CALL AND RESPONSE: THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW AND SLAVERY
The Interior of the Academy of Fine Arts
David Allan (1744-1796)
The Hunterian, GLAHA:43390
This artwork depicts the Foulis Academy of the Fine Arts established in 1754 within the University of Glasgow buildings on the High Street. Its founders were Andrew and Robert Foulis who sought funding from the wealthy merchants of the city to start their school. Those merchants - Campbell, Glassford and Ingram - made their money from the slave trade in the West Indies. David Allan was a student at the Academy from 1755-1762. His paintings and illustrations can be found in collections across Scotland, including The Hunterian, Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.
“It is a privilege to study and work at an institution with such historic collections. Objects in museums have the ability to speak to, or share, ‘hidden histories’ from a multitude of perspectives. Understanding the back story to beautiful objects, like this image of the Academy of the Fine Arts, can be shocking and difficult. But it is fundamental to how we interpret and understand our connection to the past.”
Museum Studies Postgraduate Student
University of Glasgow