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Cushion cover
  • Cushion cover
    Newbery, Jessie, born 1864 - died 1948
  • Enlarge image

Cushion cover

  • Place of origin:

    Glasgow (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Newbery, Jessie, born 1864 - died 1948 (designer)
    Newbery, Jessie, born 1864 - died 1948 (embroiderer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered linen with silks, linen appliqué

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs M. M. Sturrock and Mrs Lang

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Object Type
This cushion cover was described by Jessie Newbery's daughter, one of the donors, as being 'for ordinary use'. It is now recognised as one of the most characteristic works of Jessie Newbery (1864-1948), the main exponent of the Glasgow School style.

In 1894 Jessie Newbery became head of the embroidery department at the Glasgow School of Art. Her teaching was revolutionary. She believed in the importance of form and structure over superficial decoration and encouraged the use of simple, speedy techniques, particularly appliqué, to provide fresh, intuitive effects. She taught to a wide range of students and her Saturday morning classes were organised for primary and secondary teachers and professionals. With the administrative separation of the Glasgow School from English control in 1899 the School had much greater control over its own work which helped encourage a strong, individual style.

Materials & Making
Newbery encouraged the use of linens and unusual techniques such as needle weaving (used in the borders of this piece). The inscription and the stylised roses which form part of the design are both characteristics of her work and ones that were widely copied. Newbery's simple satin stitch lent itself to the linear patterns and inscriptions for which she is now famous. It also provide the most straightforward means of securing applied motifs.

Physical description

Cushion cover of embroidered linen with silks. With a cream linen ground with a design of stylised flowers and leaves and small geometric ornament. In the centre is an embroidered inscription. The flowers are appliqued in linen and in shades of green and pink silk, and with a border of needle-weaving in green, cream and pink silks on drawn threads, and an outer border of green linen.

Place of Origin

Glasgow (made)


ca. 1900 (made)


Newbery, Jessie, born 1864 - died 1948 (designer)
Newbery, Jessie, born 1864 - died 1948 (embroiderer)

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered linen with silks, linen appliqué

Marks and inscriptions

Gradually but relentlessly flows time, from which there is no going back; take care that you do not lose the day without work
Inscribed with a Latin poem in the centre, which remarks upon the passage of time and encourages daily work.


Height: 57.8 cm, Width: 64.8 cm, Length: 22.75 in, Width: 25.5 in, Depth: 125 mm, Width: 604 mm, Height: 509 mm

Object history note

Designed and made in Glasgow by Jessie Newbery (born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, 1864, died in Dorset, 1948)

Descriptive line

Cushion cover of embroidered linen with silks, designed and embroidered by Jessie Newbery, Glasgow, ca. 1900.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This cushion shows many aspects of the techniques and design associated with Jessie Newbery and her important legacy to the craft of embroidery. The stitches are used to emphasise the simple structure of the design. The subtle colours, texture and lettering are typical of Scottish style. The stylised rose is a significant characteristic of Glasgow-based designers. [27/03/2003]

Subjects depicted



Textiles; Embroidery; British Galleries; Interiors; Scotland


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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