The Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey. A cottage by Sir Edwin Lutyens at Munstead.

William De Morgan tile. Click to visit the Demorgan centre.

Hand, Heart & Soul - section B: Raising the Standard

Early Arts and Crafts practice throughout Britain was often committed to improving the lot of society. Scotland was no exception. In the 1880s new philanthropic societies employed local artists and art students to decorate public buildings such as chapels and churches, hospitals and orphanages, designers to lead craft classes and volunteers to distribute many thousands of plants and seeds to schools.

In the 1890s trades halls, Liberal clubs and restaurants from Aberdeen to Glasgow also received decorative, figurative work. The most exotic schemes were made for refreshment rooms for the leisured middle classes. In Glasgow George Walton and Mackintosh created artistic rooms for Miss Catherine Cranston which in the 1920s would be complemented by Edinburgh artist Robert Burns's sophisticated interiors for David Crawford's tea rooms.

Design reform was also underway. Glasgow School of Art headmaster Francis ('Fra') Newbery worked with artists, architects and manufacturers and set up partnerships with technical colleges. Craft 'technical studios' were unveiled in 1893, leading the way for a new art school building designed by Mackintosh from 1896. A more traditionalist approach to education was established a decade later at Edinburgh College of Art which united classes from the School of Applied Art, the Royal Scottish Academy school and the Watt College. In addition, publications by educators, notably the artist-craftsman Henry Taylor Wyse, widened access to creative workmanship.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (designer) William Armstrong Davidson (maker) Casket for Glasgow School of Art 1909 V&A

List of exhibits

B1 Sketch Designs for the mural decoration of the 1885-86 mortuary chapel, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh
Oil with gold leaf on canvas, 1885
Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936)
National Gallery of Scotland
The decoration of the chapel was negotiated by the Edinburgh Social Union, the local philanthropic society, on behalf of the artist. The theme of the decoration was the redemption of mankind through Christ's sacrifice, and the survival of the human spirit beyond death. A central section focused on motherhood. The style of painting reflected Traquair’s interest in medieval art, particularly western illuminated manuscripts and Byzantine decoration, and Pre-Raphaelite imagery. The primary colours adopted stressed the medieval legacy.
These studies for the first of Traquair’s three Edinburgh mural schemes are in a frame designed and painted by the artist.

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B2 ‘For so He giveth His Beloved Sleep’: section of the 1885-6 mortuary chapel, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh
oil on plaster on lath and brick, 1886
Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936)
National Gallery of Scotland
This is a surviving section of the decoration of the first mortuary chapel of the first hospital commissioned by the Edinburgh Social Union. It was deliberately retained by the artist following its demolition in 1894. A new hospital had been built, and as far as possible the old walls were embedded in the new mortuary chapel. A number of other sections were lost during transfer.
This part illustrates Psalm 127, and the image is adapted from Rossetti’s painting of St Cecilia (1856-57). Traquair’s section, which depicts a weary embroiderer (an echo perhaps of herself), was dated and signed during the artist’s restoration of other, transferred sections.

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B3 The Glasgow Kyrle Society 1st Annual Report for Year Ending December 1883
Courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow City Council
The Glasgow Kyrle Society, founded in 1883 set out ‘to bring the influences of natural and artistic beauty home to the people’. Christian socialism drove many of its philanthropic activities. These were close to similar Kyrle activities already functioning in London, Birmingham and Nottingham - and Kyrle work was approved by William Morris. Shared public buildings, often mission halls in poor areas, were decorated with murals or supplied with framed art prints, concerts were organised, and plants and seeds sent to schools to encourage self-help and a respect for nature.
Among those who subscribed or took part were the architects John Honeyman and William Leiper, the young Walter Blackie of the publishing firm, and the artist D Y Cameron and his sisters.

