Collection DC 084 - Material relating to Gerard V Murphy, former GSA student

Drawing of a head Study of human anatomy Study of violet flowers Drawing of anemone flowers Study of holly and a young plant Organic pattern design Plant pattern design Oblique pattern design Portrait of a woman with folded arms Male model sketch Drawing of a chicken Woodcut prints depicting the St George myth

Key Information

Reference code

DC 084


Material relating to Gerard V Murphy, former GSA student


  • c1929-1943 (Creation)

Level of description



75 Items

Content and Structure

Scope and content

A variety of drawings and graphic designs created by Gerard V. Murphy, a former student at The Glasgow School of Art in the 1930s. The diverse subjects of his drawings include animals, plants, architecture, human anatomy and figures. A subfonds titled 'Teaching examples' features his teaching materials as an art teacher at schools, intended for printmaking techniques and pattern design education.

Most items have been marked with his name or student registration numbers, assuming they were created during his time as a student at GSA. The dominant materials in his works are pencil and watercolour, worked on cartridge paper.

Some of this material was damaged in the fire in GSA's Mackintosh Building on 23rd May 2014. Paper conservation was completed in 2019.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.


System of arrangement

Material has been arranged into seven subfonds in chronological order as follows: Anatomy drawings, Plant study drawings, Pattern designs, Architectural drawings, Life sketches, Animal drawings and Teaching examples, plus one design sketch for cups and saucers.

General Information

Name of creator

(fl c1930s)

Biographical history

Gerard V Murphy was a student at The Glasgow School of Art in the 1930s. He was born on April 10, 1914, in Hamilton, Scotland. His address is listed as 64 Chapel Street. Murphy was admitted to the GSA in September 1934 and attended classes from 1934 to 1938. He was awarded a Diploma in Drawing and Painting in 1938. According to the GSA student records regarding Murphy, he won the Robertson & Co Prize in 1935 and received a minor travel scholarship of £10 from the GSA in 1937.

He studied design, historical ornament, lettering, and bookbinding techniques, as well as drawing and painting. He primarily showed a great interest in graphic pattern design, life drawing, plant drawing, and anatomy drawing. He was also interested in printmaking using woodblocks while working as an art teacher at several schools in Scotland, including Motherwell RC High School and Coatbridge Secondary School. His artistic style, influenced by Celtic heritage, the Arts and Crafts movement, and Art Nouveau, reflects his identity as a Scotland-based artist.

Archival history

Custodial history

Donated by the artist's children in Aug 2013.

Physical Description and Conditions of Use

Conditions governing access

Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are open for research by appointment. For further details, please refer to our Access Policy @

Conditions governing reproduction

Application for permission to reproduce should be submitted to The Archives and Collections at The Glasgow School of Art.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of material.

For further details, please refer to our Reprographic Service Guide @

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical Description

Finding aids

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Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)


Place access points

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Level of detail

Processing information

  • Catalogue exported from Archon and imported into AtoM during system migration, 2018-2019.
  • Lower levels catalogued by Hyeonseo Heather Park, Work Placement Student, Jan-Apr 2024.




Archivist's note

Finding Aid Authors: The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections.

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2018 GSA Archives. All rights reserved.

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