Liverpool, 1900 - 1909

Black and white photograph of a woman holding a young baby

Frances and Sylvan McNair

The Liverpool years began with a period of great artistic creativity for the McNairs.

Major projects included the decoration and furnishing of their home at 54 Oxford Street, exhibits for the Vienna Secession in 1900, and the ‘Lady’s Writing Room’ exhibited in Turin in 1902.

The couple became lively contributors to the Liverpool art scene and the University’s social life, including productions of plays and tableaux. The McNairs also became parents – their son, Sylvan, was born in 1900.

Circumstances changed dramatically around 1905, with the closure of the School of Architecture and Applied Art. McNair’s subsequent appointment as a teacher with the Sandon Studios was short-lived while the McNair family bankruptcy removed the couple’s financial security.

McNair began to drink heavily, and by 1909 the couple were back in Glasgow facing an uncertain future.