Subfonds DC 029/7 - Kath Whyte Textiles and Designs

Paper Collage on wooden frame Apples (Version 2) Embroidered Sample, 'Tree Garden' (Version 1) Embroidered Sample, 'Tree Garden' (Version 2) Early Canvas Work Seat (Version 1) Early Canvas Work Seat (Version 2) Big Fat Sampler, large wall hanging with square design (Version 1) Big Fat Sampler, large wall hanging with square design (Version 2) Embroidered Piece 'Fishwife' (Version 1) Isus Cushion Embroidered Piece 'Fishwife' (Version 2) Cream Linen Tea Cosy, possibly student work (Version 1) Green Embroidered Square Cushion with pad Cream Linen Tea Cosy, possibly student work (Version 2) Cut Paper Collage Double cloth sample with fringe (Version 1) Double cloth sample with fringe (Version 2) Oblong Raffia Sample (Version 1) Oblong Raffia Sample (Version 2) Collage on beige cotton (Version 1) Collage on beige cotton (Version 2) Wall Hanging, coastal scene Sampler, 'Garden Picture' (Version 1) Woven Yellow Cushion (Version 1) Woven Yellow Cushion (Version 2) Sampler, 'Garden Picture' (Version 2) Embroidered sampler on woven raffia background (Version 1) Woven Raffia Bag (Version 1) Woven Raffia Bag (Version 2) Embroidered sampler on woven raffia background (Version 2) Embroidered Purse, Betty White (Version 1) Embroidered Purse, Betty White (Version 2) Embroidered Purse, Betty White (Version 3) Embroidered Blue Bag, Student work (Version 1) Cream Cotton sampler, collage effect with beads (Version 1) Embroidered Blue Bag, Student work (Version 2) Cream Cotton sampler, collage effect with beads (Version 2) Sampler on board showing different types of stitching Tea cosy (Version 1) Tea cosy (Version 2) Brown weave length (Version 1) Brown weave length (Version 2) Red binca geometric sampler (Version 1) Red binca geometric sampler (Version 2) Abstract embroidery Painted linen Painted linen Textile collage Brown binca sampler (Version 1) Sampler for Making Colour Move at Hampton Court (Version 1)
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Key Information

Reference code

DC 029/7


Kath Whyte Textiles and Designs


  • c1930s-1970s (Creation)

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Content and Structure

Scope and content

Collection of Kath Whyte's textile and embroidery samples, created by both herself and others. This collection also comprises some designs.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

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


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General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Helen Kathleen R Whyte, or Kath Whyte as she was known, was the outstanding influence of her generation on embroidery in Scotland and, through her writing and teaching, made a major contribution to textile art in Britain and abroad.

She was brought up in a home where "real" things - hand-made textiles, books, pictures - were loved and appreciated. Some of her formative years were spent in India, where her father worked, from where the rich colours and exciting textiles obviously made a lasting impression. After attending Arbroath High School, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland, where the strength of design teaching in the art department developed her sense of direction, she went on to Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen, Scotland, where she took the Diploma Course in General Design. Two strong influences during that period of her life were James Hamilton, a colourful character and strong design teacher, and Dorothy Angus, who awakened in Kath her true dedication to stichery and textiles. After leaving art college she taught in schools in Aberdeen and organised craft classes for youth clubs during and after the war. Her influence on textile design really developed after she took up her post as Head of Embroidery and Weaving at Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland, in 1948, a position she held until she retired in 1974. She became part of the team of design lecturers there, earning great respect from her colleagues for her passionate and single-minded enthusiasm. She was also active in other forms of art education. She was part of a team appointed to validate the DipAD course in English art colleges. She was a much respected adviser on many of the English courses and continued her interest in them through the years as a friend. She was also an art advisor to the Scottish Education Department, so her influence carried on through to secondary school education. Kathleen Whyte was awarded the MBE in 1969 for her contribution to art education. Also, in 1969, her book, Design and Embroidery was published by Batsford and was also produced in the US and Holland with a second edition in 1982. In the introduction to the catalogue for her Retrospective Exhibition in 1987, William Buchanan said: "She is one of a great line of embroiderers at Glasgow who have practised and taught and written and proved that, along with the brush, the pencil and the chisel, used by the finger of an artist, the needle is a potent means of visual expression."

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Administrative Information

Description identifier

GB 1694 DC 029/7

Institution identifier

GB 1694

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description - Second edition


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