The influence of the Mackintosh group is far-reaching. Its influence in its native city is already so generally obvious that Mackintosh’s repertoire of forms may almost be said to have created a local style.

—Hermann Muthesius Das Englische Haus (The English House), 1904

A Government Act of 1890 directed tax revenue from alcohol toward British technical and manual education. The aim was to create a skilled workforce, raise the standards of design, and improve products for the international export market. At The Glasgow School of Art, director Francis Newbery established the Technical Art Studios in 1893. Many of the graduates set up private studios or worked in industry or from home. The Technical Art Studios effectively created a Glasgow Arts and Crafts movement.

These studios were first housed with the GSA in rented rooms attached to the Corporation Galleries on Sauchiehall Street. Bookbinding, ceramic decoration, metalwork, needlework, and stained glass were the first subjects taught. In late 1899 the GSA moved into new purpose-built, well-equipped premises designed by Mackintosh, and the technical studios were temporarily housed in an adjacent long, single-story shed. Here, rooms were allocated for both the design and practical teaching of leaded glass, metalwork, pottery, and wood and stone carving. When the GSA extension was completed in 1909, all the Technical Art subjects were accommodated in the classrooms of the main building.

The Many Facets of The Glasgow School of Art

As director of The Glasgow School of Art from 1885 until 1917, Francis Newbery was a major force in shaping the teaching and direction of the Technical Art Studios. He excelled at creating initiatives to link students and artists with philanthropists and manufacturers and at bringing people together through social events—exhibitions, gatherings, and pageants. In addition to his work in Glasgow, Newbery tirelessly served on committees and boards across the country, always taking opportunities to improve the School’s output and to promote the technical application of design skills.

Program for A Masque of Science and Art, December 21, 1905
Written by Francis Newbery (1855–1946)
Illustrated by D. Broadfoot Carter (1880–1940)
Ink print on sugar paper, and paper with ribbon
Glasgow Museums: Bought with the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, 2004, E.2005.1.110

Postcard depicting Jessie Marion King and Ernest Archibald Taylor in masque costume, ca. 1908
Printed card, gummed postage stamp, and ink
Glasgow Museums: Bought with the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, 2004, E.2005.1.128

Francis Newbery wrote and produced A Masque of Science and Art to mark the formal opening of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College in 1905. The masque and pageant’s storyline celebrated the city’s history and the links between these key educational institutions: the Technical College (Science) and The Glasgow School of Art (Art). One hundred fifty-five costumed performers—including many staff and students of The Glasgow School of Art—are listed in the program, playing roles such as knights, saints, gods, and representations of the city and university.

Jessie Marion King and her fiancé, the designer Ernest Archibald Taylor, whose work is on view in this gallery, shared a deep love of these costumed masques and pageants. In addition to designing costumes, they organized and regularly participated in such performances. This photographic postcard shows King dressed as The Holy Graal and Taylor as the knight Sir Percival in the Scottish National Pageant of Allegory, Myth, and History, performed in Edinburgh in 1908. King designed around thirty costumes for the part of the pageant devoted to the legend of King Arthur.

Public School Teacher’s Certificate in Drawing, after 1906
Designed by Annie French (1872–1965), 1905–6
Printed paper and ink
Glasgow Museums: Bought 2007, E.2007.4

Annie French designed this certificate for a new national art teaching qualification created in 1906. French’s certificate was awarded to those graduating from the three-year course at The Glasgow School of Art. At the bottom of the design, French used a repeat motif of a female teacher tutoring a child in the key subjects: drawing from landscape, nature study, and architecture. She included modeling and sculpture in the large G at the top.

Teaching Design and Decoration—Ceramics

Painting on China and Earthenware was one of the first subjects taught at the Technical Art Studios in 1893. Tutors and visiting lecturers included practicing pottery painters and those working in Glasgow’s ceramic manufacturing industry. Students received instruction in painting, modeling, design, materials, colors, processes, glazes, and firing. These subjects all had manufacturing applications or were intended to prepare students to set up their own businesses and workshops. Some graduates of the School established ceramic studios with an emphasis on hand-painted decoration.

