Gerard Murphy’s anatomy and life drawings

An anatomy drawing by Gerard Murphy currently on display in GSA Library caught the eye of one of GSA’s Continuing Education tutors. Inspired by what was on display she and a few others made an appointment to view his other anatomy drawings and his life drawings.

Gerard Murphy was a student at Glasgow School of Art in the 1930s. Following his studies at the Art School, he went on to be an art teacher in several schools near Glasgow.  The Archives and Collections Centre has recently been gifted his student material, including architectural sketches, life studies and several anatomy drawings.

Life drawing by Gerard Murphy, GSA student, 1930s

Life drawing by Gerard Murphy, GSA student, 1930s

Another life drawing by Gerard Murphy - notice the life model is the life model in the photograph below!

Another life drawing by Gerard Murphy – notice the life model is the life model in the photograph below!

While browsing through the sketches we recognised the life model as being the same life model who appears in some of the photographs in our collection!

GSAA/P/1/851 Students with life model (centre), 1930s

GSAA/P/1/851 Students with life model (centre), 1930s

However the star of the show was definitely Murphy’s sketch of one of the School’s plaster casts which had our visitors in absolute awe:

Gerard Murphy's drawing of GSA's cast of Michelangelo's Slave

Gerard Murphy’s drawing of GSA’s cast of Michelangelo’s Slave

For more information on the history of Anatomy drawing at GSA and our current display in GSA Library read our PDF guide Anatomy at GSA, and if you’d like to come and see the sketches for yourself, do get in touch.

New display in GSA Library: Talwin Morris, Bookbinder

Treasures of GSA Library


You may have noticed a couple of new displays in GSA Library over the last few weeks. While one of these displays, the one on Level 1, is devoted to Anatomy, we have dedicated the other on Level 2 to Talwin Morris, Bookbinder.

Talwin Morris (1865-1911) is an important figure in the history and development of Glasgow Style design at the turn of the 20th century. He knew many people who attended the Glasgow School of Art, including Charles Rennie Mackintosh who he recommended as an architect to publisher Walter Blackie. The result of that commission is the celebrated Hill House in Helensburgh.

The Library holds a number of Glasgow Style bookbindings by Morris in its special collections, designed by him during his tenure as Art Director at Blackie & Son publishers. Between 1892 and 1909 Morris was a prolific designer of bindings for the company and its subsidiary, Gresham Publishing. He…

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Reflections on a week in the Archives and Collections

My name is Nicole Cooper, and I’ve just completed a week’s work experience at the Archives and Collections Centre.

I wasn’t 100% sure on what to expect when doing work experience here, but I was just happy enough to get into the building. I’ve always liked art so being able to come here was a privilege.

I had researched the Archives and Collections before I arrived, just to get a general idea of the things they do. After grasping a general impression, I was really looking forward to starting my placement.

As I arrived at the school, I was very nervous as I want to be a student here in the future, so first impressions were important for me. But as I arrived I was very glad to see how helpful and friendly the staff at reception and in the archive were.

I got to go on a tour of the Mackintosh building, and I thought it was great to hear all the stories about Mackintosh and the students who previously went there.

I also got shown around the stores where they keep a variety of different files, paintings, furniture, prints etc. This was one of my favourite things because I got to see artwork by previous students.

During my week here I got given a variety of different tasks to do, such as digitisation, answering enquiries, and listing a new acquisition of material by a former student. I set myself some targets to try and reach every day while doing these tasks.

Stained glass detail from door of Studio 45 in the Mackintosh Buildin

Stained glass detail from door of Studio 45 in the Mackintosh Building

One of my favourite things about doing work experience here was the fact that the whole building was practically a piece of art. The stained-glass in the doors was my favourite part about the building.

However, out of all the artwork I got shown, one of my favourite things was this picture of GSA students modelling fashion designs at Kelvingrove Park in the 60s.

GSAA P/1/2413 Photograph of students modelling garments for a fashion shoot in Kelvingrove Park, 1960s

GSAA P/1/2413 Photograph of students modelling fashion designs in Kelvingrove Park, 1960s

While being on work experience here, I also worked in the school’s library. The school currently have an exhibition on called Interwoven Connections about the Stoddard Templeton design library and studio. The exhibition includes some materials from the archive and library special collections. Here is a link to some pictures of the exhibition.  All of the carpets on display belong to the archive.

Image from one of the folios in GSA Library's Stoddard-Templeton Design Library, currently on display in an exhibition in the Mackintosh Museum, Interwoven Connections

Image from one of the folios in GSA Library’s Stoddard-Templeton Design Library, currently on display in an exhibition in the Mackintosh Museum, Interwoven Connections

There is always something going on in the school which is one of the things I love about it. I hope to return here in the near future, to either become a student or come to the archive to use their great resources.

Guest blog post by Nicole Cooper, school work experience placement

GSA Library Special Collections blog relaunch

GSATREASURESGSA Library’s Special Collections blog has just relaunched in a beautiful new WordPress format. Special Collections is home to, amongst other fabulous collections, The Stoddard Design Library (the in-house reference library of one of the world’s most successful carpet manufacturers) and a collection of Glasgow Style bookbindings including those by Talwin Morris, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and “Glasgow Girl” Jessie M King. Take a look at the new site for more information about their wonderful collections, which also includes artist’s books, engravings, prize books and trade journals.

