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.

Advertisements

New display in GSA Library: Anatomy at The Glasgow School of Art

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 2, is devoted to Talwin Morris and bookbinding, GSA Archives and Collections and Library staff have dedicated the other to anatomy.

Anatomy drawing has historically formed an important part of art education. Up until 1900, Glasgow School of Art followed the National Course of Instruction, or the South Kensington system. Of the 23 stages that the system prescribed, Stage 9, “Anatomical studies”, included drawing from the human figure, animal forms and from nature.

GSAA/P/1/783 – Photographs of students in the Anatomy Room, c1910

GSAA/P/1/783 – Photographs of GSA students in the Anatomy Room, c1910

Glasgow School of Art’s Archives and Collections holds a selection of material related to the history of anatomy drawing at the School, including prospectuses which outline the place of anatomy drawing in the School’s curriculum; photographs of students drawing in the School’s Anatomy Room; anatomy drawings by former students of the School; lantern slides of anatomical subjects; and some correspondence related to the teaching of anatomy drawing, such as a letter from the Director to Professor Bryce, Regius Professor of Anatomy at Glasgow University, requesting permission for GSA anatomy students to work at the
University.

Cricket, Over Arm Bowling n°69, plate 290 – assorted plate from Animal locomotion: an  electro-photographic investigation of consecutive phases of animal movements by  Eadweard Muybridge, c1887

Cricket, Over Arm Bowling n°69, plate 290 – assorted plate from Animal locomotion: an
electro-photographic investigation of consecutive phases of animal movements by
Eadweard Muybridge, c1887

GSA Library holds a number of rare anatomical treatises in its Special Collections, which have served as inspiration to renowned artists such as Christine Borland and more recently Kate Davis for her exhibition ‘Not Just the Perfect Moments’ in 2012. The Library is also lucky to hold a number of original 1887 plates from Eadweard Muybridge’s seminal photographic study Animal Locomotion. In total the library holds a representative selection of 63 plates from Muybridge’s total set of 781, which were purchased for the use of GSA students in June 1917. More information about the Muybridge plates can be found on the GSA Library Treasures blog.

The display is located on the mezzanine level of the Library (Level 1), just before the stairs up to Level 2. An introduction, captions and bibliographies with suggestions for further reading can also be found in the ‘Library Display Cabinets’ folder as part of the Archives and Collections course on the VLE. Call in at the librarians’ office on Level 2 or at the Archives and Collections Centre in the basement of the Mackintosh Building for more information (you can also email Delpine Dallison, d.dallison@gsa.ac.uk, or Michelle Kaye, m.kaye@gsa.ac.uk with any questions).

Look out for future posts about our library displays here and on the Library’s GSA Library Treasures blog.

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.

Trick or treat!

To celebrate Halloween tomorrow, feast your eyes on some spooky images from Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections photograph collections…

Glasgow School of Art glass plate negative showing students in costume, early 1900s

Glasgow School of Art glass plate negative showing students in costume, early 1900s

Dorothy Carleton Smyth’s 1933 costume designs for the three witches in Macbeth are particularly chilling!

NMC096/V Costume design for the 1st witch in Macbeth, but Dorothy Carleton Smyth, 1933

NMC096/V Costume design for the 1st witch in Macbeth, but Dorothy Carleton Smyth, 1933

NMC096/U Costume design for the 2nd witch in Macbeth, but Dorothy Carleton Smyth, 1933

NMC096/U Costume design for the 2nd witch in Macbeth, but Dorothy Carleton Smyth, 1933

NMC096/R Costume design for the 3rd witch in Macbeth, but Dorothy Carleton Smyth, 1933

NMC096/R Costume design for the 3rd witch in Macbeth, but Dorothy Carleton Smyth, 1933

And if you’ve still not come up with a costume for tomorrow night, here are some (less creepy) ideas from students past…

GSA student in costume, early 1900s

GSA student in costume, early 1900s

Glasgow School of Art glass plate negative featuring student in costume, early 1900s

Glasgow School of Art glass plate negative featuring student in costume, early 1900s

Glasgow School of Art glass plate negative featuring student in costume, early 1900s

Glasgow School of Art glass plate negative featuring student in costume, early 1900s

You’ll also find lots more inspirational costume designs by Dorothy Carleton Smyth from 1933  on our Flickr. Happy guising!

