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

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Explore Your Archive: Discover Georgina Goldie Killin

49c9e97cdcGlasgow School of Art wants YOU to explore our archives! 

We’re taking part in this year’s National Archives Explore Your Archive archives awareness campaign, which launches on 16th November. Did you know that Glasgow School of Art’s archives are about more than just Mackintosh? There’s so much more to explore. We invite you to delve into our collections and discover some of the other artists, designers and architects who nurtured their careers at the Art School.

Alison Brown, curator of European Decorative Art at Glasgow Museums, examining items from our archives

Alison Brown, curator of European Decorative Art at Glasgow Museums, examining items from our archives

We have developed a series of story boxes, each one containing items chosen by one of our users, to help illustrate how various researchers, from a wide range of backgrounds (academics, creative practitioners, architects, students, exhibition curators) are using our holdings.

GSAA/P/1/1022 Georgina Goldie Killin (top row, 5th from the right), designer of the ceramic vase, with fellow GSA staff, c1920s

GSAA/P/1/1022 Georgina Goldie Killin (top row, 5th from the right), designer of the ceramic vase, with fellow GSA staff, c1920s

Ceramic vase held by Glasgow Museums and now on display as part of a revamp of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Gallery at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. The vase was designed by Georgina Goldie Killin, who was a student and later a member of staff at Glasgow School of Art. Image credit: © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Ceramic vase held by Glasgow Museums and now on display as part of a revamp of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Gallery at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. The vase was designed by Georgina Goldie Killin, who was a student and later a member of staff at Glasgow School of Art. Image credit: © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

The contents in the first box in the series have been chosen by Alison Brown, curator of European Decorative Art at Glasgow Museums. These items helped Alison in her research on the designer Georgina Goldie Killin for a new display of Glasgow Style ceramics in the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Gallery at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery.

One of these boxes is in Kelvingrove beside the new display and one is on the ground floor in front of the service desk at GSA Library. Drop in and open the box to take a look at just a small selection of items from Glasgow School of Art’s vast Archives and Collections. If you have a smartphone, you can even scan the QR codes to hear Alison talk about the items! 

Our archives and collections are an outstanding resource for the study of art, design, architecture and art education. They include records and artefacts which relate to the School’s activities since its foundation in 1845. The archives comprise of GSA’s institutional records, and a number of collections deposited by former staff, students and related organizations. The collections include examples of art, design and architectural work by GSA alumni and former staff, including around 300 pieces by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Who knows what you might discover…

Find out more about the Explore Your Archive campaign on the campaign website. Find out more about the new display at Kelvingrove on the Glasgow Museums website and in this article in The Herald.

The Legacy of the Glasgow Girls event this week

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As part of the 2013 Creative Mackintosh Festival, a special event titled “The Legacy of the Glasgow Girls” which takes place this Wednesday will focus on Margaret Macdonald & the Glasgow Girls, with guest speakers Alison Brown, curator of Decorative Arts at Glasgow Museums, and Robyne Calvert, Lecturer in Architectural and Design History, The Glasgow School of Art.

Alison Brown has been examining our collections recently in relation to a new display of Glasgow Style ceramics, soon to be unveiled at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

49c9e97cdcAs part of the National Archives forthcoming Explore Your Archive campaign Alison has selected the items from our collection she has found the most interesting and useful in her research. These items will form a special Explore Your Archive box which will soon be available for inquisitive users to browse in GSA Library. Another of these archive boxes will be in Kelvingrove for members of the public to explore. If you have a smartphone you’ll even be able to scan QR codes on each of the items to hear soundbites of Alison describing how she’s been using each item! More to follow on this exciting campaign soon…

The Legacy of the Glasgow Girls event is on Wed 16th October from 7pm-9pm at Glasgow City Heritage Trust, 54 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ.

£5 donation, booking required (click here to email us), call us on 0141 552 1331 or join Friends of GCHT for free entry.

For more information visit the event website or the Glasgow City Heritage Trust website, or take a look at the Creative Mackintosh Festival programme.