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.

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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.

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh embroidered panels return from Japan

Our beautiful pair of embroidered panels by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, wife of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, have returned from their exhibition tour of Japan. The exhibition, entitled Klint’s Golden Rider and Vienna: Celebraring the 150th Anniversary of Klimt’s Birth, has been travelling around various galleries and museums in Japan since late 2012.

Since the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art opened 20 years ago, Gustav Klimt’s 1903 painting Life is a Struggle (Golden Rider) has been a beloved museum treasure. Structured around this painting, this exhibition introduces the artist’s stylistic development. The exhibition also examines various influences on the production of the Golden Rider, including the influence of the arts of Japan on those of the West (japonisme), and the activities of the Vienna Secession (founded in 1897 and led by Klimt) and the Wiener Werkstätte (founded in 1903).

Embroidered panels, by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, c1902-1904

Embroidered panels, by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, c1902-1904

Our panels are linen embroidered with silk and metal threads in satin stitch and couching with silk braid, ribbon, silk appliqué, glass beads, square linen buttons painted gold. The faces are painted in watercolour on white kid stretched over card, and date from c1902-1904. Similar panels appear in Mackintosh’s drawings of the east wall of the principal bedroom at The Hill House although it is not certain when they were installed there as early photographs taken in 1904 do not show them. The panels appear to be duplicates of those shown at the Vienna Secession exhibition in 1900 and bought by Emil Blumenfelt; at least one of these (listed as a ‘bed curtain’) was lent by Blumenfelt to the Turin exhibition in 1902 – although it lacks the lower section of black silk seen on The Hill House panels.

Digital makeover for celebrated Glasgow artists

GSA The MagazineA newly launched website – http://www.gsathemagazine.net/ (made possible with Recognition funding from Museums Galleries Scotland) has replicated the unique GSA Magazine as an important on-line resource. This four-volume work documents the collaboration of various students and artists associated with the Glasgow School of Art during the mid-1890s. The GSA Magazine contains watercolours, pen and ink drawings and early photographs, together with poetry and prose and includes significant designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald, amongst others.