Details / Notes

The Glasgow School of Art houses an impressive collection of ceramics ranging from teaching aids such as 13th century Persian pottery fragments to student work from the 20th century. A range of materials and techniques are found within the collection. Earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain are all present in the collection.

The majority of ceramics are glazed and range from simple, monochrome glazes to decorative, polychrome glazes. Some even have lustre glaze such as Ann Macbeth’s two china tea services. Many glazed ceramics also feature colourful hand-painted designs and figures. Several ceramics, such as plates and store jars, feature decorative transfer designs. Robert Stewwart's kitchen store jars exemplify this decorative technique. The application of gold leaf is visible in a small number of 13th to 16th century pottery fragments that are glazed, hand-painted, and gilded.

While not every ceramic is attributed to a specific creator, a large number of them are attributed to past Glasgow School of Art students and staff such as Ann Macbeth, Robert Stewart, and Robert Sinclair Thomson, all of whom have several pieces in the collection. Several ceramics in the collection were bought in by the Glasgow School of Art to be used as teaching aids. Students could learn more about particular materials, glazes, or forms by studying these particular ceramics and maybe even draw some inspiration for their own work. Ceramics made by past Glasgow School of Art students and staff comprises the majority of the collection. Many of these were gifted the School, or were purchased for the collection. These objects range from the very beginning to the very end of the 20th century.

Related Publications: Scottish Pottery Historical Reviews, Nos. 1-26 (1976-2015), The Scottish Pottery Society; Manners, Errol. The Ceramics Source Book, (Collins and Brown, 1990); De Waal, Edmund. Ceramics, (London: New Holland, 1999).


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453 Archival description results for Ceramics

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Art, Design and Architecture collection

  • NMC
  • Collection
  • 13th century to early 21st century

Artworks, design pieces and architectural designs related to Glasgow School of Art staff and students.

Items include

  • oil paintings
  • ilk screen prints
  • lithograph prints
  • prints
  • photographs
  • sketches
  • sketch books
  • drawings
  • watercolours
  • collage
  • metalwork, sculpture and ceramics.

Almost all works are by former students and staff or figures related to the history of The Glasgow School of Art. The earliest pieces date from the 16th century and later examples have been purchased from recent Degree Shows. The work is in a variety of media and includes drawings, paintings, prints, sketchbooks, furniture and sculpture. Artists represented include many key figures and the most influential and successful students.

There are also several works from former tutors including Neil Dallas Brown, David Donaldson and Fred Selby, alongside contemporary works by students, donated or purchased at degree show. Key works include those by: Maurice Greiffenhagen, Francis Newbery, John Quinton Pringle, Benno Schotz, Ian Fleming and James D Robertson. Suites of note include large collections of Joan Eardley sketches and paintings, Joan Palmer prints, and architectural drawings by Eugene Bourdon.

*Not available / given


A variety of artworks completed by Mary Ramsay, including life drawings, portraits, architectural studies, designs, prints, and illustrations. Some of these items are dated to her time as a student at The Glasgow School of Art. Most items are pencil on paper, with a few further studies in paint.

This subfond includes one item by Jessie Wilson (DC 110/1/1/18), another student of The Glasgow School of Art, with whom Mary Ramsay and Margaret Macdonald started a pottery decorating business at The Studio, Strathyre, in 1926.

Ramsay, Mary

Blue rabbit with stand

Blue glazed ceramic rabbit with black glazed eyes with red marking on bottom of rabbit, "SCH-83". Includes wooden stand painted black with four small feet, shaped for rabbit to sit. Bottom of stand has red marking "SCH-83B". Due to information in an inventory, rabbit can be dated pre-1958.

*Not available / given

Ceramic bowl

This item suffered significant damage in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. It was salvaged and has undergone conservation and consolidation work in 2018. Brown fired ceramic bowl with grooves. Grey glaze on the inside.

Leckie, Alexander

Ceramic pot

Round pot with a biege glaze and areas of grey. Hand-painted red and gold designs. Rounded top with beige glaze is broken and very fragile. A red glazed rectangular piece is attached to one side with hand-painted white designs.

Calderwood, John

Ceramic sarcophagus cast

Hollow sarcophagus cast with relief pattern of animals and figures. Dark yellow glaze over exterior. White, unglazed interior. '14-103' handwritten in black on bottom right corner.

*Not available / given

Ceramic tile

This item was damaged in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. It was assessed by a conservator but no conservation work was deemed possible. Figure on horseback, facing left.

Ceramic tile

This item was damaged in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. It was assessed by a conservator but no conservation work was deemed possible. Figure on horseback, facing right.

Ceramic tile fragment

Polychrome (blue, green, yellow, white) glazed ceramic tile fragment with hand-painted floral and plant designs. 'Shah Isfahan' handwritten on verso. Label on verso - 'Shah - 17th mosque Isfahan.' The Shah Mosque (Persian), also known as Imam Mosque (Persian), is a mosque in Isfahan, Iran. It is regarded as one of the masterpieces of Irania/Persian architecture and an example of Islamic era architecture of Iran. It employed the haft rangi (seven-colour) style of tile mosaic.

*Not available / given

Ceramic tile fragment

Polychrome (blue, brown, gold) glazed ceramic tile fragment with what might be hand-painted or transfer printing design of a seated human figure. Border along the left side on recto could possibly be script. Left edge has a pointed, triangular shape. The fragment appears to have been broken into 3 parts and then was glued back together. Label on verso - 'Persia 13th C.'

*Not available / given

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