Records of the Glasgow School of Art Modern Embroidery Group, alumni society, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

Newsletters and circulars 1959-1978

Membership records 1960-1974

Exhibition records including catalogues, invites, visitors' books, price lists and related correspondence 1959-1979

Press cuttings and notes 1959-1976

Administrative / Biographical History

The Glasgow School of Art Modern Embroidery Group was formed by Kathleen Whyte (1909-1996) in 1955-6 with the express intention of creating an exhibition vehicle for graduates of the Glasgow School of Art. This would encourage them to continue to pursue innovation in modern embroidery, for which the GSA was well known in the UK. In 1956 former students of the Embroidery & Weaving Department of the School held the first exhibition of their work at Blythswood Square Gallery, Glasgow. The group was formally constituted and a registered charity run by a committee of GSA graduates elected annually at an annual general meeting.

Two years after the group's first exhibition, a touring exhibition sponsored by the Scottish Arts Council visited many towns in Scotland and lasted over a year. By 1970 three such touring exhibitions had been held as well as a bi-annual exhibition held in the Glasgow area or occasionally in London. By the mid-1970s the group had over 70 members.

As well as exhibiting, the group held regular meetings, lectures and events that covered areas such as techniques, textile history, dyeing and design, all of which were intended to encourage new work.

The move by the Arts Council to award grants more readily to national groups in the mid-1990s led to the formation of EDGE, the Scottish National Textile Group, about 1995. This group brought together the Glasgow School of Art Embroidery and Textile Group known by this time as 167, the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Embroidery Group known as Embryo, and the New Scottish Embroidery Group, based in Edinburgh. The Dundee group was formed by graduates of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art taught by Marion Gracie, later Stewart, herself a graduate of GSA Department of Embroidery & Weaving

One independent group remains called 167 On the Road. This was formed to support graduates willing to offer day and weekend courses in embroidery round Scotland.


The material has been arranged into series as outlined in the collection description

Access Information

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

Other Finding Aids

Hard copy finding aid available in the searchroom. Digital catalogue available online at:

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The records are on paper

Archivist's Note

Adapted from STHO catalogue by Susannah Waters, GSA Archivist, 19th April 2011. Archives Hub description updated by Carrie Skinner, Logjam Project Officer, September 2011

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised inline with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures

Custodial History

The records were accumulated by Crissie White, former head of Embroidered & Woven Textiles at the Glasgow School of Art, and deposited with the archives in 2002