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Identifying The Glasgow Style

Despite the recognition and commercial success of Glasgow Style designers at the time and their continuing popularity today, there is a dearth of accurate information or research for those trading or collecting. Often outdated sources are references and a plethora of different terminology is used including Glasgow School, Glasgow School Arts & Crafts, Scottish School, Glasgow Style Arts and Crafts / Art Nouveau and so on.  So how do you recognise the Glasgow Style?   

Here is a quick reference guide – although of course individual designers and mediums will feature their own particular distinctions. 

Recognising the Glasgow Style​

Date

Early 1890s – 1914

Some designers continued to work in the style beyond 1914

Designers

Look for an association with the Glasgow School of Art and/or with The Four.

A hierarchy of around 70 designers

• Charles Rennie Mackintosh

• The Four (Mackintosh, Herbert McNair, Frances and Margaret Macdonald

• Around 15 principal designers made up of the above plus: Jessie M. King, Talwin Morris, George Walton, E.A. Taylor, George Logan, John Ednie, Peter Wylie Davidson, Ann Macbeth, Margaret Gilmour, Margaret De Courcy Lewthwaite Dewar, Jessie Newbery

Mediums and Materials

Expressed mostly in metal, wood, ceramics and stained glass and illustrative graphics

Textiles, common at the time, appear less often now. 

Full interior schemes were common at the time.  

Click on the links to view the individual pages for more guidance

Motifs

Glasgow cabbage rose / roses 

Distinctive shapes including hearts, squares, lines, sinuous curves, strong taut verticals. 

Celtic knots and designs 

Stylised forms based on Nature: flowers, seed shapes, tulips, pendant flowers, almond / bulb or teardrop shapes.  

Birds/birds in flight, peacocks, dragonflies, butterflies, owls, moths. 

Female figures / willowy human forms 

Distinct lettering 

Colours

Subtle tones of pink, purple, green. Black and white as contrasts.

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