- c1918 (Creation)
Level of description
Content and Structure
Scope and content
14 textile items, thought to have been designed as part of Grace Melvin's diploma show c1918.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.
System of arrangement
The material is arranged in the order in which it was deposited.
Name of creator
Grace Melvin (1892-1977) born in Glasgow, Scotland on May 28, 1892, studied at the Glasgow School of Art between 1907-1918. As a day pupil she studied Drawing and Painting, Design and attended Life classes. She studied embroidery under Ann Macbeth (1875-1948).
Melvin was later to become a member of staff at GSA, between 1920/1-1928/9. During this time her roles included the teaching of: lettering and illumination (Design and Decorative Art), 1920/21; lettering and illumination (Pictorial Design and methods of production), 1926/27; and the history of lettering and illumination, 1926/27.
Whilst in London, Melvin discovered the collection of ancient books and manuscripts, lettered and illuminated on vellum housed at the library of the British Museum. She received special permission to make copies of some of the works, and this art form became her passion for many years. At this time, whilst teaching at GSA, she was a scribe for the Corporation of Glasgow, and made many illuminated addresses for prominent people.
After seven years on the staff of the Glasgow School of Art, Melvin was given a two year leave of absence to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia to help organize the Design section of the new School of Art. She resigned from the Glasgow School and remained with the Vancouver School of Art until her retirement, as Head of the Department of Design, in 1952, after which time she became a full time painter. Grace Melvin's Basic Lettering for Art Students was published in 1927 in London and is still used. She has also illustrated and written books on lettering and design for the Department of Education of British Columbia. Later, she was commissioned to make The Books of Remembrance for the Canadian Engineers, which can be seen in St. Pauls Cathedral, London. Melvin illustrated several books for Marius Barbeau, travelling with him to Alaska to get authentic information and an intimate view of the West Coast Native Americans and their legends. Grace Melvin died on 8th March 1977.
The items remained in the care of Grace Melvin and it is believed that she took them to Canada upon her emigration. They were then deposited at the Glasgow School of Art sometime in the 1980s.
Physical Description and Conditions of Use
Conditions governing access
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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.
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Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
There are no physical characteristics that affect the use of this material.
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
No known copies.
Place access points
People and Organisations
- The Glasgow School of Art (Subject)
Genre access points
Level of detail
- Fonds level description compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 12 November 2001
- Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 14 May 2002
- Fonds level description imported from the Archives Hub 25 August 2006
- Catalogue imported into Archon software and edited by Michelle Kaye, Archon Project Officer, May 2014.
- Catalogue exported from Archon and imported into AtoM during system migration, 2018-2019.
Finding Aid Authors: The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections.
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