National Modern Art Gallery offers season’s greetings to the public

Crop of a Christmas card sent to Ian Fleming from artist Alastair Flattely. Picture: Work on loan from the Fleming Archive

Crop of a Christmas card sent to Ian Fleming from artist Alastair Flattely. Picture: Work on loan from the Fleming Archive

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THE SCOTTISH National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh will kick off the festive season with a free display of Christmas cards.

The event, entitled ‘Happy Christmas!’, will showcase the impressive personal collection of Christmas cards belonging to the late Scottish artist and lecturer Ian Fleming.

Picture: Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture. Work on loan from the Fleming Archive

Picture: Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture. Work on loan from the Fleming Archive

The highly-decorative and often amusing cards in the collection are said to ‘show the variety and creativity of the Scottish art scene in the mid-20th century’.

Featured artists include Anne Redpath, William MacTaggart and Ainslie Yule, as well as Fleming himself.

A key figure in the Scottish arts scene from the 1930s until his death in 1994, Fleming was a celebrated artist and lecturer who established

long-lasting relationships with fellow artists and art institutions over the course of his career.

Picture: The Artist's Estate. Work on loan from the Fleming Archive

Picture: The Artist's Estate. Work on loan from the Fleming Archive

Fleming meticulously accumulated his very personal collection of cards over the course of 40 years.

Born in Glasgow, Fleming studied painting, drawing and print-making at the Glasgow School of Art; Glasgow Art Gallery bought two of his

prints while he was still a student.

He taught at Glasgow School of Art and became Principal of Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen in 1954.

Fleming notably painted the portrait of two of his students who later became known as ‘The Two Roberts’: Colquhoun and McBryde, stars of the art world in the 1940s and friends with the likes of Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon.

The Glaswegian also produced detailed paintings, etchings and engravings of his hometown, the Scottish Highlands and the Continent.

Some of the designs on show include colourful flowers from Anne Redpath OBE, the Edinburgh College of Art alumni and one of the great figures in 20th century Scottish painting; a luminous scenery by renowned Scottish landscape and still life painter Sir William George Gillies; and a robin and holly card by Alastair Flattely who was known primarily as a landscape painter as well as principal of Gray’s School of Art from 1972 to 1987.

The display will include a detailed self-portrait etching from 1937, when Fleming was 31 and a Senior Lecturer at Glasgow School of

Art.

Portrait of the Artist shows Fleming at work in his studio, surrounded by his etching equipment and drawing tools, a Degas reproduction and works from artist friends.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “The People’s Postcode Lottery is delighted to welcome the festive season with the National Galleries of Scotland and the ‘Happy Christmas! Cards from the Ian Fleming Collection’ display at the Keiller Library. Thanks to the support of Players of the Postcode Lottery, visitors can now complement their Christmas period by viewing this intimate display of exceptional festive drawings by great Scottish artists like William McTaggart and Anne Redpath”.

‘Happy Christmas! Cards from the Ian Fleming collection’ is taking place at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Modern Two, from tomorrow until 29 January 2017. Admission is free.

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