Bookbinding by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Bookbinding from the Glasgow Style collection

Design from the Stoddard Design Library

Design from the Stoddard Design Library

The blog is brimming with inspirational images. Examples of how artists and other creative practitioners have been using the library and Special Collections in their work are available on The Hatchery. Visit the blog and be inspired!

#GLTU10: GSA Library & Learning Resources

On Friday, it was our pleasure to host the tenth Glasgow Library Tweetup (GLTU) to members of GLTU and Scottish Academic Libraries consortium-group SALCTG.
GLTU is a group of information professionals from all over Glasgow who meet up to visit a particular information service every few months and network with other librarians. Founder Anabel Marsh, was a Librarian at Strathclyde University for many years and is very interested in social media in libraries. She started GLTU after discovering a large network of local librarians on Twitter who were interacting virtually without ever having met. Anabel took the initiative to form a group which would tour libraries around Glasgow. The idea’s been a triumph so, intrigued to find out what all the fuss is about, we thought we’d take a turn at presenting what we do in the Library and the Archives and Collections Centre.
NMC_377, Bourdon architectural sketchFirstly, the School’s archivist Susannah Waters gave an excellent tour of the archives, selecting examples of pieces held in the archive that reveal lots about the School’s history. Susannah explained the development of the School’s archive and discussed its use by students and visitors. Among the many highlights were Joan Eardley’s Italian Farmhouse,which was completed during Eardley’s tour of Italy as part of her travelling scholarship in the late 1940s, Eugene Bourdon’s beaux arts architectural sketches, and letters from the School’s Headmaster discussing the types of animals to be brought into the Animal Room for life- drawing classes. There was particular interest in the political activism of GSA’s female students, including Ann MacBeth who was imprisoned and underwent force-feeding while on hunger strike in support of women’s suffrage. A potential opportunity to conduct more exploratory research into the School’s archive of letters and textile materials arose in a discussion with members of the Glasgow Women’s Library who seemed keen to collaborate!
A talk on InfosmART followed, with the group being introduced to the Library’s award-winning portfolio of online modules for developing information-literacy. The idea was to showcase how GSA Library supports students to develop information-literacy skills given the unconventional variety of visual sources that inform artistic practice. These sources could easily have been some of the beautiful pieces we’d just seen in the Archives such as a travel diary by former student John Jack Lindsay from 1950; a textile design notebook by former student Daisy M Anderson, c1931-1935.
Jack Lindsay travel diary

Jack Lindsay travel diary


Daisy Anderson sketchbook

Daisy Anderson sketchbook

The event was a great success: we all learned from each other about different roles in the library and information sector; shared best practice and exchanged knowledge about the hidden treasures in some local libraries and how libraries can support their visitors to make best use of these resources.

We’re already looking forward to the next GLTU!
Reblogged from GSA Library’s News Blog

The Hatchery, where ideas are born

GSA Library have launched a new creative research mini-site called The Hatchery.

Discover how artists, writers and creatives have used the collections of Glasgow School of Art Library to inspire, challenge or expand their practice. From interventions into our spaces, to installations amongst our shelves, our collections can be used to explore and challenge artistic, cultural and philosophical themes and preoccupations.

The site is full of useful and interesting case studies about how GSA students and other creative practitioners have been using GSA Library and its holdings.

You can visit the site here. Get cracking!

RIBA Bedford Lemere & Co online exhibition

The latest online exhibition from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) provides a comprehensive platform for exploring the architectural photography of Bedford Lemere & Co.
‘Recording the New’ is a plotted history of the establishment, rise and reputation of the photography firm between 1870 and 1930, revealing images from the photography firm’s vast portfolio and snapshots of the public archive, held by English Heritage. Based on the exhibition of the same name held at the V&A in 2011, it is a glimpse into the ongoing project by English Heritage to conserve, catalogue and scan their archive of photographs and negatives- one of the largest relating to the photography firm. The aim is to make digital copies of all the images accessible online. 8,000 can already be searched through the English Heritage Archives, providing those impressed by the exhibition with a further avenue for research.
Formed towards the end of the nineteenth century by founders Bedford Lemere and son Harry, the London-based photography company documented changes to Britain as it teetered uncertainly on the brink of the twentieth century and then advanced into the new technological age. Architect clients and designers commissioned the firm to take photographs of new works from large-scale architectural works to domestic interiors and new urban developments. Today these photographs of now historic settings and features provide a visual record of our heritage. They are also key examples of the period’s growing interest in the medium of photography as a means of capturing pioneering change.
GSA Library hold two collections of photographs by Bedford Lemere; one taken of Glasgow City Chambers and another of interiors designed by influential designers including Morris & Co. and Grinling Gibbons. These can be consulted in the Mackintosh Library. The Archives & Collection Centre also keep photographs taken of the Art School in 1910. For an appointment to view either item, visit the Librarians’ Office on Level 1 of the Library, or see contact details for the School’s archive at this link.