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Art Editorial

glasgowboys.jpg The Glasgow Boys & Girls

The Granary Gallery in Berwick-upon-Tweed is re-opening with an exhibition exploring the life and works of a group of radical young artists from the 1880s who rebelled against the jaded Victorian passion for highland scenes and story-telling paintings and instead documented the realities of rural life.

The Glasgow Boys and Girls represent the beginnings of modern Scottish painting in the early 1880s, united by their disillusionment with the academic painting of the time, they began to paint contemporary rural subjects, working outdoors and painting directly in front of their subject.

The exhibition brings together nearly forty paintings and watercolours, including works from every significant member of the group, and focuses on the period between 1880-1895, when the Glasgow Boys and Girls were at the height of their creativity.

Developed in partnership with the renowned Fleming Collection the exhibition features standout works from their collection including paintings by Sir John Lavery’s, The Blue Hungarians (1888); Joseph Crawhall‘s The Bull Ring, Algeciras/Bullfight (1891) and Girl Reading (1896) by George Henry. These are accompanied by a group of rarely seen works from private collections by Edward Arthur Walton, Bessie MacNicol and John Lavery.

Many of the rural subjects in the exhibition where painted at Cockburnspath, the Berwickshire village, up the coast from the Granary Gallery, which became an artists’ colony, frequented by all the main members of the Glasgow school, during the early 1880s.

The Glasgow Boys & Girls seeks to bring new and greater appreciation for the talents of several female artists, including Flora Macdonald Reid, whose work Fieldworkers (1883), which was painted when she was just 23 years old, is included in the exhibition. It has since come to be recognised as one of the Fleming Collection’s most important works and deemed to be the finest example of Reid's works outside public institutions.

The Glasgow Boys & Girls, 5th September - 15th November, Free Entry, booking required. www.berwickvisualarts.co.uk


Flora MacDonald Reid, Fieldworkers, 1883. Courtesy the Fleming Collection