Bowl with glazed iris decoration, 1907
Designed and made by Hugh Allan (1862–1909)
Made at the Allander Pottery, Milngavie
Earthenware with glaze
Glasgow Museums: Acquired 1964, E.1964.3.h

Hugh Allan, a trained art teacher and one of Mackintosh’s contemporaries at The Glasgow School of Art, founded the first art pottery studio in Scotland: the Allander Pottery. This bowl, which appears to be an impressionistic study of irises against a blue watery background, reflects his experimental use of glazes, inspired by his study of Chinese and Japanese ceramics. He incised the matte black band at the top of the bowl to give the appearance of a woven raffia edge.

Plate with peacock feather decoration, 1904
Hand-glazed and possibly made by Jessie R. Allan (1859–1947)
Made at the Allander Pottery, Milngavie
Earthenware with glaze
Glasgow Museums: Acquired 1988, E.1988.36

In 1886 Jessie Allan, a skilled painter and Hugh’s older sister, became the first woman to teach at The Glasgow School of Art. Some pieces of Allander pottery, such as this peacock feather–patterned plate, have her signature on the base, indicating that she assisted her brother with ideas for glazed decoration.

Vase, 1920s
Painted decoration by Jessie Marion King (1875–1949)
Blank probably manufactured by David Methven’s, Kirkcaldy, Fife
Earthenware and underglaze painted decoration
Glasgow Museums: Bought with the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, 2004, E.2005.1.34

Vase, 1920s–1930s
Painted decoration by Ann Macbeth (1875–1948)
Blank manufactured by Wetheriggs Pottery, Penrith, Cumberland
Earthenware and underglaze painted decoration
Glasgow Museums: Bought 1988, E.1988.26

In the years between the two World Wars (1919 to 1939), Jessie Marion King and Ann Macbeth hand-painted premade undecorated ceramic vessels (called blanks). Since the late 1890s, this method of applying decoration to industrially made wares had been particularly popular for women working in the Glasgow Style, especially those with studios based in their own homes. King’s applied style was lively, and she often covered her pots in tiny bright florals or quirky figurative stories. Macbeth often hand-painted designs with bold florals in contemporary colors.

Macbeth taught pottery classes at The Glasgow School of Art from 1915, and her teaching initiatives led to ceramic painting being taken up in schools and as employment by wounded soldiers. From 1920 onward Macbeth worked from her cottage studio in Patterdale, a small village in the English Lake District, regularly traveling 130 miles to teach in Glasgow.

Teaching Design and Decoration—The Celtic Revival

Spurred by research and publications on the Celts, Picts, and Anglo-Saxons, a renewed artistic interest in the art, language, and myths of Britain’s Celtic past emerged around 1900. Many Glasgow School of Art students, particularly those working in metal, applied interlaced designs based on Celtic knotwork to their decorative output.

Alms dish, ca. 1900
Designed and made by Margaret Gilmour (1863–1942)
Repoussé and chased brass and enamel
Glasgow Museums: Acquired 1985, E.1985.37

Margaret Gilmour was one of the most prominent Glasgow School of Art graduates working in the Celtic Revival style. In addition to running a teaching studio in Glasgow’s city center, she exhibited and sold her metalwork at the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition and produced a huge range of items, from mirrors to desk sets, often incorporating enameled elements within her knotwork patterns.

Salver decorated with Celtic knotwork, 1900–1901
Designed and made by Alexander Ritchie (1856–1941)
Repoussé and chased copper
Glasgow Museums: Given by Mr. Murdo MacDonald, 2006, E.2007.3.14

From June 1900 Glasgow School of Art graduates Alexander Ritchie and his wife, Euphemia, produced and sold their decorative artwork on the small island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland. Ritchie worked there as the custodian of Iona Abbey, a thirteenth-century church standing on the site considered the sixth-century birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. Drawing inspiration from the nine centuries of historic stone carvings on the island, the Ritchies incorporated Celtic motifs and knotted borders in works such as this salver (tray), which includes an image of a ship inspired by the design on an eleventh-century Viking stone.

