number of versions with significant variations) is first defiantly recorded in 1704 when it was at the Villa Medici in Rome. All versions are thought to be copies of a statue referred to by Pliny as being by Doidalses and placed in one of the temples of the Portico d’Ottavia in Rome.

By the time the sculpture arrived at the exhibition space, the engravings from The Hunterian’s collection had already been hung. Therefore it was only a matter of unpacking and installing the plinth and cast.

The cast sits away from the wall, so the Crouching Venus can be seen in her entirety. New facets to the sculpture have already been discovered in the impression of a tiny hand on her back, mirroring the touch of the cherubs in the engravings on the walls. The low light of the room (for the preservation of the engravings) with spot lighting also enhances the shadows and depth of form in the sculpture.

 Picturing Venus runs from 9th March- 29th June in The Hunterian Art Gallery, at the University of Glasgow.

 Guest blog post by Penelope Hines, MSc Museum Studies student placement, The University of Glasgow 

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.

New user case studies

We’ve just added some more user case studies to our website so you can find out about how various types of researchers have been using the Archives and Collections Centre.

DC077/11Carpet sample from our Stoddard Templeton collection, featuring tomato plant design

DC077/11 Carpet sample from our Stoddard Templeton collection, featuring tomato plant design

In these new case studies Helena Britt discusses her research for the recent Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005 project which resulted in the exhibition currently on display in the Mackintosh Gallery; Jade Richardson, a Glasgow School of Art Product Design student tells us about how she used our resources in her research for a WW1 memorial project; and Annie Lavety, Retail Manager at GSA Enterprises, tells us how she used our collections to research and develop new products for GSA’s shop.

NMC 204, War scene with wounded soldiers, by Charles Davidson, 1914

NMC 204, War scene with wounded soldiers, by Charles Davidson, 1914

So visit the case studies section of our website, read about what other users have been up to, and get inspired!

Remember you can always contact us if you would like to use our archives and collections for your own research, be it family history, academic, educational, commercial or for creative practice.

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

RGI 152nd Annual Exhibition featuring Robert Stewart

rgi2013The Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts’ 152nd Annual Exhibition opens this weekend, back in its traditional home at the magnificent McLellan Galleries. The RGI is investing £100,000 to undertake these works as part of the campaign for the regeneration of this prestigious building;  to promote its return to active service for Glasgow’s citizens and visitors, with a viable and sustainable future. The McLellan’s suite of Galleries allows for architectural models to be restored as a regular feature of the exhibition, alongside painting, drawing, sculpture and prints, and for the first time photography is being introduced into the Fine Art portfolio.

The RGI’s own 50-strong corps of artists will be well represented.  Additional invited artists include David Mach, Howard Hodgkin, Ken Howard, Sir Robin Philipson and Dr David Donaldson, with one of the Galleries being devoted to the diverse media artwork by the late distinguished Scottish designer, Robert Stewart.

Poster designed by Robert Stewart for the retirement dinner for Kath Whyte, Head of Embroidered Textiles at the School

Poster designed by Robert Stewart for the retirement dinner of Kath Whyte, Head of Embroidered Textiles at the School

Following on from September’s Robert Stewart retrospective at Dunoon Burgh Hall (see our previous post for more information), in which many items from our archives and collections were displayed, this section of the RGI exhibition has been curated by by Jimmy Cosgrove, former Depute Director of Glasgow School of Art. In contrast, this exhibition focuses more on the fine art aspects of Stewart’s work rather than on his commercial designs, and loans many items from GSA’s Archives and Collections, including Stewart’s magnificent tapestry Genesis; a section of his mural from Douglas Academy in Bearsden, several artworks, and many posters for GSA events and talks.

The RGI’s 152nd Annual Exhibition takes place at the McLellan Galleries, 270 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow and runs from Sunday 10 November until Sunday 8 December, and is open daily (except Monday) from 10 am until 6 pm; on Sunday from 12 til 6 and on Thursdays until 7.30 pm. Private view is tomorrow, 9th November from 2pm-6pm.

For more information see the RGI’s website.



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.

Fall Scenes Exhibition, The Glasgow Masters Series 2013

Fall Scenes, an exhibition that borrows and adapts its title from William Raban’s included film Autumn Scenes (1978), takes as its starting point the process of making indistinct the perimeters of inside and out. Taking place mostly in a former furniture showroom (a specialist in recliners) incidental objects, seasonality and the distractions and influences of daily life become actions deployed to permeate the exhibition proper.

Operating across a variety of cultural and temporal registers, the contents of the exhibition are encouraged to act upon each other, like haphazard contents of the utility closet rather than objects of innocuous purity, unperturbed by harmonious surrounds.

Fall Scenes is an expanded exhibition co-initiated by Jennifer Bailey, Allison Gibbs, Tessa Lynch and Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir that invites works by Nita Begg, Olivier Castel, Sigurður Guðmundsson, William Raban and Lili Reynaud Dewar to temporarily live alongside a selection of incidental objects and interior interventions. The project has been developed in conversation with Sarah Tripp and includes an off-site event by Brandon Cramm.

The exhibition features a poster from our collection advertising a talk held in the Mackintosh lecture theatre at Glasgow School of Art by artist John Wright in the 1980s, in which he showed and discussed colour slides of his journeys across the Sahara to Tassili.

The exhibition is open from Saturday 5 October until Sunday 13 October, 12-6pm at 134 Renfrew St, Glasgow, G3 6ST. Preview: Tonight, Fri 4 October, 6pm. Finissage: Sat 12 October, 6-9pm – Candies by Olivier Castel, performance/Talk by Lili Reynaud-Dewar, 7pm

Associated event by Brandon Cramm, 3-5pm, CCA cinema, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD

Fall Scenes is supported by the GSA Archives and Collections Centre, LUX Artist’s Moving Image, The Living Art Museum (Iceland), i8 Gallery (Iceland) and is presented as part of The Glasgow Masters Series 2013. Poster Design by Sophie Dyer. 

For more information visit the website.