Glasgow style designer – explore the collections online

One of the world’s largest collections of work by Glasgow Style designer Talwin Morris is available online by the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) for free use in education and research at

Morris was an important figure in the history and development of the Glasgow Style of art nouveau in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  He is now best remembered for his book designs for Glasgow publishers Blackie & Son, which brought the distinctive and blossoming Glasgow Style into the homes and schools of the masses. Morris became hugely influential in book design by moving away from the pictorial narrative bindings popular at the time to a modern approach where line, curve and decoration are used to entice the reader.  Some of his characteristic motifs included dots, ellipses, stylised roses and plants, and swirling grasses.

Although he never attended Glasgow School of Art himself, Morris was close friends with many of its famous students. This included Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whom he recommended as an architect to his employer Walter Blackie, resulting in the celebrated Hill House in Helensburgh, outside Glasgow. In 1902, his work was selected for exhibition alongside those of his Glasgow contemporaries at the influential International Exposition of Modern Decorative Arts held in Turin.  It was this exhibition in particular that exposed the Glasgow Style to an international audience and secured the reputations of its main protagonists.

This large collection of hundreds of books designed by Morris is held by Glasgow School of Art Library and can now be viewed and searched online at: VADS provides free online access to over 140,000 images for use in education, from over 300 collections across the UK, and is hosted by the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). To explore all the VADS collections, visit:

You may also like...