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Glasgow, Scotland
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Italian Sketchbook

This sketchbook consists of 81 pages of sketches made by Charles Rennie Mackintosh during his trip to Italy in 1891 funded by his Greek Thomson travelling scholarship prize money. The subjects he sketched are mainly architectural, with the one he felt to be most impressive being labelled 'A Caution'. Each sketch is labelled with the name of the city or town in which it was sketched. In 1890 Mackintosh won the Alexander 'Greek' Thomson Travelling Scholarship with a design for a public hall, which enabled him to take an extensive tour abroad from February to July 1891. He left Glasgow for London on 21 March 1891, sailing from Tilbury on the Thames on 27 March and arriving in Naples on 5 April. He then visited Palermo in Sicily, Rome, Orvieto, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Bologna, Ravenna, Ferrara, Venice, Padua, and Vicenza, arriving in Verona on 10 June 1891. The Sketchbook contains drawings from the later part of Mackintosh's tour, from 10th June, with sketches, mostly of architectural and sculptural details, beginning with Verona. It covers Verona (11-14 June); Mantua (14 June); Cremona (14-15 June); Brescia (16 June); Bergamo (17 June); Lecco (18 June); Cadenabbia and Lake Como (19-25 June); Como (26-27 June); Milan (28 June-6 July); Pavia (7 July-?); Certosa di Pavia (probably several days around 12 July); Paris and Chateau d'Ecouen (late July?); Antwerp (late July? - briefly visited on his return journey). It also contains several pages of designs for the Glasgow Art Club (1892-3) and the Glasgow Herald Building (1893-5). The drawings themselves are almost all pencil sketches, some of which are now quite faint.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Bothwell Church

Watercolour and pencil sketch of Bothwell Church. The backing board notes that the sketch depicts the church before restoration. A joint visit by the Glasgow and Edinburgh Architectural Associations was made to the church on 22 Jun 1889; McGibbon possibly attended this trip and produced this sketch. The drawing bears the stamp of the Glasgow School of Art Library.

McGibbon, Alexander

The Giusti Plaster Cast Collection

  • GST
  • Collection
  • Late 19th century-mid 20th century

Collection of items related to the Glasgow based firm J. Giusti & Co. which specialized in the production of plaster figures, mould making, statuary repair, and other plaster work. The collection is primarily composed of plaster busts and portraits, six moulds, and two medals. The casts and moulds are formed after a range of sculptural styles including ancient Greek and Roman, French Gothic, Italian Renaissance, and 19th century anatomical studies.

The Giusti Plaster Cast Collection highlights mould making and casting processes that were used to produce objects for retail and to repair existing plaster casts. Records from The Glasgow School of Art document purchases and repairs from J. Giusti & Co. from as early as 1890, and casts related to those in the collection were widely used as teaching and learning tools at the GSA through at least mid-20th century.

As most of the items in the collection were used in commercial casting processes, very few items have a plain white, white washed, or decoratively painted surface that are often observed in plaster cast collections. Many of the plaster casts and all of the plaster moulds are widely covered with uneven layers of shellac that appear yellow, red, or brown. Shellac was applied as a sealant and resist agent to prevent existing plaster elements from sticking to fresh plaster elements during the casting process.

In addition to the plaster casts and plaster moulds, several items provide further insights into the material processes employed by J. Giusti & Co. Two medals (likely bronze) showcase the company's involvement with mould making for metal casting, and a gelatine mould is a surviving example of a traditional process used to produce detailed casts in small quantities.

Proudfoot, Alexander

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