Teaching Design and Decoration—Stained Glass

Stained glass was a significant Glasgow trade, offering excellent opportunities for freelance design. Because of its two-dimensional nature, many painters and illustrators embraced the medium, while artisans skilled in the selection, cutting, and leading of glass brought their colorful pictorial scenes to life. A versatile medium with many applications, stained glass brightened many modern interiors, providing a colorful decorative embellishment on furniture, as well as on doors, paneling, and windows.

Stained glass first became part of The Glasgow School of Art curriculum in 1893, when it was taught at the Technical Art Studios two afternoons and three evenings per week. Course instructors, visiting lecturers, and examiners were some of the most accomplished Glasgow names working in the medium.

Leaded glass panel: Water Sprite, ca. 1895–96
Designed by William Gibson Morton (1871–1946)
Probably made by William Stewart (active 1890–1927)
Leaded colored glass
Glasgow Museums: Bought with grant aid from the National Fund for Acquisitions, funded by the Scottish Government, 1981, PP.1981.29

From 1897 William Gibson Morton was the design instructor for interior decoration at The Glasgow School of Art. He designed this panel, in which the bright colors were intended to grab the viewers’ attention, and the lines of leading give the composition movement and rhythm. Executing Morton’s design, craftsman William Stewart thoughtfully selected vibrantly colored glass, cutting it so that the inherent color variations give the picture depth and life. For instance, the tonal blue glass suggests the motion of underwater currents against the sprite’s body, and the streaks in the orange glass animate her swirling hair.

Design for leaded glass: Gather Ye Rosebuds, ca. 1898–1901
J. & W. Guthrie and Andrew Wells Ltd., Glasgow
Pencil, ink, and watercolor on paper and card
Glasgow Museums: Acquired from Guthrie & Wells, 1979, PP.1979.128.108

This stained glass window design and the framed mosaic panel nearby use the same pictorial motifs of the rose and the young woman inspired by a seventeenth-century poem. The suitability of the design for use in the two different mediums highlights their similarities: in both, designs are created by arranging colored shapes, cut and often painted to accentuate forms and define certain details.

Design for leaded glass: O Come unto These Yellow Sands, ca. 1898
Oscar Paterson (1863–1934)
Watercolor and pencil on paper
Glasgow Museums: Bought with grant aid from the National Fund for Acquisitions, funded by the Scottish Government, 1981, PP.1981.81.8.a–f

Oscar Paterson skillfully created airy stained and leaded glass scenes by “drawing” with lead lines and carefully selecting a variety of glass—translucent (see-through), textured (often rippled or bubbled), and opal (cloudy or opaque)—to maximize a window’s atmospheric effect. This pictorial window design for a private home would have been executed in what The Studio magazine described as Paterson’s “distinctly novel color-scheme . . . lemon and white with neutral greys and actual black employed freely.”

Mosaic panel: Gather Ye Rosebuds, ca. 1898–1910
Attributed to J. & W. Guthrie and Andrew Wells Ltd., Glasgow
Glazed frit, glass beads, cabochons, paint, grout, and stained wood
Glasgow Museums: Bought with grant aid from the National Fund for Acquisitions, funded by the Scottish Government, 2010, E.2010.11.1

In 1895 Jessie Newbery was appointed as the first mosaic instructor at The Glasgow School of Art; she was succeeded by John Guthrie, the director of the School’s Department of Design between 1897 and 1911. Guthrie’s family business, which in 1897 became Guthrie & Wells, had long worked as interior decorators utilizing all disciplines, including leaded glass and mosaic. His move into teaching shows the exceptionally close relationship between the GSA and industry in Glasgow at the time.

Teaching Design and Decoration—Books and Illustration

Bookbinding, which included cover design and decoration, was one of the first subjects taught after the establishment of The Glasgow School of Art’s Technical Art Studios in 1893. Classes were held one afternoon and two evenings weekly, and the first design instructor was Francis Newbery. Topics covered included “design to fill given spaces” and “foliage from nature.” From 1900 established Glasgow Style book designers were appointed as design instructors: Jessie Marion King, from 1900 to 1908, and Ann Macbeth, from 1909.

