Joyce W. Cairns: First Female RSA President

There’s a great feature in today’s Sunday National newspaper marking the second anniversary of the artist Joyce W. Cairns becoming the first female president of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture. My essay…

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Everyday Beauty: The Windowsill

Whilst many of us are spending more time than usual at home, let’s try to find beauty in our everyday surroundings. Modern Scottish artists have been inspired in a variety of ways by that common…

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The Beautiful Tulip

Tulips have provided inspiration to many artists, despite the fact that they continue to grow after being cut. This means that as models they do not ‘sit still’ and need to be observed, sketched and…

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Welcome to Winter!

With leaves falling from the trees, days shortening and temperatures dropping, it’s time to bid welcome to Winter through modern Scottish paintings. Winter Fashion One of the first signs of Winter’s approach is the need…

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Modern Scottish Art in Leicester

I am delighted that my feature for Leicester Museum & Galleries about the modern Scottish art in their collection has gone live on their newly launched website. It discusses works by John Bellany (1942-2013), Duncan…

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Happy Halloween!

Halloween is different this year given COVID-19 restrictions, but fear not, it can still be enjoyed via modern Scottish paintings. Halloween Frolics With door to door guising (trick or treating) considered unsafe by the Scottish…

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Working from Home

With the furlough leave scheme coming to an end, more people than ever are working from home. Let’s take a look at the ‘new normal’ of work away from the open plan office, via paintings…

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Women at Work

Let’s celebrate the working lives of modern Scottish women artists, in images they painted of their professional and personal worlds. Dorothy Carleton Smyth: The Artist In Self-portrait of 1921 by Dorothy Carleton Smyth (1880-1931), the…

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The Digital Future of the Art World Webinar

I am delighted to be a co-organiser and speaker at the Scottish Society for Art History and Creative Informatics webinar ‘Lockdown Legacy: The Digital Future of the Art and Digital Cultural Heritage World.’ It will…

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Beneath the Mask

With most of us now wearing masks on a daily basis, join modern Scottish artists in revelling in the human face. John Duncan Fergusson: Full-frontal Hortensia of 1907 by the Scottish Colourist John Duncan Fergusson…

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Fountainbridge Library: Building of the Month

I am delighted that my feature about Fountainbridge Library (1937-40), Dundee Street, Edinburgh has just been published as October’s Twentieth-Century Society Building of the Month. Doors Open Days 2020 The feature discusses this rare and…

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Harvest Time

As October begins and Autumn matures, we reach harvest time once again. Artists have celebrated this climax of the agricultural calendar in various ways. A Cornfield in Catterline In The Cornfield of c.1960, Joan Eardley…

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The Studio at 32 York Place

Whilst scrolling through the colour and noise of Instagram, a low-toned Mother and Son portrait slowed my finger to a stop. Taken by the photographer David Eustace it showed Elizabeth and Guy Peploe, daughter-in-law and…

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Opening Doors and Climbing Stairs at Fountainbridge Library

Fountainbridge Library, Dundee Street, Edinburgh is a rare example of modern Scottish architecture. Designed by John A. W. Grant (1886/7–1959) it was built between 1937 and 1940. It opened as a state-of-the-art library during the…

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Modern Scottish Women Artists talk now on YouTube

My ten-minute talk ‘From Student to Professional: Modern Scottish Women Artists’ is now available on YouTube. I talk about Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Pat Douthwaite, Joan Eardley and Anne Redpath, who have all contributed to modern Scottish…

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The Humble Jug

What would artists do without that stalwart still life prop, the humble jug? More informal and utilitarian than a vase and used in a myriad of ways, once you become aware of its self-effacing role…

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Fountainbridge Library and Doors Open Days 2020

My local library, Foutainbridge Library on Dundee Street, Edinburgh, is a rare and important example of modern Scottish architecture. Designed by John A. W. Grant (1886/7-1959), it was built between 1937 and 1940. It opened…

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Autumn is in the Air!

As September proceeds, there is a definite feel of Autumn in the air. Bessie MacNicol (1869-1904) captures the season’s warm sunshine and the turning of leaves from green to copper in Autumn of about 1898.…

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Scottish Art in the 1920s Lecture

I will be giving a free lecture to accompany the exhibition Bright Shadows: Scottish Art in the 1920s at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh. It is called ‘Proposed and Seconded: The Royal Scottish Academy Nomination…

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Happy 40th Birthday City Art Centre!

The City Art Centre, part of Museums & Galleries Edinburgh, opened in 1980. To mark its 40th birthday, I was asked to contribute to an Art UK curation by choosing my favourite painting from their…

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Edinburgh College of Art 2020 Graduate Show

I was delighted to be asked to respond to Edinburgh College of Art’s 2020 Graduate Show. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, it is taking place on-line this year. The students and their teachers have made…

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Modern Scottish Art Treasures in Greenock

One of my favourite galleries is McLean Museum and Art Gallery, which is part of the Watt Institution in Greenock. They have a splendid collection of Modern Scottish art and during lockdown I had the…

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Four Modern Scottish Artists in the Walker Art Gallery

Did you know that the Walker Art Gallery, part of the National Museums Liverpool, has some super Modern Scottish art? I didn’t until I took at look at their collection on the terrific Art UK…

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Free Modern Scottish Women Artists Zoom Talk

Please join me when I give a free, 10-minute zoom talk at 11am on Saturday 22 August 2020, called ‘From Student to Professional: Modern Scottish Women Artists‘. It accompanies the Modern Masters Women exhibition at…

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Modern Scottish Work in Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery suggested that I write about modern Scottish art in their collection on the subject of ‘work’. I accepted the challenge! We decided on the following themes: How does work relate to time?…

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Scottish Art in Newcastle

I’m half-Geordie, so I particularly enjoyed writing about modern Scottish art in the collection of the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. I wrote about paintings by the Glasgow Boy E. A. Hornel, Glasgow School of…

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Wilhelmina Barns-Graham at Pallant House Gallery

Travel with Wilhelmina Barns-Graham to St Ives, Yorkshire and Switzerland via works in the collection of Pallant House Gallery, Chichester.

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The Great Escape

Escape the four walls of your lockdown home and go on holiday with four modern Scottish artists, to Italy, Spain and France, via paintings in UK public collections.

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School’s Out for Summer!

Celebrate the end of the school year and the start of the summer holiday via paintings in UK public collections by James Cowie, Norman Clark, Joan Eardley and Henry Stringer in this curatorial blog.

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