Eight Advanced Higher art pupils in Glasgow have not only had access to precious works but also the rare opportunity to create an exhibition, which starts Glasgow University's celebrations to mark the death of James McNeill Whistler 100 years ago, writes Deedee Cuddihy.
The students, from King's Park and Whitehill secondaries, Bannerman High and Bellahouston Academy, have been involved in the final phase of a three-year education project run by the university's Hunterian Art Gallery. Working with the gallery's education officer, Monica Callaghan, over the past six months, they chose 70 works for Scratching the Surface, Beyond Whistler's Cities, showing at the Scotland Street School Museum until March 30.
As well as pictures by Whistler, the teenagers picked work by artists such as Rembrandt and Hogarth to show how they had handled similar subjects.
Curating the exhibition also involved choosing a colour for the gallery walls, designing publicity material, helping to hang the pictures and attending the press launch. As part of the project, the pupils also had to produce their own artworks inspired by the masterpieces.
The Hunterian Art Gallery has the world's largest public display of Whistler's art and now the collection can be researched online. The Whistler catalogue gives details and images of more than 1,500 works.
The Whistler Centenary will also give a chance to see the artist's famous portrait of his mother on loan to the Hunterian from the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.