Mackintosh and visual arts research data at The Glasgow School of Art

Entrance to The Glasgow School of Art. Photo MTG

Last week the Kaptur team gathered for a project meeting in The Glasgow School of Arts’ incredible Mackintosh building. Representatives from all the project partners met in the Mackintosh room (also known within the School as the Design Room):

“In 1906 Mackintosh was asked to include a new, more formal Board Room into the building and used part of an existing studio on the ground floor, to the left of the entrance. In return what had been the School’s original Board Room, a chiefly white interior on the first floor was turned into a design room. This space (Studio 37) has now reverted back to a meeting room.”

[Text on wall next to the Mackintosh Room]

Fireplace in the Mackintosh Room. Photo MTG

A photograph of the Mackintosh Room by Bedford Lemere (described as The Board Room) shows the fireplace as it was in 1910 [Buchanan (2004) Mackintosh’s Masterwork: The Glasgow School of Art, pp.114-5].

The purpose of the meeting was:

  1. for the project team to be updated about work at each institution in order to enhance collaboration and lessons learned across the partner institutions;
  2. to agree and assign tasks for promoting Kaptur internally/externally to the institutions;
  3. to discuss applicability of the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) tools for the modelling and technical work packages.

This was addressed as follows:

  1. each Project Officer reported progress on the development of the institutional RDM policies; the Technical Manager reported progress on the Technical Analysis;
  2. each Project Officer will suggest three different ways of awareness raising within their institution and this will be reported in the next Kaptur monthly blog post;
  3. we were delighted to welcome Martin Donnelly, Senior Institutional Support Officer, DCC to the meeting; it was very useful to ask specific questions within the context of the project team.

Key points to share:

  • A need for awareness raising about managing research data within the institutions through promotion of Kaptur. One of the points to engage researchers is when they ask the institution for Letters of Support for their funding applications.
  • The awareness raising needs to be clear about the differences between data storage and data curation; although the storage aspect may still be an incentive for researchers to manage their research data effectively.
  • On RDM policy development there was some discussion about the pros and cons of a small more research-focused working group compared to a larger working group which may help with embedding and take-up of the policy as well as awareness raising, but may take longer to discuss and approve a policy. Two institutions have smaller working groups and the other two plan working groups with a wider range of stakeholders. It is useful to share these experiences collaboratively.

Mackintosh and visual arts research data:

Detail of bookcase, dark stained oak with leaded glass (1901.038). Photo MTG

This bookcase was originally designed in 1901 by Mackintosh for the drawing room at Windyhill. It was presented to the School by William Davidson on the sale of Windyhill. Also in The Glasgow School of Art’s collection is a scale drawing in pencil with annotations, an example of Mackintosh’s own visual arts research data. Another example is Mackintosh’s Northern Italian sketchbook, available from the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) and also via the project website. The research was part-funded by The Glasgow School of Art and the creation of the database was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Left: Lake Como, Campo, Villa del Balbiano, studies of gates, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1891 © The Glasgow School of Art. Available from VADS: http://vads.ac.uk/large.php?uid=92819

Right: Modern photo of gates at Lake Como, Campo, Villa del Balbiano © The Glasgow School of Art. Available from VADS: http://vads.ac.uk/large.php?uid=92819&sos=0&pic3=its39p

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