The Ups and Downs of Working Freelance: Malice at the Mound – 2 – The Glasgow Dilettanti Cast Collection Transcript

When I was researching material for the Pioneers and Patrons exhibition, in the early 1990s, I was delighted to have the opportunity to

work through the Glasgow Dilettanti Society records in the Archives Department at the University of Strathclyde. What remained of the

Society’s library was housed in the Special Collections Department in the Andersonian Library. Now, it is referred to as the Glasgow

Dilettanti Society Collection.


The minute books in the records provide a fascinating insight into the Society’s activities and its members. For a period, there was a

drawing academy, and  casts were purchased for the students to study and draw. In June 1994, I sent my transcript of the Society’s

purchase of casts in 1829, to Helen Smailes at the National Gallery of Scotland (now the Scottish National Gallery).


Smailes seemed happy to receive this information, and at no time did she ever inform me that she had any concerns.

However, in 2007, a colleague contacted me, and was upset to have to tell me that Smailes, in her official capacity and

representing the National Galleries of Scotland, was distributing copies of my transcript and telling the recipients that the

information was unreliable.



George Fairfull-Smith, September 2022.


Hand-written transcript.