Melvin, Grace

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Melvin, Grace

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1892-1977

History

Grace Melvin (1892-1977) born in Glasgow, Scotland on May 28, 1892, studied at the Glasgow School of Art during the late 1920s, when the Art Nouveau Movement was at its height, under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites. For seven years Melvin studied with the Glasgow group, enjoying the occasional travel scholarships. Whilst in London, Melvin discovered the collection of ancient books and manuscripts, lettered and illuminated on vellum housed at the library of the British Museum. She received special permission to make copies of some of the works, and this art form became her passion for many years. At this time, whilst teaching in the Glasgow Art School, she was a scribe for the Corporation of Glasgow, and made many illuminated addresses for prominent people. These are now in private collections, including the Queens archives.;After seven years on the staff of the Glasgow School of Art, Melvin was given a two year leave of absence to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia to help organize the Design section of the new School of Art. She resigned from the Glasgow School and remained with the Vancouver School of Art until her retirement, as Head of the Department of Design, in 1952, after which time she became a full time painter.;Grace Melvins <i>Basic Lettering for Art Students</i> was published in 1930 in London and is still used. She has also illustrated and written books on lettering and design for the Department of Education of British Columbia. Later, she was commissioned to make <i>The Books of Remembrance </i> for the Canadian Engineers, which can be seen in St. Pauls Cathedral, London. Melvin illustrated several books for Marius Barbeau, travelling with him to Alaska to get authentic information and an intimate view of the West Coast Native Americans and their legends. Grace Melvin died on March 8, 1977.

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