Dorothy C Smith collection

Scope and Content

A collection of work by Dorothy C Smith including Glasgow School of Art student material and teacher training college material. Includes: GSA student notebooks; teacher training notebooks from her time at Jordanhill teacher training college; essays; architectural drawings; figure drawings; printed designs; paper-cut work; leaf prints; designs for repeat prints; embroidery designs; shadow work designs, designs for embroidered textiles; embroidery samplers; embroidery samples; a wooden stool with embroidered top; a poster; material relating to the proposed publication "Designing for Embroidery"; material relating to the"Unbroken Thread" exhibition; publications related to the Needlework Development Scheme.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dorothy C Smith was born in Partick and attended Hyndland School. She entered Glasgow School of Art in 1940, where she changed from the Painting department to study design, and specialised in embroidery and weaving. As it was wartime she spent many nights firewatching on the school roof, and during the holidays worked in forestry in the Trossachs and Argyll. On completion of the course in 1944, she was awarded the Newbery Medal for distinction in diploma work. After teacher training at Jordanhill College, she taught at Glasgow's Whitehill School from 1945-1949 and gave embroidery evening classes at GSA. Whilst teaching at St Rollox School in 1950 she cut her finger while clearing out art room cupboards. The infection gave rise to an epidural abscess, which caused total paralysis. She spent the next two years as a patient, mainly in the neurological surgery unit at Killearn Hospital. She told her surgeons that if they could restore function to the thumb and index finger of her right hand, she could still use a needle. Other operations and Smith's fortitude enabled her to eventually regain mobility. By 1956 she had succeeded in convincing the education department that she was physically fit enough to resume teaching and was appointed to Hamilton Crescent School, followed by Hyndland School until she retired. She died in 2008.

Source: Studio 58: Women Artists in Glasgow Since World War II (Glasgow: Glasgow School of Art, 2012).


Material has been arranged into

Access Information

Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are open for research by appointment.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

notebooks; essays; pencil drawings; ink drawings; printed designs; paper-cut work; embroidery samplers; samples of embroidery; posters; booklets.

Archivist's Note

Collection listed by GSA Archives and Collections Volunteer. Imported from Excel spreadsheet and edited by Michelle Kaye, Archives and Collections Assistant, 7th December 2012. Archives Hub description updated by Michelle Kaye, Archives and Collections Assistant, 16th January 2013.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.

Custodial History

Donated in 2012.

Personal Names

Geographical Names