The Mackintosh Building has always hosted a number of plaster casts comprising human figures, architectural fragments, plaster reliefs, plaster friezes, marble reliefs, tondos and busts. These figures have occupied the halls of the Mack from the late 19th century onwards.
Used as teaching aids the casts are generally based on classical statuary and were sourced from Roman, Greek and later Italian and Medieval periods. While it is not unusual for art schools to hold plaster casts such as these, because ours have always occupied the school they regularly appear in the archive’s photograph collections.
Their presence dominating both the corridors and the classroom.
During the evacuation of the Mackintosh building as many of the plaster casts and other objects from the collection were removed. Others still remain inside because they were in too fragile a condition to move and it was safer for them to remain in situ where the environment is stable.
For those taken out of the building, like all our objects and collections they have been examined by specialist conservators who have advised on how they should be treated. For this work we would like to thank:
- Graciella Ainsworth Sculpture Conservation
- Glasgow Museums
- As well as all the volunteers who assisted the archives with removing the collections from the building.
All the casts that could be removed have now been transferred to an offsite location where their condition will be assessed.
Alongside our plaster casts all of the majority of our object collections were successfully removed from the building, and during the process of wrapping we came across some unusual objects! Can you guess what this is?
Our object collections include ceramics, small chest of drawers, coin and medal casts, brooches and more. All of these have survived the fire unscathed.