'Let us now praise the name of famous men': Myth and meaning in the stained glass of the Scottish National War Memorial

Juliette MacDonald*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The focus of this article will be a consideration of the way in which Douglas Strachan's stained glass for the Scottish National War Memorial, designed by Robert Lorimer, aimed to communicate with the Scottish psyche. The article will argue that the designs, created by the Aberdonian-born designer between 1925 and 1927, had the intention of instructing the present about the past in a very specific way, through the imaginative fusion of folk heroes, Biblical characters and contemporary Scots. Rather than viewing the windows, and indeed the Scottish National War Memorial in general, as an essay in romantic nationalism, its celebration of the vernacular will be assessed in terms of a cultural nationalism as articulated by the philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder (1750-1803). The extent to which the Memorial constructed, or reconstructed, a specific Scottish politico-cultural identity will also be explored via Strachan's evocation of history, folklore, religion and myth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Design History
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Crafts
  • Cultural nationalism
  • First World War
  • Mythology
  • Scottish National War Memorial
  • Stained glass

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