Early Eardley: Selected Works 1940 - 1950
The Glasgow School of Art Reid Gallery

Event Type:



The Reid Gallery 164 Renfrew Street, The Reid Building The Glasgow School of Art Glasgow G3 6RQ


9 Nov 2023 - 16 Dec 2023

Mon 10:00 - 16:30
Tue 10:00 - 16:30
Wed 10:00 - 16:30
Thu 10:00 - 16:30
Fri 10:00 - 16:30
Sat 10:00 - 16:30



The early paintings of Joan Eardley
‘Covered Market, Glasgow’, Joan Eardley (c1945-1949) NMC/0087. In the collection of GSA Archives & Collections © Estate of Joan Eardley. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023.

Early Eardley: Selected Works 1940 - 1950

Event info

Joan Eardley (1921-1963) is one of Scotland’s most celebrated artists, best known for her depictions of Glasgow’s street children and of Scotland’s North East coastline. This exhibition offers the opportunity to see Eardley’s early works, for which she is lesser known, in order to show the ways in which her formative time at The Glasgow School of Art and early experiences from 1940-50 informed the direction and development of her later work. 

The works in this exhibition are drawn from The Glasgow School of Art Archives & Collections, Lillie Art Gallery, City Art Centre, Gerber Fine Art and the Estate of Joan Eardley. The exhibition features life drawings made while Eardley was a student in the 1940s, as well as drawings made while undertaking The Glasgow School of Art and RSA Carnegie Travelling Scholarships in Italy and France (1948-49). Some of these drawings – of people, landscape and architecture – are shown along with the scholarship report she was required to submit to the then Director, Douglas Percy Bliss, and other correspondence. The exhibition also includes a small group of sketches from Lincolnshire made during a period spent in the county to undertake a mural commission at a school in 1946. A further two drawings, from the GSA’s Archives & Collections are of scenes from Glasgow’s famous Barras Market.

‘Early Eardley: selected works 1940-1950’ introduces audiences to the artist as a young woman, still learning, experimenting and developing as a painter. The drawings demonstrate Eardley’s emerging talent and the range and breadth of her interests. Materials Eardley used in her work included pen, ink, chalks, watercolour and blue biro.

This exhibition is curated by Jenny Brownrigg, Director of GSA Exhibitions, and Professor Susannah Thompson, Head of Doctoral Studies at the GSA. It is in partnership with The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections.