Glasgow Girls in Kirkcudbright

Three friends and I visited this exhibition on Saturday 21 August.  The reason for the visit was that one of the party had seen the Glasgow Boys at Kelvingrove, so we thought that we should go and see what the “Girls” had been up to!  Those of us who have not yet seen the Glasgow Boys are planning to do so soon. 

I’ll confess right now that I have a very limited knowledge of and access to the art world, so while I am writing about our visit to the exhibition, it is done from the viewpoint of “joe public” and hope that I don’t do it an injustice!

The “star” attraction was  The Silk Dress by Eleanor Allen Moore c. 1918.  The picture is described as “a self portrait, painted wearing an 1860s dress”.  This painting was the first thing that you saw as you entered the exhibition from either door and was a beautiful centre piece.

Having lived near Kirkcudbright for 10 years, I was aware that Kirkcudbright had been an artists colony for about 100 years and that Jessie M King had lived and worked there.  As Jessie was one of the Glasgow Girls, some of her work was included in the display. 

The exhibition included paintings, prints and drawings and decorative and applied art works, including embroidery, batik, jewellery, metal work, ceramics and book illustration and design. (extracted from the exhibition literature – could you tell?)!

There were several items of metal work, but I particulary liked the mirrors.  They seemed to be copper and had beautiflul Glasgow style designs on them.  I am alway amazed at how someone can take a piece of any type of material (in this case metal), and produce beautiful, practical objects. What amazes me is this; someone has had both the idea AND the skills to make such objects. 

I also liked the embroidered panels  by the McDonald sisters – even my untrained eye could see the Glasgow Style.   I always like to see paintings of places I know or recognise, so the paintings of Kircudbright Harbour and The Rood Fair, Dumfries (c.1924) fitted the bill.

All in all, we had a really enjoyable “road trip” and everyone in our party enjoyed the exhibition.

I would recommend you go and see it, but you better hurry – it finishes this weekend.

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