Level of description
Content and Structure
Scope and content
The collection includes:
- 1 x Glasgow Kino film group minute book
- 2 x photographs of a sculpted head
- 27 x loose sheets/sketches by Helen Biggar
- 1 x mounted pencil drawing of three figures by Sydney Horn Shepherd
- A Haldane medal for Hugh Biggar.
Please note that this material is not yet fully catalogued and therefore some items may not be accessible to researchers.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Name of creator
Helen Biggar (born 25/5/1909), from Glasgow, was a student at The Glasgow School of Art from 1925-1932. Helen was awarded a diploma in Textile Design in 1929, and was also awarded a Minor Travel Bursary of £10 in 1930. She suffered from polio and was very short in stature. She was politically active during the war and a member of the Kino society and involved in the Glasgow Worker's Theatre Group.
Helen Biggar's wartime Glasgow art circle included refugee artists like Josef Herman and Jankel Adler, and talented locals like Robert Frame and Eli Montlake, some of whom joined her in London when she moved there permanently in 1945. They exhibited as the New Scottish Group at the Edinburgh Festival in 1947; and as the Gorbals Artists when Glasgow Unity brought their famous production of The Gorbals Story (1946) to London in 1948. On 11 October 1948 Helen Biggar married Eli Montlake at Wandsworth register office.
She also worked on several productions with the filmmaker Norman McLaren, who also studied at the School.
Helen died of a brain haemorrhage at St Mary Abbot's Hospital, London, on 28 March 1953. Her cremation at Golders Green was attended by luminaries from the artistic, theatrical, and ballet worlds of London and Glasgow. She was survived by her husband.
Name of creator
Painter, printmaker and teacher, born in Dundee. He studied at The Glasgow School of Art, 1927-1930, teachers including Maurice Greiffenhagen, and also taught there. Later taught at Shoreditch Training College and St Martin's School of Art. Showed at RSA, SSA, NS, Free Painters and Sculptors and abroad. Lived latterly at Rudgwick, Sussex.
Donated in 2014 accession reference number Acc 179.
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 @ https://gsaarchives.net/policies
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 @ https://gsaarchives.net/policies
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Place access points
People and Organisations
Genre access points
Level of detail
- Initial description created by Carrie Skinner, Archives and Colletions Documentation Assistant in 2017, updated by Susannah Waters, Archives and Collections Manager 01/03/2018.
- Catalogue exported from Archon and imported into AtoM during system migration, 2018-2019.
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