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B4 The Glasgow Kyrle Society Annual Report for 1890-91
Courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow City Council
By the early 1890s many Glasgow artists, designers and educators were involved in the work of the city’s Kyrle Society. E A Walton, George Henry and Alexander Roche were among the artists supplying art for the Prisoners’ Aid Society. Craft classes were well underway alongside the provision of art in poor areas. Francis Newbery, the English-born director of the Glasgow School of Art since 1885 and now convener of the Kyrle’s decorative art activities, started a new ‘Scheme for the Promotion of Decorative Art in Glasgow’. He encouraged staff and students to decorate public places. The artist Bessie MacNicol was one of these.
The Glasgow Kyrle Society continued until after the First World War, although latterly, like parallel societies the Edinburgh Social Union and the Dundee Social Union, it was to be most concerned with social housing.

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B5 General Reports of the Edinburgh Social Union: 1st annual report, 1885
Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services
The Edinburgh Social Union was the capital’s equivalent of Glasgow’s Kryle Society. It also employed volunteer artists and teachers to decorate buildings and lead craft classes, and its gardening section also encouraged citizens to make their homes as pleasant as possible. With clerics, artists and academics on its committees, it was energised by the leading involvement of the botanist, cultural activist and future town planner Patrick Geddes and his wife Anna.
Like all Kyrle societies, and the Dundee Social Union of the late 1880s, such work was much influenced by the London work of the social pioneer Octavia Hill.

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B6 General Reports of the Edinburgh Social Union: 3rd annual report, 1887
Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services
By 1887 the Social Union was holding industrial art classes intended to ‘develop a taste for handwork as distinct from that produced by machinery’ and to meet the ‘growing demand on the part of the public for simple but tasteful examples of artistic carving and metalwork’. Importantly, the Union sought to train ‘a staff of workers’ who in turn would teach others.

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B7 General Reports of the Edinburgh Social Union: 7th annual report, 1891
Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services
In 1891 it was reported that in April of that year a workshop ‘for the production of artistic work in gold, silver, copper and brass’. It was called the Lynedoch School of Applied Art and met in the Dean Studio on Lynedoch Place, next to Drumsheugh Baths. Gerard Baldwin Brown, Professor of Fine Art at Edinburgh University, had been responsible for the ordering of metals for Union work but this was now in the hands of the School’s director, John M Talbot.

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B8 Glasgow School of Art Newbery medals
Bronze, c. 1919-20
Alexander Proudfoot (designer)
The Glasgow School of Art
The fine Newbery medal commemorates Francis Newbery and the new School of Art building his board of directors commissioned from architects Honeyman & Keppie in 1896, as well as rewarding the best students of the year.

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B9 Casket
lSilver, set with lapis lazuli and varieties of chalcedony, 1909
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) (designer), made by William Armstrong Davidson (c. 1870-1951)
Victoria and Albert Museum
The casket was commissioned by the Board of Governors of Glasgow School of Art for presentation to their Chairman, Sir James Fleming, on completion of the new School building, designed by Mackintosh. A businessman and head of the Britannia Pottery, Fleming also served as a governor of Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. He had convened the section of applied and industrial art of the Glasgow International Exhibition in 1901. As Chairman, Fleming had been formally responsible for selecting Mackintosh’s design (for Honeyman & Keppie) for the School. It was thus fitting that Mackintosh should be chosen to design this casket.
William Armstrong Davidson had set up a metalwork and design studio with his brother Peter Wylie Davidson in central Glasgow in the 1890s. The Studio magazine described him as a ‘rare craftsman’ whose ‘workmanship is superlative’. In 1919 he moved to Dundee to become Head of the Modelling and Metalwork Department at the Technical College, a post he would hold for twenty-eight years.

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B10 Programme designed by A E Holmes for a lecture ‘Imitation and Expression in Art’ by Walter Crane, given at the annual reunion of past and present students of the Glasgow School of Art at the Corporation Galleries, c. 1888
Image © Glasgow City Council
The lecture was presented at the annual reunion of past and present students. In the late 1880s Walter Crane was well known to students at the Glasgow School of Art, thanks to invitations from Francis Newbery.

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B11 Programme drawn by Andrew Allan for a lecture ‘Arts and Crafts’ by William Morris, given at the annual reunion of past and present students of the Glasgow School of Art at the Corporation Galleries, February 1889
Image © Glasgow City Council
This was one of several lectures given by Morris and Crane in Glasgow in the late 1880s, and was also delivered to an annual reunion of students. These lectures also demonstrated the close links between Francis Newbery and James Paton, curator of the Corporation’s galleries, at this time. In 1890 a selection from the second Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in London were to be shown in the galleries, again largely as a result of their co-operation.

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B12, B13 Two designs for wallpaper
Pencil and gouache on paper, 1902-3
James Porteous (born c. 1883)
The Glasgow School of Art (gift of James Strang, 2002)
James Porteous was a student at the School in 1902-03. The acid bright colours of these repeating designs was not untypical of experimental art school work at this period.

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B14 Photograph of Francis Newbery with a group of women students at Glasgow School of Art 1894
The Glasgow School of Art
The photograph shows a women’s class in the Rose Street rooms, prior to the design and building of Mackintosh’s new art school. Francis Newbery is seated at the extreme right. Others identified in the photograph include (back row) Miss Allan, art teacher (second from left); (second back row) Jane Younger (far left), Ella Alexander (second from left); (front row, from left) Lizzie Oliver, Katharine Cameron, Agnes Raeburn, Margaret Macdonald, Ruby Pickering, unknown, Frances Macdonald. Janet Aitken is seated in front. Margaret and Frances Macdonald and Kate Cameron are perhaps the best known students.

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B15 Isolde
Leaded stained glass, 1901
Dorothy Carleton Smyth (1880-1933)
The Glasgow School of Art
This panel was made to be shown at the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition and gives an indication of the interests of its young artist maker in glass but especially in costume. Dorothy Carleton Smyth trained at art schools in Manchester and Glasgow, where she became interested in theatre design. With her sister Olive, she designed for Glasgow School of Art theatricals.
Dorothy Carleton Smyth also spent some years as a designer and producer in Paris and Stockholm. She worked on the costumes for Sir Frank Benson’s Shakespearean productions and for the pageants at Stratford-on-Avon. Returning to Glasgow by 1916, she became head of the commercial art section of the art school, and had been appointed the School’s first female director when she died unexpectedly of a stroke.

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B16 Panel
Leaded glass, 1911
Students of Douglas Strachan (1875-1950) and Alexander Strachan (1878-1954) at the Edinburgh College of Art
Edinburgh College of Art
This composite window of student work was especially leaded for display in 1911 at the Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry in Glasgow and also sent in 1912 to the International Exhibition of Art Education held in Dresden when it was illustrated in The Studio. The individual panels show figures associated with Scottish history, particularly St Margaret and St Giles, with texts and a representation of the Edinburgh city arms. Two of the students involved were Andrew Bell (lower left figure of St Giles) and Una Adamson (St Margaret).
This item was undisplayed due to its fragile condition.

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B17 Photograph of the plaster workshop at Edinburgh College of Art c. 1911
Image courtesy of Edinburgh College of Art
This posed photograph shows the trade class in plasterwork with the teacher, Thomas Beattie, in the foreground. Douglas Strachan, artist in stained glass and first head of the Crafts section of the College, is shown seated in the photograph, second from left. The students’ work was also individually photographed for public exhibition.

