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Patrick Geddes: The French Connection

edited by Frances Fowle and Belinda Thomson

the authors  |  bibliographic details |

The charismatic Patrick Geddes is a key figure in Scotland's intellectual and cultural history. Botanist, sociologist and pioneering town planner, he was also deeply interested in art and a confirmed Francophile. Many of his formative ideas were French in origin.

During the 1890s Geddes invited French artists and intellectuals to take part in his progressive Summer Meetings of Art and Science in Edinburgh and to contribute to his seasonal journal The Evergreen. Aware of the revival of mural painting in Paris, he commissioned decorations in a style influenced by avant-garde French art. He was active at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris, and in Montpellier, where he established the Collège des Ecossais at the end of his life.

Five essays explore the network of artists and intellectuals ­ both French and Scottish ­ that Geddes gathered around him in Edinburgh in the 1890s. They examine in depth the work of artists in Geddes's circle, including John Duncan and Charles Mackie, and their links with the work of French artists such as Sérusier, Vuillard and Lucien Pissarro. Finally the book discusses Geddes's contacts with French anarchists and intellectuals, analysing the particular international encounters he made in Paris in 1900.

The publication includes abstracts in English and French and a chronology.

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Frances Fowle is curator and Leverhulme Research Fellow at the National Gallery of Scotland and Honorary Fellow in History of Art at Edinburgh University. She is a specialist in Scottish taste and 19th-century French art. Belinda Thomson is Honorary Fellow in theHistory of Art at the University of Edinburgh. She publishes widely on late 19th-century French art and has a special interest in Gauguin and the Nabi group.

The other contributors are: Dr Elizabeth Cumming, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, who publishes on Scottish art and design since 1850. Murdo Macdonald, Professor of History of Scottish Art at the University of Dundee, currently working on a book about Geddes and cultural revivals. He is author of Scottish Art (2000). Siân Reynolds, Professor of French at the University of Stirling, who has a specialist interest in Geddes's networks in France and his role at the 1900 Exposition Universelle.

Publication 31 March 2004
ISBN 1 873487 11 8 pb £9.99
SPECIAL OFFER £6.99 p&p free
104 pp, 48 col. & b/w ill., 242 x 172 mm, bibliog., index CULTURAL/ART HISTORY