Flames ripped through the Glasgow School of Art yesterday, beginning a little after noon as the building was filled with students installing works for their upcoming Degree Show. There are no reports of any injuries and fire crews had the blazes under control by the evening.
According to the Scottish fire service, 90% of the building is still “viable,” reports The Guardian, but the fate of the graduating art students’ work doesn’t look as viable. Among the many locals and students gathered in shock to watch the fire as it climbed to shoot out of top floor windows was Anna Sundt, who told The Guardian, “I was four hours away from finishing a four-year degree,” explaining that all her research, documentation and work was in the burning building.
Built between 1897 and 1909 by Art Nouveau artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the building is considered his masterpiece and many have deemed it to be one of the most influential and loved buildings in Great Britain.
Mackintosh was himself a graduate of the school, as was his wife, who often collaborated with him on interior designs for his structures. In recent years, the Glasgow School of Art has produced many of the UK’s leading contemporary artists such as Douglas Gordon, Christine Borland and David Shrigley and three recent Turner Prize winners: Simon Starling in 2005, Richard Wright in 2009 and Martin Boyce in 2011. Like every good art school, it also boasts a number of alumni who went on to become popular musicians, film directors and actors.
Avid Glasstire readers may note that Glasgow was recently highlighted in Seth Orion Schwaiger’s review of Austin artist Michael Smith’s solo show at Glasgow’s Tramway, just down the road from the fire.