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B18 Three photographs of trade class work, Edinburgh College of Art, c. 1911
B18 Photograph of Edinburgh College of Art trade class work (plasterwork) c.1911Image courtesy of Edinburgh College of Art
The photographs, made primarily for exhibition purposes, show typical examples of plasterwork, woodcarving and carved furniture. All these crafts were probably produced by students attending the College trade classes transferred from the former School of Applied Art and the Heriot-Watt College. Some of the students would be part-time and employed by day by local firms such as Scott Morton & Co. or Whytock & Reid.
The designs are thoroughly Arts and Crafts. The plasterwork designs draw on both historic prototypes and modern examples based on nature. The vine was frequently used for ceiling work. The rose is a direct or indirect interpretation of Trellis, the celebrated 1862 wallpaper design by William Morris. In woodcarving, church work and Gothic ideas, some inspired by the Sir Robert Lorimer’s new Thistle Chapel at St Giles’ Cathedral, drove the design. Furniture also was mainly church work, although the photograph also shows a domestic cupboard with vine carving.

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B19 Design for the chain of office of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh
Pencil and watercolour on paper, 1899
William Small Black (1856-1925)
The City of Edinburgh Museums and Galleries
This is an example of ceremonial Arts and Crafts design. Black was a multitalented Edinburgh artist and designer the range of whose work included stained glass, memorials and bank notes. He was apprenticed as a furniture designer to J & T Scott and attended the Board of Manufactures School of Design. He had a particular interest in (wallpaper and) textile design, teaching this at the School of Applied Art. Some of his textile designs were manufactured by a Manchester firm and exhibited at the Columbian Exhibition (World’s Fair) in Chicago in 1893. In 1908 Black was appointed head of the design school at Edinburgh College of Art.
The chain of office, made in gold with enamel by Brook & Sons, Edinburgh, to Black’s design is still in use today.

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B20 Prospectus issued by the Scottish Industrial Art Association for its Technical Classes for the Study and Practice of Industrial Arts, Dean Studios, Edinburgh, Session 1895-96
Image courtesy of Strathclyde University Archives and Special Collections
The Scottish Industrial Art Association had been formed in 1891 by ‘exhibitors in the artisans’ and women’s industries’ sections of the international exhibitions held in Edinburgh in 1886 and Glasgow in 1888. Its purpose was organise open classes to expand the range and raise quality of work, and to hold annual exhibitions. The convener of the class committee was the silversmith J M Talbot and the treasurer Archie Imrie, later to teach graphic design at Edinburgh College of Art. Honorary members of the SIAA included Patrick Geddes, Phoebe Traquair, Professor Gerard Baldwin Brown and J H Ford, proprietor of the commercial Holyrood Glass Works.

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B21 Prospectus of the Edinburgh College of Art for session 1912-13, showing the plan of rooms and studios
Edinburgh College of Art
The College of Art was established ‘to provide for the Study and Teaching of the Fine Arts and of the Decorative Arts and Crafts’. A new building was erected in two phases, from 1907 to 1909 (the years of completion of Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art) and from 1909 to 1911. The first students were formally admitted in 1908, with the Crafts section opened in 1910.
The building was designed in the Beaux Arts style by John Dick Peddie and George Washington Browne. The sculptor James Pittendrigh Macgillivray, who had prepared a report on the provision of art education in Britain and the Continent for the Scotch Office, drew up the first curriculum specification, the type of accommodation needed, and an outline design for the building. The sculpture court was the main surviving element in the building as realised. The 1912-13 prospectus published the building plan as constructed and used, and included the craft workshop extension bordering Lady Lawson Street to the west.

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B22 The Rudiments of Design based on Plant Forms
Written and published by Henry T Wyse, Arbroath, 1st edition, 1901
The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland
Henry Taylor Wyse was an example of the multi-disciplinary artist-craftsman. Born in Glasgow and educated in Dundee, he had studied art in Paris before taking up a teaching career in Dundee, soon followed by a period at Coatbridge Technical School and a post as head of art at Arbroath High School.
At Arbroath, Wyse became ever more interested in design and craft education and began to design and decorate furniture. This book was the first of several by Wyse to examine new possibilities in craft design and production. It was primarily intended as a pocket book for teachers. The cover, like the illustrated examples, was designed by the author in an Arts and Crafts style using red print against a dark green matt paper.