Blackie’s Children’s Annual, 1907
Cover designed by Ethel Larcombe (1876–1940)
Published by Blackie & Son
Printed cloth hardcover
Mitchell Library, Special Collections: Moir Fund acquisition, 1987, MLSC.CC.908203

Between 1904 and 1912, Ethel Larcombe designed book covers for Blackie & Son. Although she lived in the south of England, she created designs in the Glasgow Style, which she saw reproduced in The Studio and other journals. This whimsical design for Blackie’s Children’s Annual includes many iconic Glasgow Style motifs, such as a young woman, roses, and hearts. Larcombe looked to Mackintosh’s tearooms for inspiration, turning Margaret Macdonald’s central figure in The May Queen, on view in the next gallery, into a young girl wearing a big hat with a fur muff.

John Keats: His Poems, 1898
Cover designed by Ann Macbeth (1875–1948)
Published by George Bell & Sons
Binding by James Maclehose & Sons, Glasgow
Tooled Morocco leather hardcover, with gilt
From the collections of The Glasgow School of Art, GSA ‘Book Arts’/ MACB

Ann Macbeth created this cover for a series of volumes of English classic literature produced by the Glasgow publisher Maclehose. Her design centers on a shield and sword device, around which rambling roses climb, while additional plant forms counterbalance the design. Macbeth designed this cover the same year that fellow student Jessie Marion King was producing her first work for the German publisher Globus Verlag, showing that both young women were developing their early Glasgow Style language in a similar way, with swags of small flowers and spiky organic lines.

Book cover for Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), ca. 1898–1905
Cover designed and made by Dorothy Carleton Smyth (1880–1933)
Printed score published by Schott & Co., ca. 1898
Printed paper, card, ink, gouache, and watercolor
Glasgow Museums: Given by the artist’s family, 1943, E.1943.1

Dorothy Carleton Smyth’s hand-illustrated cover communicates the epic drama of Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), the fourth and final part of Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle, an operatic interpretation of Norse sagas. Smyth created a border filled with German script and Celtic knotwork to frame her design, which highlights key elements of the story’s finale. Like fellow Glasgow School of Art tutors and illustrators Jessie Marion King and Annie French, Smyth delighted in encrusted detail, expressed here through the array of flowers and patterning of the chain mail. She went on to become a successful costume designer, working on Shakespearean productions in England and opera and theater in Paris and Stockholm.

L’Evangile de l’enfance de Notre Seigneur Jésus Christ, ca. 1900–1901
Cover designed by Jessie Marion King (1875–1949)
Binding by James Maclehose & Sons, Glasgow
Tooled vellum hardcover, with gilt
Glasgow Museums: Bought with grant aid from the National Fund for Acquisitions, funded by the Scottish Government and the Friends of Glasgow Museums, 2018, GML.2018.4.1

In 1902 Jessie Marion King won a gold medal for this intricately decorated gilt and vellum (animal skin) cover at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Arts in Turin, Italy. She created it for a printed volume of L’Evangile de l’enfance de Notre Seigneur Jésus Christ (The Gospel of the Childhood of Our Lord Jesus Christ). This book cover showcases King’s original approach to design, largely expressed through the controlled, crisply tooled and stylized treatment of the petals and stamens of the fuchsia flower. In the center a woman wearing a moth-shaped gown perfectly fills the pictorial plane. The vellum binding was made by the Glasgow publishing firm of Maclehose & Sons; James, one of the sons, taught bookbinding and decoration alongside King at The Glasgow School of Art.

Teaching Design and Decoration—Needlework

The hand that holds the needle beautifies the world.

—Francis Newbery, 1902

In 1892 needlework became the first technical subject introduced at The Glasgow School of Art. Two years later Francis Newbery’s wife, Jessie, took up leadership of the Needlework Department, and her teaching had a profound impact on the development of the Glasgow Style. In 1901 Ann Macbeth was appointed as her assistant instructor, and in 1908 took over the running and creative direction of the department.

