The V&A is a treasure trove of Arts & Crafts furniture . Lancashire residents visiting London on Saturday 10th March will be able to explore one fascinating area in detail – that of the famous Glasgow school.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s high-backed Victorian dining chairs are well known in Cumbria and Lancashire. However, this is only one of many subjects the V&A will explore in the half-day course, “Introducing the Glasgow School.” During the afternoon, visitors will learn about the Scottish Movement, which flourished at the end of the 19th century and was centred around the Glasgow School of Art (GSA). In particular, they will learn about the “Glasgow Four”: Charles Rennie Mackintosh , Herbert MacNair, and Francis and Margaret Macdonald.
Also known as the “Spook School” due to the ghostly, mystic images used in some of their work, they blended Celtic Revival, Japonisme and Arts and Crafts elements, to create a distinctive and influential style which still has an impact on furniture designers today.
The Spook School owes its origins to Francis Newberry, a keen follower of William Morris and the English Arts & Crafts movement, who was instrumental in bringing new disciplines like stained glass, metalwork and woodcarving to the GSA. He encouraged the Glasgow Four to develop their unique avante garde style, which was heavily influenced by Celtic and gothic imagery, such as the motifs and lettering on 17th century tombstones.
When searching for Arts & Crafts furniture in Cumbria, ask your antique dealer about the “Glasgow Rose” motif, which was widely used by the Glasgow School. It was also adopted by English firms such as Shapland and Petter, who used it to good effect in their antique marquetry furniture .
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