Papers and photographs of John Holmes Gray, student of the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

This collection contains:

Photographs, essays and notes made and taken by Gray while at the Glasgow School of Art , including correspondence between the GSA and Gray; 1949-1956

Notes given to designers for technical guidance from Johnson, Matthey & Co. Ltd; 1954

Recollections of Glasgow School of Art by Holmes Gray; 1996

Photographs of pieces designed by Holmes Gray post- GSA for Spode , Royal Worcester and others; n.d.

Correspondence with Stoke-on-Trent College; 1694-1986

Correspondence re: training as a part-time teacher; 1977-1986

Letter informing Holmes Gray of election as Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce [copy]; 1987

Letter from Commemorative Collector's Society re: address by Holmes Gray; 1997.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Holmes Gray was born in Dennistoun, Glasgow, Scotland, in 1929 and grew up in Glasgow. He did his National Service in the Royal Navy where he was awarded a Royal Navy grant to attend drawing classes at Edinburgh College of Art , Scotland. On finishing his service he studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1949-1954 , at diploma and post-diploma level. He studied under Johnny Miller in the first two years and then studied ceramics from 1951 under Johnny Crawford (ceramics was then part of the Sculptures Department, the Head of which was Benno Schotz ). He was awarded the Haldane Travelling Scholarship in 1953-54 . After leaving Glasgow School of Art he worked for Johnson, Matthey & Co Ltd , potters, Stoke-on-Trent, England, and other successful Stoke potters such as Spode and Royal Worcester.

The material listed here represents written and photographic records of his work completed whilst at Glasgow School of Art and after. Of particular interest to the School's history is the photograph of the clay model for the ceramic figure of a fireman, based on a drawing made at the time of a fire in the ceramics department in 1952 , and the photographic negative of a sketch of the westend of the School, drawn and printed under the guidance of Gordon Huntly , by Holmes Grey and then transferred by the old stick-down method onto a plate. The plate was sold by D P Bliss , director of the School of Art, and given to the School in 1953.


The material is arranged in the order in which it was deposited

Access Information

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

Other Finding Aids

An item level list of the collection is available in the search room.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

There are no physical characteristics that affect the use of this material.

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Adele Ashley-Smith, Archivist, 2000-2001. Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 17 September 2001. Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 14 May 2002. Archives Hub description updated by Carrie Skinner, Logjam Project Officer, September 2011

Appraisal Information

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

Custodial History


Related Material

Further information concerning John Holmes Grey may be gained from the GSA's collection of newspaper cuttings available in the search room.


There are no known publications using this material.