Case Studies

 

GSA student register shows Chinese student Tsoo Hong Lee was a student at the School from 1907-1912, and also tell us where he lived while he was in GlasgowA FEMINIST CHORUS, a project by Lucy Reynolds in collaboration with MAP

Why did you use GSA Archives & Collections?

MAP (an independent producer and publisher based at CCA, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, www.mapmagazine.co.uk) worked in collaboration with artist Lucy Reynolds on A Feminist Chorus, a project that required historical GSA material specifically that which related to women students in the early days of the school at the turn of the 20th century. A Feminist Chorus is a collaged collection of texts taken from three Glasgow sources—GSA, the Mitchell Library, Glasgow and the Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL).

The texts from the GSA segment were recorded using the voices of women students enrolled at GSA today. This recording was then edited and installed as a sound work in the GSA’s Hen Run during Glasgow International throughout April 2014.

To create a second recording, installed at Blythswood Square, previously headquarters to the Society of Lady Artists’ Club, MAP invited contemporary women artists based in Glasgow to read from texts illustrating the clubs’ activities during the same period. These texts were found in the Mitchell Library.

The GWL texts were selected by individual members of A Feminist Chorus choir and were read during a live, filmed performance of the complete score of archived texts (included those from GSA and the Mitchell). The texts are currently being compiled into a limited edition book to be published by MAP at the end of 2014.

Had you used archives or museum collections previously in your work?

Yes, all members of MAP and the commissioned artist have used archives for study, research and teaching purposes.

What was your experience of visiting the Archives & Collections Centre?

Fast, helpful, friendly and efficient.

What did you find out from our holdings?

The GSA annual reports and registers offered a vivid snapshot of the life of women art students from the end of the 19th century. Being able to use a selection from these volumes in a contemporary context was key to the project.

Has your visit led you to using other Archive / Museum sources?

We were already using other archives, but using the GSA holdings has been a valuable experience, leading to exciting realms of knowledge that we have been able to interpret through performance and publication. We will be very keen to continue to use this wonderful resource.

For more information about MAP please visit their website

 

CAD drawing of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia's St Bride's Church, East Kilbride, by Ambrose GillickAMBROSE GILLICK, Research Assistant and Lecturer, The Mackintosh School of Architecture

Why did you use GSA Archives & Collections?

I used the GSA archives to research Roman Catholic church architecture, specifically the work of the firm Gillespie, Kidd & Coia as part of an historical research programme being undertaken within the School by Dr. Robert Proctor. I used the drawings to produce new computer (CAD) drawings which could then be used in a forthcoming publication on the topic.

Had you used archives or museum collections previously in your work?

Not to any great degree, and not for properly academic historical research per se. Subsequently I have undertaken a lot of archival research across the UK in relation to this topic.

What was your experience of visiting the Archives & Collections Centre?

The archives are an extremely well organised and readily accessible resource. The space whilst small is set up to easily accommodate research into the GSA’s holdings. The assistance by staff is excellent; intuitive, thorough and quick.

What did you find out from our holdings?

I found the drawings I needed to be able to reproduce accurate plans and sections of the buildings that will feature in our research outcomes.

Has your visit led you to using other Archive / Museum sources?

Yes. As stated above, I have since gone on to undertake further research in civic and diocesan archives in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, Preston and London.

For more information about our Gillespie, Kidd & Coia archive click here. You can find out more about the Roman Catholic Church Architecture, 1955-1975 project on the project blog.

 

Gabriella Marcella DiTanoGABRIELLA DITANO, Designer and Director of Risotto, a risograph print and design studio based in Glasgow 

Why did you use GSA Archives & Collections?

I was invited by the Development department at GSA to assist in choosing an image as a gift for someone.

Had you used archives or museum collections previously in your work?

It was the first time I’d ever been down to the archives and it was great to see such an interesting collection of artefacts.

What was your experience of visiting the Archives & Collections Centre?

There was too much choice! Which made it hard to shortlist our selection down to one image, so it ended up as three.

Has your visit led you to using other Archive / Museum sources?

I haven’t had the opportunity to go back and explore some more, but I hope to so the next time I get the chance!

