Archives » Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938

Art Deco Vase

This striking vase is one of the Carlton Ware pieces made to commemorate the Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938, held at Bellahouston Park. These pieces were sold only at Treron’s, Glasgow.

Canadian Pavilion, Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938

Another postcard of a building from the 1938 Empire Exhibition held in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow. Great central tower, nice curved frontage. The full length flag standards have nice detailing halfway up the building.

Glasgow School of Art

I was devastated to hear today of the fire at Charles Rennie Mackintosh‘s masterpiece building, the Glasgow School of Art. (For pictures of the undamaged building see here.)

I have featured another of his buildings, Scotland Street School, here.

I have also visited the House for an Art Lover, built to Mackintosh designs in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park (on part of the site of the Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938,) and Hill House in Helensburgh as well as the Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow but all without benefit a modern camera. All are visually stunning.

I must confess to being a teeny bit annoyed when Lorna Gordon, BBC London’s Scotland correspondent, called the Art School an Art Deco building. None of Mackintosh’s buildings are Deco. They are leaning towards it, certainly, but really have more in common with Art Nouveau. At a pinch you could say they act as a bridge between the two styles. While some Mackintosh designs have the blend of horizontal and vertical that is a signifier of Art Deco he also had a strong liking for curves which grew firmly from the Art Nouveau tradition of evoking nature and natural forms.

I assume the plans for the School of Art are still in existence somewhere – and that there is insurance in place. Even if it is costly it is to be hoped that some sort of effort at restoration can be made to the Art School. The result may not be original but so few of Mackintosh’s designs were erected in his lifetime it would be tantamount to a crime to allow to disappear the outstanding example that was.

In the meantime, not just Glasgow, not only Scotland, but the world, is a poorer place to live in tonight.

Fountain, Palace of Engineering, Empire Exhibition 1938

For some reason postcards with a blue tint were produced in the 1920 and 1930s.

This one shows off some of the elaborate fountainry at the Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938.

This is a slightly different angle of the same fountain as in the previous picture but in a black and white (sepia) postcard.

Clachan and Tower, Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938

A nice contrast of old and new at the Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938 via another Brian Gerald drawn postcard.

The Clachan was a “traditional” Highland village. Like everything else at the 1938 Empire Exhibition it was in the shadow of Tait’s Tower of Empire.

When an Empire Exhibition in Glasgow was first suggested Glaswegians immediately asked that a clachan be one of the exhibits. This is because a previous clachan was one of the great successes at the Scottish National Exhibition held in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow in 1911.

Scottish Avenue, Empire Exhibition 1938

Another Brian Gerald drawn art postcard from the Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938. This time of the Scottish Avenue. It shows both Scottish Pavilions (the ones with the towers) and the BBC Pavilion in the foreground. At the other end of the avenue is the Palace of Arts, the only building from the Exhibition still standing in Bellahouston Park.

Palace of Engineering, Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938

Another sepia postcard from the Empire Exhibition, Scotland 1938; this time of the Palace of Engineering. Lovely rounded walls with murals.

In the foreground you can see a railodok car, a means of getting around the Exhibition more quickly than on foot.

Palace of Engineering, Empire Exhibition 1938

Souvenir Tin from Empire Exhibition 1938

The tin lid shows one of the two Scotland Pavilions which sat opposite each other on the Scottish Avenue. This same Scotland Pavilion was pictured on the jigsaw I featured a few weeks ago.

Also displayed on the upper right of the tin’s lid is the Exhibition’s red lion logo.

Tin Sovenir of Empire Exhibition 1938

Fountain and North Cascade, Empire Exhibition 1938

The Empire Exhibition of 1938 was well endowed with fountains. The one in this postcard was at the foot of the North Cascade. The Tower of Empire (seen here in the background) was never far from any view in the Exhibition.

Empire Exhibition 1938, Fountain and North Cascade bw

Souvenir Jigsaw of Empire Exhibition 1938

Souvenir Jigsaw of Empire Exhibition 1938

The jigsaw – made by Waddington’s – shows one of the Scotland Pavilions (there were two of these sited opposite each other on Scottish Avenue,) the Tower of Empire, United Kingdom Pavilion and the Canadian Pavilion plus a troop of charging horse.

The box this one came in was a bit tatty but still striking with the lion rampant logo and Tower of Empire.

Box for Empire Exhibition 1938 Jigsaw

There is another Waddington’s jigsaw of the Exhibition featuring a closer view of the Tower of Empire with aeroplanes in the sky overhead and this time with a marching band of bagpipers approaching the foreground. I have that in a cupboard somewhere.

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