Scotland politics

Sturgeon unveils Glasgow School of Art Christmas card

Nicola Sturgeon with her Christmas card Image copyright PA

Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled her first Christmas card as first minister.

The card features a 1970s winter image by the late Phyllis Dodd, artist and wife of former Glasgow School of Art director Douglas Percy Bliss.

It is taken from a series of the art school's Christmas cards collected over 60 years by alumnus, lecturer and World War Two Veteran Conrad McKenna.

The collection survived the devastating fire at the art school earlier this year.

Image copyright PA

Ms Sturgeon unveiled the card during a visit to the school where she saw the fire damage and artefacts being recovered.

For the first time, this year's card will be made available for purchase by the public through National Galleries of Scotland in time for Christmas 2015.

'Still hope'

Ms Sturgeon said: "I am delighted to bring back to life this Christmas card, beautifully designed by Phyllis Dodd and safely kept in Conrad McKenna's impressive collection.

"It is a lovely wintery image that adorned the front of a Christmas card at the art school many years ago.

Image copyright Nicola Sturgeon

"Christmas is a time for reflection and this year has been an unforgettable one for all those who have studied, worked or had a connection to this world-leading school of art.

"The fire was a devastating loss, not only for this year's students but for the many who have in some way been inspired or moved by the magic of one of Scotland's greatest artists - Charles Rennie Mackintosh."

She added: "While some artefacts and pieces will sadly never be recovered or replaced, I felt that it was appropriate to demonstrate that there is still hope when some small historical pieces as beautiful as this have survived and can now be enjoyed by many people this Christmas.

"I am sure when it goes on sale to the public next year it will raise vital funds for all of this year's selected charities including the Mackintosh Appeal, so that they can continue to do their great work."

Prof Tom Inns, director of the Glasgow School of Art, said: "We are delighted that the Scottish government has selected an image from Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections for its 2014 Christmas Card.

"The image is from a very special collection of Christmas cards designed by GSA students and staff which was built up over 60 years by a GSA alumnus and lecturer, Conrad McKenna.

"A unique collection, it provides a snapshot of the creativity of The Glasgow School of Art since the 1940s."

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