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B23 The Rudiments of Design based on Plant Forms
Written and published by Henry T Wyse, Arbroath, 2nd edition, 1902
Image courtesy of Arbroath Library
Wyse’s book sold well, with a second edition soon released. The text is virtually the same as the earlier edition. Chapters on design are followed by ‘some processes of production’ which include stencilling, inlay, pottery, gesso, embroidery, bookbinding, light metalwork and stained glass. The illustrations include designs by Wyse and his Arbroath High School pupils. All display and encourage an artistic approach to design and making.
Plant illustrations were supplied by Wyse’s brother James, also an art teacher.

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B24 On the Application of Art to Industry
James A. Morris (1857-1942)
Kyle and Carrick Civic Society
The lecture had been given to the ‘art students of the evening continuation classes’ in Ayr in October, 1904 and was first published in The Ayrshire Post. James Morris, Ayr architect and a member of the Art Workers’ Guild in London (where he had an office 1886 to 1896), thrived on writing, discussion, and giving talks on design and conservation issues. Here he took his title from a phrase which had been in currency in British design circles since the 1880s. Morris, a disciple of Ruskin, urged the students to pursue everyday design, or ‘the very arts which lie nearest the hand, and nearest the heart also of all people’, and not to forget that fine skill should be partnered by ‘a reach of soul’. His words have been adapted for the title of this exhibition.

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B25 Modern Methods of Art Instruction
Written and published by Henry T Wyse, Edinburgh, 1909
The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland
In 1903 Henry T Wyse was appointed art master at George Watson’s Ladies’ College, an independent school in Edinburgh. He continued to write and publish books for the art education community. This example was one of his best known, but was not issued, as might be expected, by the Scotch Education Department or a commercial publisher. The examples of design relate to the current school curriculum, including printed and embroidered textiles and book cover design. The illustrations were of work produced by children in Arbroath, Edinburgh and further afield.

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B26 Embroidery & Stencilling
Kathleen S Burns and Henry T Wyse, Edinburgh, 1910
The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland
This textbook was written by Wyse with Kathleen Burns, first teacher of embroidery at Edinburgh College of Art. It was published by Wyse, and intended for general use in schools and colleges. As with Modern Methods of Art Instruction, the illustrations were mostly taken from school work in Arbroath and Edinburgh.

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B27 Armchair
Stained wood with horsehair upholstery, c. 1900
George Walton (designer), made by George Walton & Co. Ltd.
Private collection
This elegant chair was designed in Glasgow by Walton in 1896 and was made in various finishes, including ivory for bedroom use. Walton supplied it ebonised for use in Miss Cranston’s tea rooms in Glasgow and as part of his furnishing of John Rowntree’s cafe in Scarborough from the mid-1890s.

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B28 Design for stencilled mural decoration, Ladies' Luncheon Room, Buchanan Street Tea Rooms, Glasgow
Pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper mounted on board, 1896
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928)
Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, University of Glasgow
Miss Catherine Cranston had purchased premises on Buchanan Street in 1895. Her architect, George Washington Browne of Edinburgh, rebuilt the premises and fitted out the rooms. Miss Cranston employed George Walton to oversee the decoration and supply of wall and wall coverings of the various restaurants, and supply the furniture. While Walton himself designed most of the loose fittings, Mackintosh was invited to design stencilled wall decoration for the first floor Ladies’ Luncheon Room. This work was carried out by Guthrie and Wells, whose pink and green-edged stencils are now in the collections of Glasgow Museums. The building opened in 1897.
The decorative designs by Mackintosh featured repeating natural and symbolic forms. These included a stylised peacock and a female figure in profile. The repetition probably reflected Mackintosh’s wallpaper designs shown in the 1895 Arts and Crafts exhibition Glasgow.

