Stirling Smith Museum & Art Gallery and Craig & Rose Ltd – Hugh Green’s Stirlingshire
Impacts: Young people, Older people, People with disabilities, Education, Environment, Tourism
Craig & Rose is an old established paint manufacturer known throughout the world as the paint providers for the Forth Rail Bridge. The company is now based in Dunfermline. The exhibition ‘Hugh Green’s Stirlingshire’ tells the story of a quiet renaissance man who was a contemporary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, both having studied at Glasgow School of Art (GSA). During the research undertaken for the exhibition of this until now, unknown artist, the discovery was made that, not only was Hugh Green an accomplished artist he also devised complex interior schemes for the large mansion houses in and around Stirling. Some of these schemes are still extant.
Before attending GSA Hugh Green had begun his working life in 1907 with the Bridge of Allan painting and decorating partnership, P&R Rose, the forerunner of today’s Craig & Rose. Craig & Rose were enthralled to discover this and following discussions and meetings were delighted to support the exhibition at the Stirling Smith especially as the intensive research brought to light aspects of their business lost through the passage of time.
Arts/cultural organisation story
From the first meeting conducted between Craig & Rose and the Stirling Smith it was obvious that this would be a symbiotic relationship between two organisations both with similar ideals of providing high quality experiences. Inevitably there was a common interest in art/colour/presentation and potentially reaching similar markets. The Mitchell-Rose family have always been art collectors with an appreciation of fine quality reflected in the paints and colours they have perfected over generations.
The company was intrigued with the opportunities offered by the Stirling Smith to generate substantial press coverage, to engage with the concept and design of the exhibition, to advise on colour matching, colour reflection and generally work with James Wedlake the exhibition curator. Print items including the private view card, the poster and the full colour catalogue were discussed with Craig &Rose resulting in many complimentary comments. The provision of the high quality paint for the gallery in a variety of appropriate period tones allowed the gallery and the exhibition to reach new levels of presentation.
Craig & Rose became involved with the Hugh Green exhibition from the start and were able to contribute not only the paint required but able to advise on period colours and variety of paint and decorative finishes. The staff at Craig & Rose were intrigued to learn about Hugh Green and older members were able to supply information as family members in the past had worked with him. As the project progressed and more information came to light this was relayed via James Wedlake to the staff. 40 members of staff received catalogues.
As the exhibition neared opening, there was significant press coverage, in each press item Craig & Rose were credited. These items were sent to Craig & Rose and were exhibited in the common room. Craig & Rose were delighted when a glazed jug shaped container was found at an antique fair showing the mark “CRAIG AND ROSE, LEITH WALK, EDINBURGH”, this was photographed for the catalogue and placed in the exhibition. The opening event at the Stirling Smith was huge success with over 250 guests attending, the key guest being Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture. Craig & Rose have pledged on going product support to the Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum.
The grant enabled the Smith to place two adverts in relevant publications, these credited the sponsor. It allowed the purchase of acrylic panels for interpretation. The violinist and pianist who performed at the opening and lecture were so popular that a request was made for a repeat performance. Extra catalogues in full colour with a foreword from the sponsor were allocated to staff at Craig & Rose.