Embroidered panel: The Sleeping Beauty, ca. 1899–1900
Designed and made by Ann Macbeth (1875–1948)
Embroidered and appliquéd linen, silk, gold metal thread, and pencil
Glasgow Museums: Bought 1989, E.1989.9

Ann Macbeth designed and embroidered this delicate silk appliqué panel while she was a student in Jessie Newbery’s needlework classes at The Glasgow School of Art. In appliqué different textiles are sewn to a backing to create blocks of color and give texture to a composition. Macbeth’s thoughtful creativity with fabrics, threads, and stitching attests to her ingenuity in this medium. Here she lightly padded the areas of the woman’s face and flesh and pleated the embroidered silk of the hanging at the back of the bench before sewing it into place.

Teaching Design and Decoration—Art Botany

All students studying technical subjects at The Glasgow School of Art took classes in Art Botany—an analysis of plant structure and growth. This study was central to the unwritten design philosophy of the Glasgow Style. These natural forms provided floral motifs, inspiration for patterns, and a symbolic language. Students learned to tame and shape the natural world for applied ornamental purpose; the Needlework Department especially embraced the design potential of plants.

Sketchbook belonging to Jessie Newbery (1864–1948), early 1900s
Pencil and ink on paper
Glasgow Museums: Given by the artist’s family, 1985, E.1985.162.26

For Jessie Newbery the originality of the design was more important than stitching perfection. For the cushion cover design on the right page of her sketchbook, she has drawn a circular arrangement of stylized roses juxtaposed with poetic words set within a square. The motif was probably intended to be executed in appliqué, a technique where fabric shapes are sewn to a backing to create blocks of color and give texture to a design. Her favored satin stitch (a series of long, flat stitches) would have been used to fill the design areas with color simply and quickly.

The motto “Like water came we / And like wind we go” is derived from Edward FitzGerald’s translated interpretation of the twelfth-century Iranian epic poem The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.

Embroidered tablecloth, ca. 1906–7
Designed and made by Ellison Young (ca. 1886–1949)
Linen, silk, and opaline plastic beads
Glasgow Museums: Given by a private donor, 1980, E.1980.169.7

Needlework was the most continually innovative subject taught at The Glasgow School of Art, and the department gained an international reputation for excellence. This tablecloth was embroidered by Ellison Young, one of the department’s many prize-winning students. Glasgow Style embroidery favored simple stitches to create its distinctive formal arrangement of lines and plant forms, and the medium popularized many of its key motifs, particularly the Glasgow rose.

Embroidered cushion cover: Under Every Grief and Pine, 1899–1900
Designed and made by Jessie Newbery (1864–1948)
Linen and wool
Glasgow Museums: Given by the artist’s family, E.1953.53.c

Jessie Newbery regularly sewed poetry and popular verse into her designs for home furnishings; this cushion quotes a poetic stanza by the English artist and visionary William Blake (1757–1827). She was the first of the Glasgow artists to devise a characteristic exaggerated lettering style now closely associated with the Glasgow Style, taking inspiration from the irregular text on seventeenth-century Scottish tombstones. The fruiting and flowering plant forms that border the motto are sweet peas.

Embroidered tea cosy, ca. 1910s
Designed and made by Mary Begg (1876–1936)
Shot silk and floss silk thread
Glasgow Museums: Given by the artist’s family, 1980, E.1980.181.3

This tea cosy—a padded cover placed over a teapot to keep the contents hot—is a perfect example of how studying plants informed applied design in the Glasgow Style. The flower embroidered is a fuchsia, the heads of which usually hang in an abundant, disordered cascade. Here, Mary Begg adapted the flowers and leaves to fill a semicircular space, depicting a single flower head with its darker outer petals fully open, choosing to let the rest hang as buds. She artificially lengthened the plants’ leaves and arranged them to fill and balance the overall composition.

