Movers & Shakers

The Glasgow City Council’s well-known slogan ‘People Make Glasgow’, was true of the city even in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The city was built on hard work and determination of the industrial worker but shaped and styled by the artistic and wealthy movers and shakers of Glasgow. We hope to examine some of the eccentric,cool, hip, arty and even business minded individuals who produced, designed or paid for both public and private objects or buildings of desire.


Daniel Cottier (1837-1891)

Daniel Cottier was an artist, designer and collector born in Anderston, Glasgow in1837. Cottier was lucky enough to move in wide, and interesting circles, mixing with the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, William Morris and Louis Comfort Tiffany. He is universally recognised as introducing Aesthetic Movement to America and featured in a series of major exhibition in America, Canada and Australia.



Charles Mackintosh (1868-1928)

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928), architect, decorative artist, designer and painter, was born at 70 Parson Street, Glasgow. Mackintosh attended Glasgow School of Art between 1883 and 1894 and later studied under Glaswegian architect John Hutchison and from 1889 he worked as a draughtsman with Honeyman and Keppie.


Jessie M King (1875-1949)

Jessie Marion King, illustrator and designer, was born on 20 March 1875 in Dunbartonshire. She studied at Queen Margaret College as one of the University of Glasgow’s first pioneering female students, before studying at Glasgow School of Art from 1892 to 1899. From 1899 to 1907 she taught book design at the Glasgow School of Art but also worked with ceramics, textiles and designed jewellery for the likes of Liberty & Co. who produced staples for the aesthetic wardrobe. At this time she was also an active member of the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists.


 William Leiper (1839-1916)

William Leiper, architect, was born in Glasgow on 21 May 1839. He served his apprenticeship with Boucher & Cousland from ‘1855/6′ to He later spent a year in London where moved in the fashionable circles of the leading architects of the day. He mingled with the likes of Edward William Godwin and William Burges, who was later to propose him as FRIBA. Back in Glasgow Leiper formed a partnership with Robert Grieve Melvin in 1864.

Leiper’s reputation was immediately established by winning the competition for Dowanhill Church, Glasgow in the same year.


Frances MacDonald (1863-1933)

Frances MacDonald is the sister of the perhaps better known Margaret MacDonald. In the mid-1890s Margaret and Frances left Glasgow Art School to set up a studio together, their distinctive styles meshing well together. Their work was exhibited internationally London, Liverpool and Venice. Unfortunately for us, her husband destroyed many of her works after her death. Both MacDonald sisters works are still overlooked due to the attention on their husbands works.


Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh(1864-1933)

Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh was a prominent designer and artist, well known for her work with flora and fauna, was born on 1864 Staffordshire. In 1890 she moved to Glasgow with her family and began attending classes at the Glasgow School of Art. She enjoyed working collaboratively with other artists, but was well exhibited artist in her own right. Now her work is celebrated in many prominent galleries including the Glasgow’s Hunterian Art Gallery and Museum.


Walter Macfarlane (1817-1885)

Walter Macfarlene I was born in Torrance of Campsie, near Glasgow. Macfarlane started his working life as a jeweller, before serving an apprenticeship with the blacksmith James Buchanan. He then spent over ten years working for Moses, McCulloch & Co’s Cumberland Foundry before establishing his own Saracen Foundry in 1850, in Saracen Lane in the Gallowgate.


Alf Webster (1883-1915)

Alf Webster was a pupil of master glass painter Stephen Adam (1848-1910). Alf began studying architecture at the Glasgow School of Art between 1932-34 whilst working for the Adam’s studio. Upon Adams death in 1910, Alf inherited the Adam’s stained glass firm. His stained glass career was tragically cut short when he was enlisted in January 1915 as the 2nd Lieutenant  in 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders. Alf Webster died, aged 30, on the 24th August 1915 while on patrol duty at the Front, leaving behind three young sons and a widow.