Glasgow School of Art

Formal black and white group photograph showing 31 people

'Glasgow Girls' c.1893
Glasgow School of Art Archives
Francis Newbery, seated right, with students including, front row, from r.: Frances Macdonald, unknown, Ruby Pickering, Margaret Macdonald, Agnes Raeburn, Katharine Cameron, and Janet Aitken (in front)

The creative environment of Glasgow School of Art was central to the artistic development of Frances Macdonald and Herbert McNair. Under the inspired leadership of Francis Newbery, the School was one of Britain’s most successful and progressive at the turn of the century.

Newbery expanded its curriculum, brought in talented staff, worked tirelessly to promote his students’ work nationally and internationally, and strove to encourage individual talent. In the early 1890s he introduced the day students, the Macdonald sisters, to the evening students, the architectural apprentices, J Herbert McNair and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The resultant creative alliance, named ‘The Four’, became a major force in the development and recognition of a distinctive Glasgow Style.