Teaching Design and Decoration—Metalwork

From 1893 metalwork—in brass, copper, iron, and silver—was taught two afternoons and three evenings a week in the Technical Art Studios. In these classes, students learned how to draw, design, and model both ornament and the human figure. They also practiced the techniques of repoussé (shaping a flat sheet of metal from the reverse to emboss the design), chasing (working from the front to recess and texture), and engraving (scoring lines to create a design). Classes on enamels and precious metals were added to the syllabus in the early 1900s.

The first technical instructor in metalwork was sculptor William Kellock Brown, followed by silversmith Peter Wylie Davidson in 1897. The department gained international recognition for the high quality of its work. Graduates of the school established many small independent studios throughout Glasgow.

Decorative metal panel: The Trumpet of the Morn, ca. 1900
Designed and made by Peter Wylie Davidson (1870–1963)
Repoussé and chased tin, and stained wood
Glasgow Museums: Bought 1991, E.1991.23.1

Standing clock, ca. 1900
Metalwork designed and made by Margaret Thomson Wilson (1864–1912)
Cabinetmaker unknown
Stained beech and chased and repoussé brass
Glasgow Museums: Bought with grant aid from the National Fund for Acquisitions, funded by the Scottish Government and the Friends of Glasgow Museums, 2003, E.2003.2

Decorative metal panel: Girl with Cowrie Shell, ca. 1900
Designed and made by Marion Henderson Wilson (1869–1956)
Chased and repoussé white metal, and stained wood
Glasgow Museums: Bought 2007, E.2007.13

These works are by some of the key metalworkers of the Glasgow Style and show their techniques, personal styles, and working processes. Both Peter Wylie Davidson and Marion Henderson Wilson studied at The Glasgow School of Art at the same time as Mackintosh. Margaret Thomson Wilson was part of the next generation to attend. Davidson became the longest-serving technical instructor of the Glasgow Style era, retiring in 1935.

Design for decorative metalwork, ca. 1906–14
John C. Hall & Co., Glasgow
Pencil on tracing paper
Glasgow Museums: Given by the artist’s family, 1987, E.1987.57.2

The first step in embossing metal is to come up with a design. Here, John C. Hall placed a butterfly in a framework of peapods. Next, the back of the design is covered with a thick layer of graphite, which enables the artisan to trace the design onto a metal sheet beneath. Then the shaping begins. This photograph [on the label] shows a young metalworker in her studio working on what will become a metal back for a hand mirror. She is using a technique called repoussé (where metal is worked from the reverse). By hammering the material from the back, a metalworker can raise and model a design. Once complete, the metal panel can be turned over and worked from the front to refine the modeling, using a technique called chasing. Differently shaped punch heads can be used to create a variety of textures. The choice and mix of punches and chasing technique are unique to each metalworker.

Teaching Design and Decoration—Furniture and Interiors

Mackintosh’s famous high-backed chairs are now seen as central to the Glasgow Style, but furniture design was only taught at The Glasgow School of Art for a few years from 1902. As a discipline it did not fit naturally within the overall provision of the Technical Art Studios, which instead focused on training in wood carving or the broader decoration of interiors and applied design.

The Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, however, provided comprehensive trade-based instruction in cabinetmaking and house decoration through its Industrial Arts Department. From 1899 the three instructors heading the department were all designers for Glasgow cabinetmakers, upholsterers, and interior furnishers Wylie & Lochhead, whose work set the bar for the commercial application of the Glasgow Style to interior design.

Chair, 1901
Designed by Ernest Archibald Taylor (1874–1951)
Made by Wylie & Lochhead, Glasgow
Walnut, satinwood, and mother-of-pearl with modern upholstery
Glasgow Museums: Bought with grant aid from the National Fund for Acquisitions, funded by the Scottish Government, 1991, E.1991.29.2

This chair, inlaid with mother-of-pearl flowers and butterflies, debuted at the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition, where Glasgow cabinetmakers and interior furnishers Wylie and Lochhead launched their “New Art” decorative style. In their pavilion showroom, designer Ernest Archibald Taylor repeated this chair’s shimmering motifs in a variety of materials across the drawing room. Taylor followed Mackintosh’s interior design lead by using white-painted wood, bright pastel colors, rose stenciling, rich glasswork, and striking stained-wood furniture. His approach was a commercial response to Mackintosh’s radicalism.

