Francis Henry Newbery

1855 - Dec 18, 1946

Francis Henry Newbery or Fra Newbery was a painter and art educationist, best known as director of the Glasgow School of Art between 1885 and 1917. Under his leadership the School developed an international reputation and was associated with the flourishing of Glasgow Style and the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his circle. Newbery helped commission Mackintosh as architect for the now famous School of Art building and was actively involved in its design.
Born in Devon to a shoemaker and his wife, Newbery went to school in Bridport, Dorset where he qualified as a teacher, and later as an art master. While working and studying in London he won an 'Art Master in Training' scholarship in 1881.
At the Glasgow School of Art he was a vigorous and innovative headmaster. He gave teaching posts to practising artists rather than relying on certificated art masters. He established an art club allowing students to branch out from the national art school course, and employed several women teachers, unlike most other UK art schools of the time. Newbery established craft workshops and introduced embroidery classes where his wife, Jessie Newbery, played an important part.
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