‘Glasgow style’ guru Daniel Cottier to be honoured

Actor Morgan Walker in front of a window designed by Daniel Cottier in the 1880s, now in Glasgow's Cottier Theatre. Picture: Robert Perry

Actor Morgan Walker in front of a window designed by Daniel Cottier in the 1880s, now in Glasgow's Cottier Theatre. Picture: Robert Perry

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His working life started as a 14-year-old apprentice at a Glasgow glazing firm and he rose to become one of Scotland’s leading artists and designers - but is now largely forgotten in his home country.

Now the National Trust for Scotland has unveiled plans to celebrate the life and legacy of Daniel Cottier.

The 19th century glass artist is the hugely influential figure credited with introducing the “Asthetic Movement” to Australia and America, and has been dubbed Glasgow’s Victorian answer to Terence Conran.

The heritage organisation is planning to honour Cottier and the key role he played in evolving the “Glasgow style” which Charles Rennie Mackintosh was to become famous for.

Cottier is to take centre stage in a special programme of events at one of the few surviving buildings to feature his work in his home city, Holmwood House, in the south side of Glasgow.

The National Trust for Scotland will bring together various examples of his work for a 2016 exhibition, which will also feature furniture and other decorative artefacts from around the country, to look at the impact made by the city’s late 19th century architects and designers.

Holmwood House is best-known for being designed by one of the city’s most celebrated architects, Alexander “Greek” Thomson, with interiors designed by Cottier. Originally built as a private home in 1857, it was both a convent and a primary school before being acquired by NTS in 1994.

Born in Anderston in 1837, Cottier trained in both Glasgow and Edinburgh before moving to London, where he was heavily influenced by the critic John Ruskin and the designer William Morris, before returning to Scotland to set up his own business.

Branches in London, New York, Montreal and Sydney followed. Cottier, whose work can also be seen in the arts centre bearing his name in Glasgow’s west end, had a major influence in international art circles.

Jennifer Melville, head of collections at NTS, said: “Glasgow’s legacy of heavy industry and shipbuilding is very familiar, but the fact that the city’s middle-class led a movement which effectively changed the course of domestic design worldwide is not well-known.

“We will include some of Daniel Cottier’s work to show how talented and enlightened Glaswegians came to change the thinking of artists and designers across the world.”

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