New RCAHMS digital image library

RCAHMS, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, has recently made thousands of images available in a new online digital image library. Through active surveying and recording programmes, RCAHMS adds new online images to the Canmore database every day. These include interior and exterior views of buildings and archaeological sites, aerial photographs, and digital drawings, all of which may be of interest as inspiration for artists, architects and designers.

RCAHMS also maintains an active digitisation programme of its Collection items, copying photographs and historic views, photograph albums, original architects’ drawings and new survey drawings, engravings and sketches, books and maps, and also receives material from external depositors and accessions.

When you search Canmore for buildings or archaeological sites of interest, anything from the Collections that has already been digitised will be shown (excluding copyright restricted images). There are already 200,000 digital images available online.

Furthermore, all images can be purchased as digital images, photographic prints or poster prints by clicking the Order Image link below each image.

Portobello Pier in Edinburgh was opened in 1871 and demolished after 1918. From the Photograph Albums Collection. DP137192. Image credit: RCAHMS

Portobello Pier in Edinburgh was opened in 1871 and demolished after 1918. From the Photograph Albums Collection. DP137192. Image credit: RCAHMS

RCAHMS now on Flickr

View of clock-tower at Singer's Sewing Machine Factory, Clydebank. Demolished 15 March 1963. Image credit: RCAHMS

View of clock-tower at Singer’s Sewing Machine Factory, Clydebank.
Demolished 15 March 1963. Image credit: RCAHMS

RCAHMS (The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland) has launched a Flickr site.

RCAHMS collects, records and interprets information on the architectural, industrial, archaeological and maritime heritage of Scotland. It holds an archive of over 18 million items including photographs and albums from the 1840s to the present day, original architects’ drawings, excavation plans, new survey drawings, engravings, sketches, books, manuscripts and maps, offering a unique insight into the special nature of Scotland’s places. RCAHMS’ database Canmore contains images and information on over 300,000 archaeological and architectural sites across Scotland, and over 150,000 images are available to view online on their website.

RCAHMS will be updating their Flickr site with images from their collection regularly. So far they have published a lovely photo of the Singer Sewing Machine Factory in Clydebank, and The Fife Earth Project at Lassodie.

Visit their Flickr, and see the RCAHMS website for more information.

Artists using archives: James Frew

Glasgow School of Art BA Fine Art Painting and Printmaking student James Frew visited us last year to look at our photograph collection. We thought you might like to see an artwork he made that was inspired by a photograph he came across in the archive.

James Frew, 5' x 4', oil on board

James Frew, 5′ x 4′, oil on board

The work is 5′ x 4′, which is pretty huge! James found his trip to the archives really useful and inspiring…

I found out about the archives through my tutors in first year, so thought it would be beneficial to check it out as I was told it was a rich resource.

I liked the photograph because it was bold, with a strong sense of contrast that I felt would translate into paint very well.

I decided to work with the archives because I felt I could get first hand access to primary resources that would give my work a well informed look; I have recently revisited the archive for further inspiration, and plan to do so again to enhance my work.

Anne Howatson modelling Alex Gourley's Pringle cashemere sweater

GSAA/P/1/238 Anne Howatson modelling Alex Gourley’s Pringle cashemere sweater, c1960, the inspiration for James’ artwork

Artists using archives: Gabriella Marcella DiTano, Risotto Studio

Gabriella Marcella DiTano is a graphic designer and publisher. She recently founded Risotto Studio, a risograph print and design specialist based in Glasgow.

She visited GSA Archives and Collections recently to look at our photography collection, specifically at the archive photographs we have featuring the Mackintosh Building.

GSAA_P_7_76GSAA_P_7_122

She was given a brief to transform the images using her risograph printing technique. The images she produced are fantastic…

Gabriella Marcella DiTano

Gabriella Marcella DiTano

Here’s what she had to say about her experience of using our archives:

I thought the archives had such an interesting selection, it proved hard to shortlist the images (hence there are three, and not just one!)
A few of the compositions were really unusual and showed me totally new sides to the building. It was great to work with such a unique collection, especially as I don’t normally work from found images.

The Risograph is a screen printing press from the Japanese company Riso. Similar to a photocopier, it permits high-speed printing in screenprint quality. It is not only much more environmentally friendly than other printers, but also more cost effective. This process is therefore ideal for graphic arts applications such as posters, zines, print editions and cards.

For more information about Gabriella and her work visit her website or the Risotto Studio website.