Filmed Lectures

Alf Webster: Glasgow’s Lost Genius, Conference November 2015

The Glasgow’s Gilded Age Project began in earnest with the Glamour & Grit conference, held at Cottiers Theatre in May 2015. Now, we have to collectively build on the great success of our first well-attended conference and continue with our mission statement; to promote Glasgow as a thriving centre for design and innovation in industries as varied as textile manufacture to shipbuilding between 1864 and 1914.

In November 2015 we celebrated one of Glasgow’s forgotten artists, Alf Webster. It was an important step towards understanding the medium of stained glass, whilst also acknowledging the importance of Glasgow School of Art in the nurturing of local talent. By focussing on one artist, we kick-started a much needed discussion about who Glasgow places on pedestals within the art and design world, giving Alfred Alexander Webster the recognition he deserves. We have a duty to continue encouraging the further study into Glasgow’s rich design history.


Filmed lectures coming soon!

Glasgow’s Gilded Age: Glamour & Grit 1864-1914, Conference 2015

The Gilded Glasgow Project will highlight those Glasgow designers who originally established the city’s reputation at the time of the Aesthetic Movement and Mark Twain’s so called Gilded Age. Glasgow’s international reputation for design and manufacture sprang forth from the city’s industries, as well as its educational institutions, and its influence spread across the globe through trade. This laid the foundation for Glasgow’s inimitable ‘style’. The first conference was held on the 8th May 2015. All of the lectures can be viewed here.


 Dr. Peter Burman: Philip Webb (1831-1915)

The lecture was offered as a contribution to the centenary of the death of Philip Webb (1831-1915), architect of William Morris’s Red House, the National Trust’s Standen, and a whole group of quietly influential houses. He had one important Scottish client, the owners of the Arisaig Estate, and in the North of England he was responsible for major works for the family of the industrialist, Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell, around Northallerton, and for George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle, painter and collector as well as landowner, for whom he did work on the Naworth Castle and Castle Howard estates. Above all, however, he partnered William Morris in the founding of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and, while Morris acted as the spokesman, Webb worked out how to repair old buildings reliably and with as little damage to their authenticity as possible.

Dr. Peter Burman is an architectural historian who has been studying Webb for many years, organised the only conference ever held on Webb and his work, and has produced two major articles on him with more in preparation. He sees Webb as a understated but nevertheless major figure both in the early development of the British Arts & Crafts Movement and in the early history of a responsible British ‘heritage movement’. He is a Guardian of the SPAB and in Scotland he is currently chairman of the Falkland Stewardship Trust, whose responsibilities include a major 19th century country house, and a trustee and Archivist of Hopetoun House. He acts as an arts and heritage consultant across a spectrum of special places. You can view the lecture here.

This was part of the Gilded Glasgow Project.


The Commonwealth Lecture Series 2014 

Glasgow City Heritage Trust, in collaboration with Architecture and Design Scotland and The Lighthouse, were happy to host The Commonwealth Lecture Series 2014. The lectures will cover a wide range of innovative and exciting topics, including ‘The Hamburg City Park – Its Genesis, Change and Preservation’ and ‘Traffic Management in Historic Cities’.

All lectures can be viewed by clicking the links below.

Elene Negussie is an urban geographer, Consultant and Lecturer in Cultural Heritage, World Heritage Management Programme at the University College Dublin. She is also Research Fellow with Trinity Long Room Hub and member of the ICOMOS International Committee on Historic Towns and Villages.

Pierre Laconte’s lecture,‘A different way of traffic management in historic cities: Place-making for man and motor is possible,’ first presents the general argument in favour of a balance between modes of transport to ensure liveable places in a liveable city. It then gives some examples of medium size historic cities that have, at some point in time, found practical solutions for handling traffic and planning in view of enhancing the place quality, such as: Zurich (whole city, since 1985), Copenhagen (whole city, since 1962), Portland, Oregon (whole city, since 1975), Brussels (Louvain-la-Neuve new university town in suburban Brussels, since 1972) and Bilbao (Abandoibarra area, since 1989).

Lluis Bosch is the Head of the Routes and Publications department of the Urban Landscape Institute of the Barcelona City Council.  It may be hard to imagine now, but only 25 years ago, Barcelona was not at all a touristic city. Most tourists arriving at Barcelona airport would hurry off to their seaside resorts and avoid the metropolitan area. Gaudi’s works and those of the rest of the masters of the Modernisme movement (the particular Catalan Art Nouveau) were all but unknown to the general public and in many ways disregarded by art lovers and specialists.

Today, however, with more than 8 million tourists every year and with over 85% of them stating that they come BusTur – Pedrera-2attracted, above all, by its Art Nouveau architecture – Barcelona has become the 3rd touristic magnet in Europe and the most popular Art Nouveau heritage capital worldwide. The talk will explain how this evolution has happened: what part of this success is owed to conscious, deliberate policies of the authorities and what part can be traced to other, more coincidental or external causes? It will also delve into the debate now very alive in the local media – of whether such impressive touristic success of Barcelona will in the long run be beneficial or harmful for the city’s image, the preservation of its heritage and the quality of life of its citizens.

Frank-Pieter Hesse, former Head of Conservation and Planning for the City of Hamburg will speak about ‘The Hamburg City Park – Its Genesis, Change and Preservation’. At nearly 150 hectares, the park is home to various recreational spaces including gardens, playgrounds, cafes and a forest. Hamburg City Park is also home to numerous sculptures, a planetarium and an outdoor theatre. The unique spatial design makes Hamburg City Park a gem of people’s parks in Germany and around the world. The lecture will address whether the irregular or architectural structures are suited to meet the new use requirements of the modern city park associated with the public park movement. Both the historical discussions about its design and and their impressing result justify the assessment of Hamburg City Park as a cultural monument of national, historical, urban and artistic significance. The lecture will deliver insight into the genesis, alteration and preservation maintenance of Hamburg City Park.

Heino Grunert from the City Development & the Environment department from the City of Hamburg will focus on ‘100 years Green Legacy: Hamburg City park and the development of the green network’. Since 1993 he has worked at the State Ministry of Urban Development and Environment, Historic Gardens and Parks of Hamburg. At the beginning of the 20th century, Hamburg grew rapidly like many other industrial cities in Europe. However, there were many problems with hygiene and health in certain parts of the city. During this period Hamburg only had a few public gardens which, although aesthetically beautiful, served no real purpose as a recreational space as sport and play were banned in these areas. At this time, Hamburg intensively discussed a new public park for everybody. Hamburg City Park opened in 1914 with the neighbouring town of Altona (which today is a part of Hamburg) also building another large city park. Both parks were completed at the end of the 20th century with both towns obtaining autonomous green administration in 1913/1914.