‘Hand in Glove’ Exhibition

May 16, 2017 by Perthshire Creates

‘Hand in Glove’ is an exhibition from pupils at Perth Academy sponsored by The Perth Incorporation of Glovers.  A modern interpretation by Perth Academy pupils of a bygone craft which once played a large role in Perth’s cultural and economic story.

Running at the Fair Maid’s House, home of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in Perth, from 6 – 17  June 2017 , open 1-4pm, this exhibition came about through a donation from The Perth Incorporation of Glovers.  One of eight historic Incorporations of Perth, and although no longer plays a role in the art of glove making, it does still exist as a charitable organisation.

Perth Academy Art Teacher, Alison Ferguson, explained that the donation was made with no conditions attached as to how the money was to be spent.  After meeting with Peter Wilson, who holds the ancient title of ‘Boxmaster’ (treasurer) of The Perth Incorporation of Glovers, Alison was intrigued by the history of the glove making trade and it’s role in the economic development of Perth.

Keen to share the history of this lost art with her pupils, and rather than simply spend the donation on materials, Alison and her pupils chose to commit to curating a small display of work at the end of the project inspired by the gloves and the gloving heritage of Perth.  As The Perth Incorporation of Glovers once owned the Fair Maid’s House building, this seemed like the natural venue choice for the exhibition.

The pupils involved are in S1,2 & 3, and the exhibition will show a variety of their work which has been  produced using mixed media and photography.  Pupils have created artworks inspired by a number of different stimuli  drawn from the subject of gloves and gloving. A number of pieces of work were created collaboratively to reflect the piecing together of gloves by glovers who specialised in different areas of the trade.


Whilst working on the project, the pupils also looked into Perth’s twinned cities to explore whether there were any heritage links, although there were no direct links with the twinned cities they discovered quite a remarkable story of original Perth Pioneers.  In 1761 a ship full of Perth glovers and their families went to the state of New York and founded a gloving industry, which became one of the biggest industries in the state.  Fulton County NY has towns named Perth, Gloversville & Breadalbane – obvious links with Perthshire. By co-incidence, a librarian at Perth Academy originates from upstate NY, previously unaware of this Perth connection and after contacting her peers at Gloversville High School, information relating to the lives and times of these original Perth families was uncovered.  An amazing connection and discovery into Perth’s cultural past to come from this project.

The ‘Hand in Glove’ Exhibition runs at The Fair Maid’s House, home of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 15-19 North Port, Perth PH1 5LU from 6 – 17 June, Tuesday to Saturdays, 1-4pm.