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George Bain


1881 - 1968

Artist who became known as the father of modern Celtic design. Born in Scrabster (Caithness), Bain was educated in Edinburgh, where he trained as an artist. He served in the Salonika campaign in Greece during the First World War but then took the position of Principal Teacher of Art at Kirkcaldy High School, remaining in this post until his retirement in 1946.

He published the definitive book Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction in 1951, which did much to revive interest in the subject. This was based on many years of study of manuscripts, and the Pictish sculpted stones of E Scotland allowing Bain to understand the construction of these complex mathematically-based designs. He is also noted for his paintings of landscapes in Scotland, Greece and the Balkans.

In 1978, a retrospective exhibition of his work was held in Kirkcaldy. His collection is held by the Groam House Museum in Rosemarkie which helped organise a further exhibition on his life and work at the Royal Museum (Edinburgh) in 2001.


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