Unit 7: Arts and Crafts


In this unit you will consider the use of Scots language in the study of the Art and Crafts of Scotland. Scottish art is generally agreed to be the body of visual art made in what is now Scotland, or about Scottish subjects, since prehistoric times. The earliest examples come from the Neolithic period, then from the Bronze Age where there are examples of carvings with the first representations of objects, cup and ring marks. Elaborately carved Pictish stones and impressive metalwork then emerged in Scotland in the early Middle Ages.

In the 18th century Scotland began producing artists who became significant internationally. The Royal Scottish Academy of Art was created in 1826, and portrait painters of this period include Andrew Geddes and David Wilkie. William Dyce emerged as one of the most significant figures in art education. The late 19th century art scene was dominated by the work of the Glasgow Boys and The Four, a group which included Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Both groups gained international reputation for the combination of Celtic revival, Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau in their work.

The Glasgow Girls is the name nowadays used for a group of female designers and artists including Margaret and Frances MacDonald, both of whom were members of The Four. Women were able to flourish in Glasgow in this “period of enlightenment” taking place between 1885 and 1920, where they were actively pursuing art careers and the Glasgow School of Art had a significant period of international visibility.

Important details to take notes on throughout this unit:

  • The role of Glasgow-based female Scottish artists

  • How Scots language can appear in formal correspondence when there is jest implied or informality sought

  • Craftwork and other trades in Scotland and their influence on Scottish surnames

  • How employment areas such as weaving or basketry carry a wealth of Scots vocabulary.

Activity 1

Before commencing your study of this unit, you may wish to jot down some thoughts on the four important details we suggest you take notes on throughout this unit. You could write down what you already know about each of these four points, as well as any assumption or question you might

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7. Introductory handsel