Restoration Research Team

There are many people contributing the the research efforts related to the restoration of the Mackintosh Building, from both the GSA community and our external partners. The team here represents only some of the core research group, and many other colleagues will contribute to this blog, and the project as a whole.

GSA Research & Doctoral Studies

IMG_1580 - Version 2Dr Robyne Calvert is the Mackintosh Research Fellow at Glasgow School of Art. She is charged with fostering innovative research projects arising from the reconstruction of the Mackintosh Building. She was previously a lecturer in history and theory of architecture, art and design at GSA; and is also a visiting lecturer in art and design history at the University of Glasgow. She spent ten years as a museum administrator and educator before returning to academia, and holds a PhD in Art History (2012) and an MLitt in Decorative Arts & Design History (2007) from the University of Glasgow; and an MA in History of Art & Architecture from the University of Oregon (2009). Robyne’s particular area of interest is on the narrative and symbolic aspects of Mackintosh’s work, especially the interiors created in collaboration with his wife Margaret Macdonald. She also researches Victorian fashion, architecture and design.

ImageGen.ashxRachael Purse is the ‘Bringing Back the Mack’ PhD candidate. ‘Bringing Back the Mack’ is jointly funded by the GSA and Historic Environment Scotland, and Rachael will be recording and providing critical reflection on the restoration process, as well as the changing use of space within the building and contemporary conservation practices and ethics. She has an MA in History and an MLitt in Museum Studies from the University of Glasgow, for which she worked on projects ranging from the history of Linlithgow Palace to the conservation and care of dress and textiles. She worked for Glasgow City Heritage Trust for two years as their Monuments and Sculpture Officer, assessing the condition of public works and creating a detailed database for future management of items in the city’s collection.

Project Restoration Team

IMG_0058Liz Davidson IHBC, Hon FRIAS, OBE, is the Senior Project Manager for the Mack restoration. Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art as a post graduate in Architectural Conservation, Liz has been involved in most aspects of Scotland’s built heritage. Most recently she was head of Heritage and Design at Glasgow City Council with an active statutory role in maintaining the highest standards of historic building repair and maintenance in conjunction with encouraging the best and most inspirational designs in contemporary incursions and new development. Liz oversees the management of the restoration, which necessarily includes research on all aspects of the Mack; her expertise in heritage and conservation has made her an invaluable resource for our research endeavours.

IMG_4342Sarah MacKinnon is the Project Manager for the Mack restoration. Sarah studied at the University of Greenwich and The College of Estate Management. She is a Chartered Building Surveyor and holds the RICS Post Graduate Diploma in Building Conservation and full membership of the IHBC. Sarah came to Scotland in 2003 and took up the post of Estates Surveyor and latterly Estates Development Manager, with the National Museums of Scotland. Leaving NMS in 2005, she became Chief Executive of Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust. Sarah has taken a particularly keen interest in the historic lighting in the Mack, and has lead on the fascinating micro-project of coordinating the research and restoration of the library lights.

GSA Archives & Collections

PollyPolly Christie is Project Lead for the Archives & Collections Recovery Project at GSA, following the fire in May 2014. During the next three years a programme of conservation, digitisation, collection management and collection development work will take place to stabilise and rebuild GSA’s Archive & Collection, and to enable access and engagement therewith. Polly studied languages as an undergraduate and completed her Masters in Electronic Communication & Publishing at the School of Library, Archive & Information Science, UCL in 2000. Since then Polly has worked in the arts sector, promoting the access and use of art and archive collections for teaching, learning and research, both to academic and general audiences.

ptPeter Trowles has spent the past 20 years promoting and preserving the School’s Mackintosh Building and its important museum collections, both at home and abroad. He has curated exhibitions in the UK, Europe, the USA and Japan and has contributed to conferences throughout Europe and in Canada, Australia and the USA. In 1999 he helped establish the Réseau Art Nouveau Network – a pan-European project involving cities with an art nouveau legacy – becoming its President in 2009, and is interested in issues relating to architectural heritage and the effects of cultural tourism on the built environment. Peter’s areas of expertise include: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style; works by other GSA graduates, covering fine art, design and architecture; European Art Nouveau; the management of cultural heritage.

Page\Park Architects


David Page

Brian Park and David Page lead their team in the considerable task of restoring the Mackintosh building, which of course requires a focused research effort at its core. The Page\Park team have a collaborative spirit and have been incredibly generous in welcoming our internal researchers on board, while also sharing their knowledge and expertise with us and with the wider public through talks, lectures and publications. Learn more about their work and expertise at their website.