Collection: W.G. Gillies   1898 - 1973 

Gillies was born in Haddington, East Lothian in 1898. He enrolled at the Edinburgh College of Art but was called up for service in World War I with the Royal Engineers. After the war, he returned to the College, and after graduation taught there for over 40 years. He was Principal of the College from 1959 until his retirement in 1966.

In 1922, along with nine fellow students, including William Crozier, William Geissler and William MacTaggart, he founded the 1922 Group, an exhibition society which promoted their works at the New Gallery in Edinburgh for the next ten years. Assisted by a travelling scholarship, Gillies studied under André Lhote in Paris in 1923 and he went on to visit Italy in 1924. For a brief period he worked in a cubist manner, but later reverted to a more traditional style influenced by Cézanne, Braque and Picasso.