Find out more about Gabriella and Risotto on her website and blog.

 

Section of Glasgow School of Art, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1910JOSEPH SHARPLES, Chief Researcher, Mackintosh Architecture: Context, Making and Meaning, The Hunterian, The University of Glasgow

Why did you use GSA Archives & Collections?

The GSA Archives & Collections are one of the richest sources of information about Mackintosh’s career as an architect. They contain original drawings and documents not available anywhere else, and they have naturally been a major resource for the University of Glasgow’s research project, Mackintosh Architecture: Context, Making & Meaning.

Had you used archives or museum collections previously in your work?

Yes, archives and museum collections have been central to my work as an architectural historian for many years.

What was your experience of visiting the Archives & Collections Centre?

The Archives & Collections Centre is welcoming and efficient and well-equipped for study. The staff are very helpful and know the collections extremely well, and they are generous with their expertise in guiding researchers towards relevant material.

What did you find out from our holdings?

A vast amount! In particular, a wealth of background detail about the design and construction of the Glasgow School of Art, and about Mackintosh’s dealings with the various committees and individuals involved in building it.

Has your visit led you to using other Archive / Museum sources?

Probably none that we wouldn’t have used anyway: from the outset, Mackintosh Architecture: Context, Making & Meaning has used a very wide range of local and national archive and museum sources.

Find out more about The Hunterian’s Mackintosh Architecture research on the project website

 

NMC_014PHIL PALMER, Independent Researcher

Why did you use GSA Archives & Collections?

Glasgow School of Art holds a substantial collection of work and information relating to Maurice Greiffenhagen, the subject of my study.

Had you used archives or museum collections previously in your work?

I had used other archives and collections prior to my visits to the GSA. Most notably Sheffield archive, Alnwick archive, Edinburgh archive, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, Glasgow University Archive Services, Paisley storage, Tate storage, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Academy archive.

What was your experience of visiting the Archives & Collections Centre?

The staff at the Glasgow School of Art presented a perfect balance between professionalism and approachableness. At my most recent visit I spent much of the day there and it was necessary for the staff to retrieve a number of boxes and pictures from storage. Nothing was too much trouble for them.

What did you find out from our holdings?

I was able to have first hand contact with documents that I had only read brief descriptions of, which was both thrilling and informative. Also the staff were able to point me in the direction of items that I had not been aware of within their collection, and so I was able to enrich my understanding of my subject of study above and beyond that which I had been expecting from the visit.

Has your visit led you to using other Archive / Museum sources?

The depth of information that I was able to take away from my visit was such that at present I have only been able to digest a portion of it, however I am hoping that as I progress I will find new ‘leads’ which will further enhance my study of Maurice Greiffenhagen.

Images of our oil paintings can be found on the BBC Your Paintings website

 

EPH_01_1920s_06ANNIE LAVETY, Retail Manager, Glasgow School of Art Enterprises

Why did you use GSA Archives & Collections?

I was looking for images to use in a new range of GSA Archive focused products being developed for the GSA Shop.

Had you used archives or museum collections previously in your work?

I had not, no.

What was your experience of visiting the Archives & Collections Centre?

My experience was great! Both Susannah and Peter were very helpful. We had an initial meeting to establish exactly what I needed from the Archive after which they pulled together some great examples of Glasgow School of Art ephemera for me. Susannah was really helpful when it came to scanning and collating all of the images I had found and I left with plenty of source material for the product development of the new range.

What did you find out from our holdings?

I was looking primarily for strong graphic images to reproduce on products and I found that many of the poster, tickets, invites and programmes from various activities and societies within the School. This gave me a real sense of the life of the wider School throughout the years, seeing posters and tickets to Christmas Mask Balls in the 50’s, end of term exhibitions in the 60’s & 70’s and the annual fashion show’s in the 80’s.

Has your visit led you to using other Archive / Museum sources?

Not as yet, but hopefully in the future.

Visit the GSA Shop website

 

DC077/11Carpet sample from our Stoddard Templeton collection, featuring tomato plant designHELENA BRITT,  Lecturer, Department of Fashion and Textiles at The Glasgow School of Art and Curator of Interwoven Connections

Why did you use GSA Archives & Collections?

