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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled her Christmas card for 2014, her first Christmas card as First Minister. The card features an image from our archives and collections by the late Phyllis Dodd (1899-1995), an artist who specialised in portraiture who was wife of former Glasgow School of Art director Douglas Percy Bliss (1900-1984).

The card is from one of our deposited collections, a collection of Christmas cards belonging to Conrad McKenna (1923- ), who was a student and staff member at The Glasgow School of Art from 1950-1984. Collected over 60 years, the collection dates from the 1940s-2010s and includes a selection of Christmas cards collected by Conrad that were created by former Glasgow School of Art staff, students and friends, including Gordon Huntly, Douglas Percy Bliss, Rosalind Bliss, Michael Moulder, Peter Sumsion, Michael Healey, Mark Severin and Jimmy Cosgrove. To find out more about Conrad’s collection, visit our online catalogue or take a look at images from this collection.

Conrad McKenna and Nicola Sturgeon at the unveiling in the Window on Mackintosh visitor centre yesterday afternoon. Image credit: The Scotsman.

Conrad McKenna and Nicola Sturgeon at the unveiling in the Window on Mackintosh visitor centre yesterday afternoon. Image credit: The Scotsman.

Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the card during a visit to The Glasgow School of Art yesterday afternoon, where she saw the fire damage and artefacts being recovered. For the first time, this year’s card will be made available for purchase by the public through National Galleries of Scotland in time for Christmas 2015.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I am delighted to bring back to life this Christmas card, beautifully designed by Phyllis Dodd and safely kept in Conrad McKenna’s impressive collection. It is a lovely wintery image that adorned the front of a Christmas card at the art school many years ago. Christmas is a time for reflection and this year has been an unforgettable one for all those who have studied, worked or had a connection to this world-leading school of art. The fire was a devastating loss, not only for this year’s students but for the many who have in some way been inspired or moved by the magic of one of Scotland’s greatest artists – Charles Rennie Mackintosh.”

She added: “While some artefacts and pieces will sadly never be recovered or replaced, I felt that it was appropriate to demonstrate that there is still hope when some small historical pieces as beautiful as this have survived and can now be enjoyed by many people this Christmas. I am sure when it goes on sale to the public next year it will raise vital funds for all of this year’s selected charities including the Mackintosh Appeal, so that they can continue to do their great work.”

For more information about the artist Phyllis Dodd, visit her creator page on our new catalogue. Information about her husband, Douglas Percy Bliss can be also be found here.