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Oscar Paterson

Oscar Paterson (1863 – ??) was a Scottish artist, based in Glasgow, who specialised in stained glass.



The work of Oscar Paterson has been described as "The Epitome of the Glasgow Style",[1] and his work is still celebrated today. He is best known for his stained glass, although he also designed jewellery. His best known works include the Argyll Window in Saint Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh (1896), and windows depicting both the nativity (Mayfield Church, 1912) and the Crucifixion (The Church of the Good Shepherd, Murrayfield). He designed windows for many other Scottish churches, as well as works for both secular locations such as Westover Hall, Hampshire. His work was exhibited in Glasgow on at least two separate occasions: in 1895 his "Designs for Leaded Glass" was shown, and in 1897 a "Jewel Casket" (in Silver and Enamel). The latter sold for £26. He was very unusual for the time in that he manufactured many of his own materials.

Early lifeEdit

Paterson was born in the Glasgow Gorbals in 1863. He opened a studio in West Regent Street, Glasgow in 1889, after returning from London where he was educated. Whilst in London he had begun to tutor in glass technology, and he continued this after his move to Glasgow. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Paterson gave credit to his pupils and assistants where due. One of the most notable assistants that Paterson had working in his studio was John Stark Melville, who attended the Glasgow School of Art in session 1881-2.[2] His occupation is listed in the student registers as "Glass Painter", and it is likely that he continued to improve his skills at the School of Art while working under Paterson.


Paterson's work is very evocative of the Glasgow Style, which was beginning to develop at this time. It is likely that his work influenced other younger artists, who are now associated very much with the Glasgow art movement at the turn in the early years of the twentieth century. His consideration of the use of colour and images from nature and the wider world in which he lived is evident in his designs. These images are developed in the work of designers like Jessie M. King, E. A. Taylor, and a similar regard given to the use of colour, shape and space in the textile designs of Anne MacBeth and her later contemporaries.

Later lifeEdit

Paterson continued to gain commissions even after his retirement in 1931. Today his work can be seen in many churches including Saint Magnus' Cathedral Kirkwall, and in specialist collections such as the Huntarian Museum, Glasgow University.

Further readingEdit

  • Glasgow School of Art Archives, Student Register 1881-2, (Glasgow)
  • Jude Burkhauser, Glasgow Girls, Women in Art and Design 1880-1920, (1990, Edinburgh)
  • Michael Donnelly, Scotland's Stained Glass, (1997, Historic Scotland)
  • Martin Harrison, Victorian Stained Glass (1980, Barrie and Jenkins)
  • Charles Holme, (ed.), "Modern British Domestic Architecture and Decoration", in The Studio, 1901 (London)
  • The Studio Magazine, 1898 (London)


  1. ^ Donnelly, Michael (1997). Scotland's Stained Glass. Historic Scotland. p. 68. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ The Glasgow School of Art Student Alphabetical Register 1881-1892. The Glasgow School of Art. 1892. |access-date= requires |url= (help)