Dear members and friends,
The world woke up on Saturday morning to the shocking news of the devastating fire at Glasgow School of Art, all the more poignant as last week was Mackintosh’s 150th anniversary and we were looking forward to celebrating next spring the restoration of the library which was destroyed in a fire only 4 years ago. ARLIS/UK &Ireland’s Council was indeed about to contact colleagues at GSA to explore the possibility of holding the Society’s 50th anniversary conference in 2019 there, as a double celebration. Luckily there were no injuries and as restoration work in the library was still underway, hopefully the precious bookstock is safely stored away. Our thoughts now are with our colleagues and their students, who must be completely grief-stricken, and with the citizens of Glasgow and Scotland for the loss of a beloved piece of cultural heritage. Mackintosh’s GSA is a world heritage building and its library one of the most beloved, not only within the art libraries community but also in the wider world. We will liaise with colleagues at GSA to see how we can help and hope that this iconic building will resiliently rise from the ashes again just like the Fenice theatre in Venice has done more than once.
Chair ARLIS UK & Ireland