I visited the Stoddard Templeton Design Library and viewed carpet samples held in the Archives & Collections Centre to undertake research as part of a project funded by The Royal Society of Edinburgh titled Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005.

The Stoddard Templeton companies were primarily carpet manufactures, based in Scotland. They were commissioned to produce carpets for an array of highly prestigious occasions and interiors; they also produced carpets for the domestic market and exported worldwide. Throughout the companies’ existence they employed numerous reputable designers and an in-house design team. The research project focuses on the Stoddard Templeton Design Library, held at GSA, this was the in-house resource used by designers to inspire and aid the design process. The Design Library includes a rich array of material amassed from the mid-nineteenth to early twenty-first centuries. The intention of the research is to establish how the Design Library was used in the Stoddard Templeton Design Studio. The methods used include analysis of archive and historical material, oral history interviews with relevant scholars and experts, including Stoddard Templeton employees. The research will contribute to knowledge and understanding regarding utilisation of archive resources and explication of the carpet and therefore textile design process.

Had you used archives or museum collections previously?

Yes, I was part of a group project led by Jimmy Stephen-Cran and undertaken by Department of Fashion & Textiles and Centre for Advanced Textiles (CAT) staff, which examined the conceptual possibilities of re-interpreting, archive material for contemporary fashion and textile related design work. I worked collaboratively with Elaine Bremner, to product a collection of printed textiles, which were exhibited in AWAKEN: New Textiles Inspired by the Archives and Collections at The Glasgow School of Art, Mackintosh Gallery, 24 January – 28 February 2009 and featured in the post-exhibition publication.

What was your experience of visiting the Archives & Collections Centre?

The primary purpose of the visit was to view the Stoddard Templeton carpet samples held by the Centre. However, as tends to happen whenever I visit the Archives & Collections Centre I came away with a wealth of information regarding Stoddard Templeton, the companies and the archive collections, due to insight provided by the highly knowledgeable Archives & Collections Centre staff.

What did you find out from our holdings?

Information regarding the Stoddard Templeton companies and in particular the types, material quality and design of some of the carpets they designed, produced and collected. Photographing the carpets during the visit permits further research into the design process used to create the carpets undertaken using other Archive and Museum sources.

Has your visit led you to using other Archive / Museum sources?

As part of the research project I will be visiting other Archive and Museum resources including Glasgow University Archives and Collections Services, Glasgow Museums, Paisley Museum, Bridgeton Library, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Kidderminster Museum of Carpet. Access to the Stoddard Templeton Design Library held at GSA is central to the project.

For more information visit the exhibition website or watch a short film about the exhibition on Vimeo.

 

NMC 204, War scene with wounded soldiers, by Charles Davidson, 1914JADE RICHARDSON, Product Design student, The Glasgow School of Art

Why did you use GSA Archives & Collections?

For my last Product Design Year one project, we were told to look at how the upcoming World War 1 centenary could be commemorated in a more personal and less generic way. Being new to the School, I knew that it had a rich history but was unaware of its participation, if any, in the World War. I decided to look into this history in order to create a personal experience for GSA students to commemorate the war. Along with the Library’s rare books collection, I also used the Archives and Collections to find documents that linked the School to the war and explained its participation.

Had you used archives or museum collections previously?

I had been to the archives once before during a GSA tour guide meeting where we saw some of the School’s architecture plans as well as learnt more about Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It was because of this original discovery that I knew the Archives would be my largest source of information for my Product Design project.

What was your experience of visiting the Archives & Collections Centre?

I was constantly blown away by the amount of information the Archives hold, especially about World War 1. The working space was perfect: quiet, well lit, big table, comfy chairs. I almost did not want to leave! The staff was always on hand to answer any questions I had as well as take me up to the Library Store where the Eugene Bourdon memorial is. Overall my experience was extremely positive and fruitful! The appointments were easy to set up and I could tell that the staff were thinking about my project almost as much as me, wondering what other documents they had that might be of interest to me.

What did you find out from our holdings?

