Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Burned 2019

The Disappointed Tourist: Glasgow School of Art, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

The Glasgow School of Art’s Building (affectionately known as “The Mack”), was designed by Charles Rennie Mackinstosh and was completed in 1909 for what was then knowns as the Glasgow Government School of Design. In 2014, the building was severely damaged by fire and work on its restoration was almost complete when another fire broke out in 2018 destroying most of the building. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, as are discussions about rebuilding or restoring what remains. I couldn’t find the source of the photograph on which this painting is based.

I was there as a student in the 90s and it was such an amazing building to work in. A bit like a castle in Macbeth, (via Mackintosh, of course), but what was fabulous about it was that we could run around in our paint spattered clothes, stretch canvases and paint on the floor and generally treat the place like any ordinary workplace. It also had the most breathtaking views from the top floor – a light filled corridor called the Hen run. Well, and then it burned down, not just once but twice! I went by there last summer and it was heartbreaking. Nikola I.  

Also requested by Alana M.