New display in GSA Library: Talwin Morris, Bookbinder

Treasures of GSA Library

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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!

Thomas Annan’s images of Glasgow’s past

Image credit: University of Glasgow Library Special Collections

Image credit: University of Glasgow Library Special Collections

Thomas Annan – The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, Sp Coll Dougan 64

The Glasgow photographer Thomas Annan’s collection of photographs featuring the old closes and streets of Glasgow held in the University of Glasgow Library’s Special Collections is a wonderful resource. Created between 1868 and 1871 as part of a commission from the City of Glasgow Improvements Trust, this collection of images of the working class areas of old Glasgow helped document the impoverished living conditions of the working class at the time.

In 1866, the City of Glasgow passed an act through Parliament which authorised it to destroy the appalling slums of the City Parish. When it was decided in 1868 to make an effort to document the character and conditions of the old town, Thomas Annan was the obvious choice. Annan had previously photographed some of the busier thoroughfares of Glasgow, providing us with some historic record of the city’s more populous streets. When his focus was shifted to the confining closes, he provided us with another kind of record: the earliest comprehensive series of photographs of an urban slum – the very slum which was considered to be the worst in Britain.

Image credit: University of Glasgow Library Special Collections

Image credit: University of Glasgow Library Special Collections

Thomas Annan’s son James Craig Annan is the photographer behind many of the most famous images of our very own Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Image courtesy T. & R. Annan & Sons Ltd.

Image courtesy T. & R. Annan & Sons Ltd.

For more information visit the University of Glasgow Library’s Special Collections website. Check out their online collection highlights and virtual displays for more inspiration.

Mr Dedman’s Victory Suit: Intimate stories of make do and mend exhibition

002An exhibition at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections entitled Mr Dedman’s Victory Suit: Intimate stories of make do and mend will showcase work by Dr Amanda Ravetz, a visual anthropologist and Senior Research Fellow, Manchester University, and Antonia Riviere, a textile artist and Artist-Facilitator at Barrington Farm Art Centre, Norwich. Work on display has been produced as part of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Scholars and Artists in Residence Research Fellowship Programme.

001Their 2 month research fellowship examined the role of improvisation in the generation of new knowledge and experience in artistic practice and everyday life. Using a range of archival materials they focused on austerity measures imposed during WW2, and contemporary revivals of make do and mend, and investigated how materials that have already had a first life come to influence a maker’s practice and capacity to innovate.

Work in progress by Antonia Riviere

Work in progress by Antonia Riviere

The exhibition includes contemporary video, textiles and archival material that explores the personal and intimate histories of repurposing and recycling.

The exhibition is free and runs from 15th April-30th August at MMU Special Collections Gallery in the Sir Kenneth Green Library, Manchester. Visit Amanda’s blog (which is a great record of the research project at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia) and MMU’s Special Collections for more details.