Initially I was only using the Archives to discover information about the School and World War 1. I learnt more about the unnoticed Roll of Honour on the Ground Floor as well as facts about some of the students and staff on the Roll. My favourite finding was of floor plans showing how the School was used to house the Students’ Tryst Fund in 1914. They were exactly what I needed for my project and gave it a clear structure. In the end my project’s aim was no longer to solely commemorate the war but also the School and everything that has happened since then.

Has your visit led you to using other Archive / Museum sources?

My visit encouraged me to look online, especially at the Hunterian’s collection of Mackintosh drawings. But since my project was so specific to GSA, no other source gave me all the information as a whole. The few sources online were always confusing and incomplete, inviting me to speak directly to the Archives staff.

You can watch a video about the app on Jade’s Tumblr. You can also read Jade’s project process journal: Lest We Forget – Beyond Memorial

 

CRW_7330HELENA BRITT, Lecturer, Department of Fashion and Textiles at The Glasgow School of Art 

Why did you use GSA Archives & Collections?

Department of Fashion & Textiles and the Centre for Advanced Textiles (CAT) staff used GSA Archives & Collections during a project titled Awaken, led by Jimmy Stephen-Cran. The intention of the project was to examine the conceptual possibilities of re-interpreting archive material for contemporary fashion and textile related design work. Fourteen members of staff participated in the project, all were experienced textile and fashion practitioners in their respective fields. Archives & Collections staff were vital to the success of the project as they held inductions for all of the project participants, facilitated further visits and archive item viewing, provided a wealth of insight into the items viewed and suggested areas for further investigation.

For the project I worked collaboratively with Elaine Bremner and we viewed items from the Gillespie Kidd & Coia archive, which contains an array of drawings, photographs, plans and documents related to this architectural practice. Items considered to be visually interesting and appealing were selected as inspiration from which we created drawings using hand and digital processes. The drawings produced then formed the basis of design development involving further drawing, colour, pattern layout and scale exploration, and sampling onto fabric.

We had always intended to carry out site visits to view existing Gillespie Kidd & Coia buildings to generate our own primary research but unfortunately we were unable to do this due to the timeframe of the Awaken project.

Had you used archives or museum collections previously?

Archive and museum collection use varied between the different creative practitioner participants. For certain participants use of historical material from archives and or museums for creative projects was integral to the design process, whereas for other participants this was not the case.

I worked collaboratively with Elaine Bremner for the Awaken project. Although I visited Archives & Collections for aspects of my teaching practice and had undertaken research in museums for previous design projects, I had never used archives for creative process inspiration until Awaken.

What was your experience of visiting the Archives & Collections Centre?

Visiting the Archives & Collections Centre is both truly fascinating and highly insightful. Viewing artefacts, learning about related stories and being able to analyse and discuss items increases individual understanding and is always an enjoyable experience.

I am also fascinated by the packaging used to store Archives & Collections Centre items; the actual process of conserving and archiving, and the amount of knowledge contained with the minds of Archives & Collections staff!

From discussion with the other Awaken project participants I know that the above is representative of all those participating.

What did you find out from our holdings?

Analysis of the data collected during the Awaken project contributes to understanding regarding textile and fashion practitioner utilisation of archive resources in the creative process. Conclusions drawn from the findings cover considerations when working with archives, reflection on the creative process journal method and suggestions for further research to further extend archive utilisation understanding.

From a personal perspective, although I was aware of the architectural practice of Gillespie Kidd & Coia I had little idea about the extent of their portfolio.

Has your visit led you to using other Archive / Museum sources?

Building on the Awaken project, the topic of archive utilisation in textile and fashion design processes has become a focus of research activity at GSA. A project funded by The Royal Society of Edinburgh, titled Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005, is being undertaken. This project focuses on the Stoddard Templeton Design Library which was the in-house resource used by designers to inspire and aid the design process. In addition to visits to the Design Library and Archives & Collections Centre at GSA the following archives and museums will be visited: Glasgow University Archives and Collections Services, Glasgow Museums, Paisley Museum, Bridgeton Library, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Kidderminster Museum of Carpet.

 More information about Awaken can be found here