Collection DC 101 - Papers and Textiles of Veronica Matthew, student at The Glasgow School of Art, 1950s

Printed textile Embroidery sampler (Version 1) Embroidery sampler (Version 2) Embroidery sampler (Version 1) Embroidery sampler (Version 2) Botanic Gardens watercolour Project Ability diary of exhibitions and events flyer Photograph of four people Photograph of Veronica Matthew in a dress by Valerie Wilson (Version 1) Photograph of Veronica Matthew in a dress by Valerie Wilson (Version 2) Glasgow School of Art fashion show 1955 programme (Version 1) Black and cream original Christmas card

Key Information

Reference code

DC 101


Papers and Textiles of Veronica Matthew, student at The Glasgow School of Art, 1950s


  • c1950s-2010s (Creation)

Level of description



38 Items

Content and Structure

Scope and content

The collection includes:

  • Textiles by Veronica Matthew;
  • Artworks on paper by Veronica Matthew;
  • Material relating to Art Therapy;
  • Newspaper cuttings;
  • Photographs;
  • Personal papers.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

General Information

Name of creator

(fl 1950s-)

Biographical history

Veronica Matthew was a student at The Glasgow School of Art in the 1950s where she graduated with a Diploma in Art. She was close friends with Alasdair Gray and Valerie Bloomfield-Ambrose during this time. She painted watercolours and created textiles including embroidery.

She lived in Glasgow and East London. In 1971, she attended the St Albans School of Art to train in art therapy which was in its third year of inception. By this time, she had acquired 10 years of teaching experience including seven of the years in "Special Schools" in Glasgow. She was the first teacher employed by the Education Department in Glasgow to teach art to children with special needs in various schools. This included teaching children who were deaf, had cerebral palsy, and had learning difficulties. Her training at St Albans consisted of lectures on psychiatry, psychology, and causes and treatments of brain damage. She would also visit hospitals frequently with her classmates to learn more on how to help them. She had two placements in this programme including one in Edinburgh, where she worked with epileptic patients, and in Roehampton in London, where she worked with people with mental illnesses and special needs. After finishing this education as an art therapist, she worked for the Social Work Department in Tower Hamlets in East London. As her employers were unequipped to take on an art therapist, there were various challenges at the start but over time, solutions were found and compromises made.

In 1981, she returned to Glasgow, after her father had had a stroke. In 1982 and 1983, she worked for the Third Eye Centre as a coordinator for an organization called Project Ability. Project Ability was started by Ellie Sinclair-Hall who suffered from multiple sclerosis; her goal was to highlight the talents of people with disabilities and demonstrate their artistic prowess. They hosted a three-week long showcase of performance, exhibitions, films, plays, talks, music, and workshops. People came from all over the United Kingdom and abroad to see this project and take part in it. Veronica was the co-ordinator for the project. Project Ability is now a very successful arts organization providing a creative outlet for many disabled people and fulfilling Ellie’s dream. After this project, Veronica returned to art therapy on a sessional basis at the Glasgow Association for Mental health and at a day centre in Maryhill. She fondly remembered her time in London with Jewish people who had escaped persecution in Eastern Europe and Russia. She was happy to have been able to help so many struggling people find light. Veronica passed away in March 2024.

Archival history

Custodial history

Donated to GSA in August 2017, accession reference number JAC/93.
Donated to GSA in July 2022, accession reference number JAC/358.

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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Alternative identifier(s)


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Level of detail

Processing information

  • Collection level description created by Susannah Waters (Archives and Collections Manager), Aug 2017.
  • Catalogue exported from Archon and imported into AtoM during system migration, 2018-2019.
  • Collection level description updated by Michelle Kaye, Collections Lead, Apr 2023.
  • Lower level descriptions created by Ella Grad-Arndt, Work Placement, Apr 2023.


  • English



Archivist's note

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

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2023 GSA Archives. All rights reserved.

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