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!

Robert Colquhoun (1914-62), Mater Dolorosa, 1958
Manchester Art Gallery (c) The Artist’s Estate

We decided on the following themes:

  • How does work relate to time?
  • Who and what do we value?
  • How does work shape identity?
  • What’s the meaning of vocation?

I selected works by Robert Colquhoun (above), Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Flora Macdonald Reid and William Strang. Before you ask, we’re not related! You’ll find the article in the ‘Work: Behind the Scenes‘ section of the gallery’s website.

If you’re interested in Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, you can find out more in this essay about her studios, which I wrote for her Trust. Flora Macdonald Reid also appears in my article for the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle about their modern Scottish art holdings.

I am lucky that I enjoy writing about modern Scottish art so doing so doesn’t feel like work at all.

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