Glasgow: University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel, South Aisle

Postcard of Glasgow: University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel, South Aisle. Click to view full image (new window)
000-000-764-060-C No Internet use

The Literature & Arts and History Windows

Two windows of single lancet lights.

These two windows depict subjects studied within the University of Glasgow- Literature & Art and History. These windows were designed by Douglas Strachan (1875-1950), but were constructed after his death by Gordon Webster (1908-1987).

Literature & Arts:
Upper section: This section depicts a mountainous landscape with both a sun and moon in the sky.
Primary scene: This section depicts a group of artists and writers, clutching symbols of their profession, books and palettes. A sculpture sits in the corner with a pile of books. The scene is presided over by a muse of both subjects holding a laurel wreath.
Lower section: The lower section features traditional paintbrushes, a harp, palette and the masks of comedy and tragedy. This portion contains the inscription “Literature & Arts”.

The Literature & Arts lancet was dedicated c.1950s.

Upper section: This section depicts a mountainous landscape with a fast flowing water.
Primary scene: The section depicts various men in historical and modern dress, bishops, Celtic warriors, and Roman soldiers.
Lower section: This section depicts a winged hourglass and a burning oil lamp surrounded by oak leaves. This portion contains the inscription “History”.

The History lancet was dedicated c.1950s.

Douglas Strachan (1875-1950) was born in Aberdeen and educated at Robert Gordon’s. Strachan took evening classes at Gray’s School of Art. He worked as an apprentice lithographer, a muralist, a portrait painter and then found his passion for Stained Glass as he worked on a commission in the early 20th century. Strachan’s first major design was for the Peace Palace in The Hague installed in 1929. He worked on many memorial windows, including the renowned designs for the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle, from 1923-1927.The Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow was Strachan’s last major design effort, he died in 1950 in the midst of completing the entire scheme, with only 9 of the projected 18 windows completed.

Gordon Webster (1908-1987) was born in Glasgow, the son of Alf Webster, a renowned Stained Glass Artist and inheritor of Stephen Adam Studio. Alf Webster died in WWI when Gordon was 6 years. The Studio was kept running due to MCM Webster (Alf’s widow) and Douglas Hamilton, Alf Webster’s assistant. Gordon was trained by Douglas Hamilton and took control of the studio in the late 1920s. Alf’s design’s were used to begin with, but by the mid 1930s, Gordon developed his own style which proved to be effective and successful.


Related Records:  
Who: Douglas Strachan (artist)
Gordon Webster (maker)
What: Interfaith
Where: Scotland, Glasgow, University of Glasgow, Gilmorehill Building, Memorial Chapel
When: 04-Nov-14 (photograph taken)
Unknown (installed)
Resource Rights Holder: Glasgow City Heritage Trust
Record ID: 000-000-764-060-C
Project Ref:
Subject/Keywords: art, scupture, painting, artists, literature, writing, theatre, paintbrushes, lamp, Artists. Writers, figures, bishops, celtic warriors, death, roman soldiers, male artist, Gray's School of Art
Photographer: Rachael Purse