MOVEMBER: The best moustaches from the Archives and Collections

In celebration of this past month’s Movember campaign, we thought we’d showcase some of the best moustaches from the Archives and Collections here at Glasgow School of Art. Take a look at some of these beauties:

Fra Newbery and wife Jessie Newbery in costume, late 19th-early 20th century

Fra Newbery, Director of Glasgow School of Art 1885-1916, and wife Jessie Newbery in costume, late 19th-early 20th century

GSAA/EPH/10/100 Poster for GSA production of The Noble Spaniard by By W Somerset Maugham, Mar 1964

GSAA/EPH/10/100 Poster for GSA production of The Noble Spaniard by By W Somerset Maugham, Mar 1964

Portrait of Herbert McNair, late 19th-early 20th century

Portrait of Herbert McNair, late 19th-early 20th century

 

 DB/87, Photograph of Dennistoun Rounders Club, by Duncan Brown, mid-late 19th century

DB/87, Photograph of Dennistoun Rounders Club, by Duncan Brown, mid-late 19th century

Detail from GSAA/P/1/1022, P W Davidson, c1920s

Detail from GSAA/P/1/1022, P W Davidson, c1920s

DC_073_17, Christmas card design by Gordon Huntly, c1950s

DC/073/17, Christmas card design by Gordon Huntly, c1950s

And how could we not include the best moustache of them all, the one belonging to our very own Mr Mackintosh?

Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Image credit: T & R Annan & Son

Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Image credit: T & R Annan & Son

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Hand, Heart & Soul – The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland

51RLW5RRIaL._SX385_Hand, Heart and Soul: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland, an exhibition at City Art Centre, Edinburgh (June to September 2007), which travelled to  Millennium Galleries, Sheffield (October to January 2008) and finally to Aberdeen Art Gallery (June to August 2008), looked at Arts and Crafts practice across Scotland between 1880 and 1939. More than 300 objects in a wide variety of media – from jewellery to furniture, ceramics and glass, textiles to architectural designs, and including a number of items from Glasgow School of Art’s archives and collections – were assembled from public and private collections. Some items were familiar, many others (and their designers) were new discoveries. Arranged through six thematic sections, the show presented fascinating facets of the movement from the design or decoration of buildings to studio crafts. Together they provided fresh insight into life and identity a century ago.

The story of the Arts and Crafts movement in Scotland is one of friendships, families and networks of art workers, architects and designer-craftsmen and women, all committed to the restoration of beauty to everyday life in the industrial age. At heart it was a middle-class city movement with its base in art schools and shared exhibitions. Arts and Crafts was an ideology which embraced modernity and progress but also the romance of the past. Part of the British movement, Scottish Arts and Crafts reflected and encouraged national dreams.

The exhibition curator, Dr Elizabeth Cumming, has kindly provided the exhibition guide and texts of the exhibit labels. These are now available on The Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey website. The book Hand, Heart and Soul: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland by Elizabeth Cumming has been recently reissued and is available to purchase from  Amazon.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day we thought we’d highlight the efforts of GSA alumnus and tutor Ann Macbeth (1875-1948).

Ann MacBeth and fellow student, Drawing and Painting class, c1912

Ann MacBeth (left) and fellow student, Drawing and Painting class, c1912

MacBeth was a renowned designer and embroiderer who was also heavily involved in the suffragette movement. Her commitment to women’s rights was expressed through her embroidery as well as in direct action. While her designs won international medals (she designed a banner for the 1909 Edinburgh women’s suffrage procession and demonstration, and a linen quilt with the embroidered names of hunger strikers for an exhibition in April 1910),  she also endured imprisonment, solitary confinement and forcible feedings in the name of the cause.

Suffragette banner 'WSPU Holloway Prisoners',  1910. It includes the embroidered signatures of 80 suffragette hunger-strikers who had 'faced death without flinching'. Made in the style of a traditional friendship quilt it symbolises the spirit of comradeship that gave suffragette prisoners the strength and courage to endure hunger strike and force feeding.

Suffragette banner ‘WSPU Holloway Prisoners’, 1910. Includes the embroidered signatures of 80 suffragette hunger-strikers. Image courtesy of Museum of London. 

MacBeth’s colleagues at GSA supported her protests.  Correspondence in the archives reveals that in May 1912 she wrote to the Secretary of the School thanking him for his ‘kind letter’.

I am still very much less vigorous than I anticipated…  after a fortnight’s solitary imprisonment with forcible feedings … but the doctor thinks this will improve when I get away.

She did not recuperate as quickly as expected. By June, her doctor told her that she needed at least five months’ care as a ’semi-invalid’. She may also have taken part in the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) window-smashing raid in London in 1912, but she is not mentioned in any sources.

Glasgow School of Art was a hive of activity for the suffrage cause, and between classes, students, including Ann Macbeth, took turns at stitching suffrage banners. MacBeth’s predecessor, Jessie Newbery (wife of Director Francis Newbery), was another active WSPU member.

Francis Newbery and Ann Macbeth in painting studio using easels, c1912

Francis Newbery and Ann Macbeth in painting studio using easels, c1912