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B29 Photograph of the Ladies’ Luncheon Room, Buchanan Street Tea Rooms, Glasgow, 1897
T & R Annan & Sons Ltd
This famous period photograph shows the interior of the Ladies’ Luncheon Room in use in the later 1890s, with furniture designed by Walton and made by his company, and wall stencilling designed by Mackintosh.

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B30 Design for an exhibition stand for Messrs Rae, for the Glasgow International Exhibition 1901
Pencil and watercolour on paper, 1901
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928)
Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery, University of Glasgow
The 1901 International Exhibition held in Glasgow showcased modern and historic art and design from Britain and Europe. Although his design for a concert hall was not built, Mackintosh did successfully design at least four stands within the exhibition proper, including one for the Pettigrew & Stephens store. This was part of his involvement in commercial work which had started with his wallpaper designs and tea room work for Miss Cranston. He also designed an exhibition stand for the School of Art. This stand, drawn here on a scale of 1:12, was the most elaborate. Design elements, including vertical sections topped by decorative floral motifs, repeated ideas from his new home at 120 Mains Street.
Mackintosh’s design included leaded glass doors, white-painted wood panels and stylish lettering.

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B31 Aphrodite
gouache on canvas, c. 1926
Robert Burns (1869-1941)
Collection Martin A Forrest
The artist and designer Robert Burns was commissioned by David Crawford to redesign the former Edinburgh Café Company rooms at 70 Princes Street (with adjoining rooms entered from Hanover Street, today the premises of the Miss Selfridge store). Whytock & Reid made furniture to his design, and he provided many of the themed wall paintings which ranged from Chinese to Classical subjects. The style of the rooms may not have been pure Arts and Crafts, but, by bringing together quality work from craftsmen and women to create artistic rooms and thoroughfares, the ideals of the movement were pursued into the age of Art Deco.
This painting was one of a number made as part of Burns’s scheme to furnish the new Crawfords Tea Rooms. It may be seen to the right of the photograph of the Hanover Street tea room displayed here.

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B32 Photograph of Crawfords Tea Rooms, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, c. 1927
Collection Martin A Forrest
The photograph is one of several which commissioned by Crawfords on completion of the 1920s furnishing of the refreshment rooms in Princes Street and adjoining Hanover Street. Burns involved many artists and designers in his scheme. Georg Jensen’s firm provided the cutlery and other metalwork, and the Bough Studio the painted ceramics. Some rugs and carpets may have been made by Alexander Morton & Co.

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B33 Tea plate, decorated with a design of blossom and fruit
Earthenware, painted with an overglaze design, c. 1926
Bough Studio, Edinburgh
The City of Edinburgh Museums and Galleries
This is one example of the artistic decorated ceramic ware commissioned by Burns for his 1920s complete redesign of refreshment rooms for David Crawford. Further painted ceramics from the Bough Studio are displayed in section E of the exhibition.

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B34 Tir-nan-og (the Land of the Ever Young): design for a mural
Pencil, crayon and watercolour on paper, 1890s
Stewart Carmichael (1867-1950)
Private collection
Stewart Carmichael is best known as a Dundee artist of the Celtic Twilight. He was born and educated in that city where he briefly spent time in an architect’s office and attended art classes. In London he worked for the publishers Alexander Strachan & Co. and painted a mural Labour in Drury Lane for the city council. He studied art in Antwerp, visiting Paris and Sienna before returning home in 1891 to Dundee. He would continue to show with the Belgian art society L’Areopage as well as in Paris, London and within Scotland.
Interested in craft, Carmichael designed Dundee’s banner for the 1908 Scottish National Pageant. He had painted murals in London for a ‘municipal lodging house’ and in Dundee for Ward Road Chapel and the Liberal Club. All have long since vanished. A design for the London mural was shown at the Dundee Graphic Arts Association in 1893. This is the only known surviving study for such a scheme, but, given its title, it seems likely to have been made for Dundee.

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