Writing bureau, ca. 1902–6
Designed by Ernest Archibald Taylor (1874–1951)
Made by Wylie & Lochhead, Glasgow
Mahogany veneer, wood, leaded glass, leather, brass, and metals
Glasgow Museums: Given by Ms. May Swanson, 2009, E.2009.6

This writing bureau, of a slightly later date than the chair, shows many of the key motifs Taylor employed when designing furniture for Wylie & Lochhead. These include the arches above the legs, which visually lift the bureau from the floor, as well as delicate leaded glass roses and a divided-heart motif pierced through the wood.

Brussels armchair, 1900–1901
Designed by George Walton (1867–1933), 1899
Made by George Walton & Co.
Polished oak, with modern upholstery and braid
Glasgow Museums: Bought with grant aid from the National Fund for Acquisitions, funded by the Scottish Government, 1981, E.1981.125.10

Contemporary critics saw George Walton as the second most important designer to emerge from Glasgow, after Mackintosh. His sleek furniture and interior design stood apart from his Glasgow Style peers’ because he took inspiration from the gentle tapering curves and shapes of early eighteenth-century English furniture. Walton first produced this chair for the Eastman Kodak photography showroom in Brussels, Belgium, which opened in 1899. It is characteristic of Walton’s spare, modern approach to furniture design. Like Mackintosh he gave a fresh new twist to historic forms.

Design for a sideboard and chair, ca. 1903
Ernest Archibald Taylor (1874–1951)
Pencil, ink, and watercolor on paper
Glasgow Museums: Bought with grant aid from the National Fund for Acquisitions, funded by the Scottish Government, 1982, E.1982.77.2

This design by Ernest Archibald Taylor for a sideboard (on the left side of the page, depicted both from the front and from the side) shows the application of a popular Glasgow Style detail to furniture in commercial production. Tiny upward-thrusting darts are shaped into the center point of the cabinet’s base and top line. These little points, along with more obvious plant form detailing, suggest the idea of plant growth—a theme The Four developed through their early watercolors and designs. Taylor taught furniture design at The Glasgow School of Art between 1902 and 1906, and at the Technical College between 1899 and 1906. Construction detailing, such as profiles for moldings and beading as well as layouts for mosaic tiling, are seen in the margins.

Design for a fireplace and inglenook for a billiards room, 1902
John Ednie (1876–1934)
Pen and watercolor on paper
Glasgow Museums: Bought with grant aid from the National Fund for Acquisitions, funded by the Scottish Government, 1982, E.1982.77.5

John Ednie’s sketch for a fully furnished Glasgow Style interior only hints at the richly applied decoration he planned for this billiards room. The Glasgow rose and foliage are the mainstay of the scheme, stenciled on the walls and carved onto the decorative supports (called corbels) under the roof trusses. This partially enclosed, recessed space is the inglenook—a cozy seating area on either side of the fireplace. The padded and upholstered seats have an applied repeating floral motif along their backs. A figurative mural on the theme Gather Ye Rosebuds is painted above the fireplace. Ednie was a member of the design team working for Wylie & Lochhead, and from 1906 he headed up the Industrial Arts Department at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College.

Design for a music room, ca. 1905
George Logan (1866–1939)
Pencil, ink, and watercolor on canvas
Glasgow Museums: Given by the artist’s family, 1983, E.1983.12.1

George Logan’s imaginative design for a music room includes all the Glasgow Style’s defining lines, forms, and motifs. Inspired by the “Choric Song” from Alfred Tennyson’s Lotos-Eaters (revealed through the motto inscribed along the picture rail), the room captures the poet’s vision of a total immersion within nature. Logan was the longest serving of the Glasgow Style designers at Wylie & Lochhead. Together with Ernest Archibald Taylor, he ran the Furniture Department at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College.

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