A month and a half has now passed since the historic Glasgow School of Art went up in flames, destroying an integral chunk of the iconic building, including the library and many students' degree show work. The mood that followed was both sombre and heroic, as thousands gathered to pay tribute to a building that was not only a keynote in Glasgow’s DNA, but a landmark throughout art and architecture internationally. Not in a long time has a building sparked such an emotional reaction.
Brad Pitt, who spent a considerable amount of time in Glasgow during 2011 filming zombie thriller World War Z, has been leading efforts to raise twenty million pounds to restore the building. He is a trustee for the appeal, alongside Scottish actor and GSA alumni Peter Capaldi. Fundraising also comes from artist John Lowrie Morrison, while Westminster also donated five million pounds to the cause.
"Not in a long time has a building sparked such an emotional reaction."
An online photographic archive of the school has been initiated by former students Lizzie Malcolm and Daniel Powers. The images tell an intimate, autobiographical tale of the school’s legacy, dating back as far as the early twentieth century. The school was built in 1896 (completed in 1909), designed by graduate Charles Rene Macintosh. "The website is a response to the fire, I was surprised at how emotional it was to see the building damaged. However, both myself and Daniel also have a keen interest in information, both in the way it is made available, and the way it is gathered and maintained. I hope the project will uncover images that would never have been seen otherwise," explains Malcolm. "My strongest memories of the Mack are from the Degree Show street parties, on Renfrew Street every year. The Mack building amplified what was already a powerful atmosphere on these evenings."
You can contribute to the Mac Photographic Archive via the website.
Text by Mhairi Graham