Archives & Collections Quiz Answers

So, how did you get on with our quiz last week?  Hopefully you managed to get some of the questions right, here are the answers for you to check.

1. Which “Glasgow Girl” created this gothic design for a Glasgow School of Art Club ‘Programme’ ? 


a. Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh 

Sadly not, Margaret Macdonald’s work does feature many striking female figures such as this Heart of the Rose Panel from our collection but she is not the artist of this piece. 

b. Frances MacDonald McNair

Well done! Frances MacDonald made this invitation for a social event held in the Institute of Fine Art Galleries. It features two female figures integrated amongst swirling plant forms. 

Frances Macdonald’s achievements are less well known than those of her sister, Margaret Macdonald. In part this is due to the loss of much of her work, destroyed by her husband, Herbert McNair, after her death, and in part to the fact that she left Glasgow in 1899. Nonetheless she produced some of the most powerful imagery of the Glasgow Style, and her late symbolist watercolours are moving meditations on the choices facing women. 

c. Jessie Marion King

Nope. Although Jessie Marion King did produce gothic figurative illustrations, this design is not by her. Check out some of the work we do hold by King, including this delicate bookplate, by visiting our online catalogue here.


2. When was typography first taught at GSA? 

a. 1948 

Yes that’s right! Typography was introduced to students studying “Commercial Art” in 1948. Today, we call this creative discipline “Communication Design”.  This Christmas catalogue is a great example of commercial art.

b. 1954 

Sorry, it was a bit earlier that this… 

c. 1938

Not quite. Students had to wait a bit longer than this… 


3. Which of these well-known male artists is NOT a GSA alumnus? 

a. David Shrigley  

Sorry, David Shrigley is definitely one of ours! He studied Sculpture and Environmental Art at GSA from 1988 to 1991. We have some slides in the collection featuring his work. 

b. John Byrne

Nope, John Byrne studied at GSA in the late 1950s-early 1960s. We have a couple of pieces by him in our collection, including this beautifully illustrated letter of congratulations to mark GSA’s 150th Anniversary.

c. John Bellany

Well done! Bellany studied at Edinburgh College of Art, although our collection does contain some reviews written about his work by art critic and journalist Clare Henry. 


4. Which of these well-known female artists is a GSA alumna? 

a. Elizabeth Blackadder

Nope, Elizabeth studied at Edinburgh College of Art. Browse examples of her work held by different arts institutions on Art UK’s website. 

b. Joan Eardley 

Correct! Eardley attended GSA sporadically between 1940 and 1949, between which she also studied at Jordanhill College of Education and Hospitalfield. You can browse our Eardley related material here.

It includes a number of drawings of Italian scenes and landmarks, including this bridge in Venice.

In 1955, she was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy, and was made into a full member in 1963. At the time, she was the youngest female artist to achieve this. 

c. Barbara Rae

Sorry no. Barbara studied at Edinburgh College of Art where she also worked as a grouse-beater in the Scottish highlands. She says that the landscape had a huge influence on her art work during this time. 


5. These photographs of people and places were taken by Duncan Brown.  But what is Duncan’s claim to fame? 

 a. First Director of GSA 

No, sorry, that was Francis “Fra” Henry Newbery.  Fra Newbery was Headmaster then Director of GSA from 1889 to 1918, and devised his own curriculum for the School in 1901, allowing students to gain a Diploma.  You can read more about him in his biography and see some of his artwork and correspondence here.  

b. First janitor at GSA 

Yes, Duncan served as janitor from 1845 to 1862, but was also an accomplished amateur photographer.  You can see all of his extensive collection of over 300 images (including these impressive haircuts and sideburns!) in our catalogue.  


c. His partnership with David Octavius Hill soon after the advent of public photography?  

Not him.  It was Robert Adamson who partnered with Hill and we hold 5 volumes of the photographs they generated in their 4 years working together.  Find out more about them here. 

6. We hold 15,000 drawings from a West of Scotland architectural firm, famous for their brutalist style.  Which firm is it? 


a. Gillespie, Kidd and Coia 

Yes, we hold building plans, photographs and job files for over 200 building projects, including St Peter’s Seminary at Cardross, St Bride’s Church in East Kilbride, and the Kildrum Housing Development in Cumbernauld.  We have been adding more image to our online catalogue and you can find the collection on the catalogue under GKC.  

b. Honeyman and Keppie 

Too early, I’m afraid.  This is the company that Charles Rennie Mackintosh worked for when he designed the GSA building which affectionately bears his name.  You can see his plans for the building here.  

c. John Burnet & Son 

Not this one either.  John Burnet and Son was established by Sir John James Burnet who was a visitor and examiner to classes at GSA between 1882 and 1916.  We hold some beautifully detailed architectural drawings by him here.


7. We hold a wide range of textiles in our collections, but who created these gorgeous pieces? 


a. Sylvia Chalmers 

It wasn’t Sylvia.  Her eye-catching printed textile designs from the 1950s look really modern now, and you can see more online here 

b. Kath Whyte 

Not her. Kath created many beautiful pieces, of which these apples literally stand out! Her collection, which includes textiles such as tea cosies, samples and weave, plus Christmas cards, is in our catalogue. 

c. Grace Melvin 

Yes, it was Grace Melvin. Her collection in our catalogue here is one of many favourites with our visiting student groups. 


8. Who is this, who watches over us in our reading room? 

This was a wee bit sneaky as we have busts of all these gents in our spaces in The Whisky Bond! 

a. Patrick Smith Dunn, former Governor and Chairman of GSA? 

Yes, it was Patrick Smith Dunn, who joined the Board of Directors at GSA in 1893 and you can read his biography here. His bust sits beside Cat in the Reading Room.

b. John Morrison Groundwater, former Secretary and Treasurer of GSA? 

No, not Groundwater. His bust isn’t in the Reading Room, so he doesn’t get to see our visitors. He seems to be putting on a brave face about it though!

c. Fra Newbery, former Director of GSA? 

Not Newbery either.  He’s Jennifer’s neighbour in the Reading Room.  His biography is here – did you know he was awarded an Italian Knighthood?


So hopefully you knew your Byrne from your Brown, and your Mackintosh from your Melvin…  We hope too that you enjoyed the quiz, let us know how you got on!