James Morton Dunlop: Anatomist and Tutor

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James Morton Dunlop was deputy head of Glasgow School of Art from 1886, and ran the Antique and Anatomy classes. From 1900 to 1926 he concentrated on the teaching of artistic anatomy, which was an essential element in the drawing and painting course of that time. His treatise Anatomical diagrams for the use of art students was originally published in 1899. It came with an introductory preface by John Cleland, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Glasgow, and several instructional plates of the human body and its musculature. Dunlop dedicated his text to the Chairman, Governors and students of Glasgow School of Art, along with Francis H. Newbery.

Glasgow School of Art’s Governors’ Minutes for 21 March 1899 (now held in Archives and Collections) note that “The Head Master laid on the table proof sheets of a work prepared by Mr J. M. Dunlop, Second Master, on artistic anatomy, now being published prefaced by a letter of high commendation from Professor Cleland of the Glasgow University & dedicated to the Governors & Head Master of the School of Art. The Committee thought this book was wanted & would be of great service to art students. It would reflect credit on the author & they hoped he might find it would ultimately prove remunerative.” The Governors were proved right, for Morton’s book was hugely influential and well-received, evidenced by its going through no fewer than four editions. A facsimile reprint was issued in 1967.

Our Archives and Collections hold a photo of Dunlop alongside fellow GSA staff on an outing to Tarbert in 1890, along with several letters.

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