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- 1903 (Creation)
Level of description
Content and Structure
Scope and content
Montage of costume designs for the Masque of the City Arms.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Name of creator
Born in Glasgow of Irish and French parentage. From 1885-1893 she attended Colonel Clark’s School, Manchester & The Manchester High School for Girls. From 1893-1897 she studied at The Manchester School of Art, under Walter Crane. From 1898-1904 she was at GSA as a student and also teaching ( from 1898-1903). She was awarded the Diploma in 1902. Classes included Stained Glass, Enamels, Illustration, Sgraffito, Gesso and metal work. From Mar-July 1903 she travelled in Paris, Italy and Switzerland visiting Studios, etc. Between 1904-1914 she worked as a theatre and costume designer in Glasgow, London and Europe. Companies included Louis Verande, Paris Opera, Granville Barker and the Quinlan Opera Company.
Between 1915-1933 she returned to teach full-time at GSA concentrating on Costume, Lithography and Book Illustration. In 1927 became Head of the Pictorial Section of the School of Design and specialised in teaching Illustration. In 1933 was offered and accepted the post of Director of the Glasgow School of Art, but died (16 Feb 1933), aged 52, of a brain haemorrhage before the appointment was made public and W.O. Hutchison took up the position. Dorothy had a sister, Olive Carleton Smyth, who was also a successful professional artist and a fellow teacher at the School. She took over as Head of Design when Dorothy died.
Dorothy worked as a professional artist while teaching. Her early work included the production of local plays in Glasgow, sometimes working with Charles Rennie Mackintosh and others of the Glasgow School on decoration. From the 1920s she undertook book illustrations for Chiver’s, Blackie and Collins. She worked in silverwork, sculpture (including modelling friezes and panels for the Allan Liners “Victoria” and “Virginia”). She was known as a successful portrait painter and broadcast extensively on art subjects, including art lessons for children on the BBC (as Paint Pot Pixie). Smyth also ran the Drama Club at the School between 1924 and 1933.
Name of creator
De Courcy Lewthwaite Dewar (1878–1959), metalwork designer, was born on 12 February 1878 in Kandy, Ceylon, the daughter of a tea planter, John Lewthwaite Dewar, and his wife, Amelia Cochran. Her unusual first name had been passed down through several generations in her family, by whom she was known as Kooroovi, the Tamil word for a small bird.
She was one of three surviving daughters of the family. From 1891 until 1908 or 1909 she studied part-time at the Glasgow School of Art. Her enamel and metalwork, which included jewellery, clock surrounds, mirror surrounds, plaques, caskets, buttons, and sconces, was frequently illustrated in The Studio. She also painted, engraved, and produced designs for bookplates, calendars, tea-room menus, and cards, as well as costumes for masques.
For thirty-eight years Dewar taught design in the metalwork department of the school, during some of that period with Peter Wylie Davidson, in whose Applied Design in the Precious Metals (1929) her Presentation Casket (c.1910; Glasgow Society of Women Artists, on loan to Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries) is illustrated. ‘Dewar's enamel and graphic work is characterized by strong colour and vigorous outline and the Glasgow Style designs from her student and tutorial phase gradually evolved to a more geometric and boldly coloured Czechoslovakian folk-art influenced style’ (Burkhauser, 163). She was president of the Society of Lady Artists' Club, whose history she wrote (privately printed, 1950). Her sketchbooks of c.1895–1910 (priv. coll.), letters, and journals provide ‘a rare account of a woman designer of the Glasgow Style era’ (ibid.).
Dewar was involved with the women's suffrage movement, for whom she designed bookplates, programmes, and calendars. She compiled files on women artists for the National Council of Women in London providing biographical information and reproductions of works. She did not marry and lived with her sister, Katharine, at 15 Woodside Terrace, Glasgow, until her death there on 24 November 1959.
Physical Description and Conditions of Use
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Pencil, ink and watercolour on paper; photographs
Dimensions: 1120 x 660 (mount) mm
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
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People and Organisations
- The Glasgow School of Art (Subject)
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