09 November 2010

Spooks, Boys, Girls and Colourists: The Glasgow School

In Glasgow, at the end of the nineteenth century an influential group of artists coalesced. Because of an economic boom in the city many contributions were made in the fields of architecture, decorative arts and fine arts. Glasgow’s location on the Clyde River brought ships from Japan exposing the art community to Eastern design which was mixed with Celtic motifs and Modernist forms. At the forefront were The Four or Spook School comprised of Charles Rennie Mackinosh, Frances MacDonald, Frances and Herbert MacNair. MacDonald (1865–1933) was wife to Mackintosh and sister of Francis. Although her husband is more remembered by art historians, she is known for many works including the gesso panel, The May Queen. The Four went on to impact the Glasgow Boys and Glasgow Girls. Glasgow Girl, Bessie MacNicol (1869-1904) painted Glasgow Boy, E. A. Hornel (1864-1933). MacNicol who was regarded as the most important woman artist in Glasgow at the beginning of the twentieth century, depicted Hornel in his studio against a Japanese scroll. The later Scottish Colourists were based out of Edinburg but continued the Glasgow tradition, which they combined with their exposure to the French Impressionists and Fauvists. Colourist Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell (1883-1937) specialized in vivid impressionistic portraits of elegant women, as in his oil painting Black Hat, Miss Don Wauchope.

6 comments:

  1. F C B Caddell is a great favourite, and I have two framed posters of his interiors of an Edinburgh New Town flat hanging in my kitchen, which I bought from the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh, when there was an exhibition there for the Colourists. (We overlooked the gallery from our upstairs sitting room, in the late New Town.)

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  2. Thank you Columnist, I love the clear, pure colors that the Colourists used. Best, Kendra

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  3. I really love the portrait of Hornel. I do not know enough of the Spook school, not even sure why it was called that.
    As always a pleasure,
    LG

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  4. Hi Leonard, They were called the Spook School because some of their peers thought their figures looked "spooky". It was a derogative term that stuck. Happy Friday! Best, Kendra

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  5. It's often good to look at the comments. My question has been answered and it was of course, as simple as that. It's a word that draws...!

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  6. Hi Gretchen, I hope you are having a lovely autumn in Paris. Best, Kendra

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