nn Macbeth, the eldest of nine children of a Scottish engineer, began studying at the Glasgow School of Art in 1897 and from 1902 served as an Assistant Mistress, teaching needlework, embroidery, and applique until her retirement in 1928. She also taught metalwork and bookbinding design. In 1908 she took over from Jessie Newberry as head of the department of embroidery, lecturing widely on the teachings of needlework and published various books on the subject. Throughout her career her work appeared in The Studio and at various national and international exhibitions, including the 1902 Turin exhibition. In 1903, Fra Newberry published ‘An Appreciation of the work of Ann Macbeth in The Studio. Although best known for her embroidery work, she was a skilled watercolourist, bookbinder, pottery painter, illustrator, and leatherworker, who also produced pieces of metalwork and designs for a number of different companies including carpet manufacturers Alexander Morton and Co.
A committed member of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the GSA archives reveal that she designed various promotional materials and also endured imprisonment and forced feedings for her cause.
Last modified 20 November 2017