Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Alison Kinnaird

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Origin  Edinburgh, Scotland
Record label  Temple Records
Years active  1971 – present
Associated acts  Battlefield Band
Labels  Temple Records
Genres  Folk music, Celtic music
Name  Alison Kinnaird

Alison Kinnaird Alison Kinnaird
Occupation(s)  Musician, sculptor, teacher, writer
Role  Musician ·
Albums  Music in Trust, The Scottish Harp, The Quiet Tradition
Similar People  Wendy Stewart, Brian McNeill, Ed Miller, Aly Bain

Alison Kinnaird, Artist & Musician - Psalmsong

Alison Kinnaird M.B.E is a glass sculptor, Celtic musician, teacher and writer born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1949.


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Kinnaird earned a MA in Celtic studies and archaeology at the University of Edinburgh and studied glass engraving with Harold Gordon. Kinnaird uses lead and optical crystal. Her works are in many galleries and private collections. The techniques used by Kinnaird include copper-wheel engraving, cutting, sandblasting, acid etching and casting.

Kinnaird is also a musician. She plays, teaches and lectures on the small Scottish harp also known as the clarsach. She was one of the first acts signed to Temple Records during the 1970s and she has had eight albums released through the label. She worked with the Scottish music group Battlefield Band on their albums Music in Trust Vol I (1987) and Music in Trust Vol II (1988).

Kinnaird has written many books about traditional music and the small Scottish harp. Her first book on the subject was published in 1990 and is a collection of 24 harp tunes that she arranged. Tree of Strings (1992), written in collaboration with Keith Sanger, documents the history of the harp in Scotland and is the first book of its kind. The Lothian Collection (1995) has 25 harp tunes from the big houses and great families from East, West and Midlothian all arranged by Kinnaird. The Small Harp Tutor (1996) is a book about learning to play the small harp which covers the history of the instrument, maintaining the instrument, arranging tunes and gives useful finger exercises. The book is accompanied by a 60-minute CD which guides the learner from novice to more accomplished player. Kinnaird's most recent book is The North East Collection which features tunes mainly from the 18th and 19th century arranged by herself.

In 1997, Kinnaird was awarded the M.B.E for her contribution and long standing service to art and music. In 2011 National Life Stories interviewed Kinnaird for their 'Craft Lives' archive. The interviews took place over three days and document her life from childhood to becoming a successful artist and musician. She has been recognised for her contributions to Scottish folk music and was inducted into the Scots Trad Music Awards – Hall of Fame in 2010.


  • 2010: Scots Trad Music Awards
  • 2004: Glass Sellers Award
  • 2002: Creative Scotland Award
  • 2001: Adrian Sassoon Award
  • 1998: CC Chelsea First Exhibitors Award
  • 1998: Inches Carr Crafts Bursary
  • 1997: MBE for services to art and music
  • 1987: Glass-Sellers Award
  • 1980: SDA/CCC Crafts Fellowship
  • Memberships

  • 2003–2004: Member of the award panel for Creative Scotland Award
  • 1993–1996* Scottish Arts Council Crafts Committee
  • Fellow of the Guild of Glass Engravers
  • BBC Broadcasting Council for Scotland
  • Contemporary Glass Society
  • Glass Art Society
  • Scottish Glass Society
  • Teaching

  • British Glass Biennale, Stourbridge
  • Northlands Creative Glass, Scotland
  • Corning Glass Studio, Corning NY, USA
  • Frauenau, Germany
  • Academy of Art and Design, Wroclaw, Poland
  • Urban Glass, Brooklyn, NY
  • Education

  • 1970–1971: Edinburgh College of Art – informal classes
  • 1969: Workshop training with Harold Gordon
  • 1968–1971 Edinburgh University M A in Celtic Studies and Archaeology
  • Books

  • 2008 20th Century British Glass, Charles Hajdamach, Antiques Collectors Club Ltd
  • 2006 25 Years of New Glass Review, Corning Museum
  • 2003 Jennifer Hawkins Opie, Contemporary International Glass, V & A Pub
  • 2002 Dan Klein, ARTISTS IN GLASS, Late Twentieth Century Masters in Glass, Mitchell Beazley
  • 1999 Marilyn & Tom Goodearl, ENGRAVED GLASS, Antique Collectors Club
  • 1996 Peter Layton, GLASS ART, Black/Washington
  • 1984 Brian Blench, CRAFTWORK SCOTLAND, Scottish Development Agency
  • Exhibitions

  • 2011 Johansfors, Kristallmuseum, Sweden
  • 2011 British Studio Glass, Coburg
  • 2011 A Passion for Glass, Dan Klein Collection, Royal Museum of Scotland
  • 2011 Scottish Arts Club, Edinburgh
  • 2011 Inches Carr Trust Exhibition, Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh
  • 2010 Contemporary Applied Arts, London
  • 2010 British Glass Biennale, invited artist
  • 2010 Guild of Glass Engravers, Fellows Exhibition, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
  • 2009 Invited Curator, Blackwell House, Cumbria
  • 2009 Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales
  • 2009 Migrat, Scottish Glass Society
  • 2009 Urban Glass, NY, USA
  • 2008 Art London
  • 2008 SOFA, NY
  • 2007 Solo Exhibition, Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 2007 Invited Artist, Visual Arts Scotland, Royal Scottish Academy
  • 2006 British Glass Biennale, Stourbridge
  • 2006 Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, Denmark
  • 2006 Coburg Glaspreis Exhibition
  • 2006 SOFA Chicago, Zest Gallery
  • 2005 21st Century British Glass, London
  • 2004 Psalmsong, V&A London Museum, London
  • 2004 Edinburgh Festival, Scottish Gallery
  • 2004 British Glass Biennale, Stourbridge
  • 2002 Nine by Nine, Glass Art Gallery, London
  • 2002 Clearly Inspired, Cork St, London
  • 2002 Aldeburgh Festival
  • 2002 Art for Europe, Brussels
  • 2001 National Trust for Scotland, Hill House, Helensburgh
  • 2001 Cowdy Gallery, Gloucestershire
  • 2001 Art Glass Gallery, Santa Fe
  • 2000 Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 2000 Scottish Glass, Dundee & Edinburgh
  • 1999 Kaminesky Senov, Czech Republic
  • 1999 National Glass Centre, Sunderland
  • 1999 City Arts Centre, Edinburgh
  • 1998 Contemporary Applied Arts, London
  • 1997 Crawford Arts Centre, St. Andrews
  • 1997 Peebles Arts Festival, Peebles
  • 1997 Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 1996 British Glass, Prague
  • 1996 Contemporary Arts Centre, Utrecht
  • 1995 Glass, Cecilia Coleman Gallery, London
  • 1993 Guild of Glass Engravers National Exhibition, Walford Mill, Wimborne
  • 1992 Group Exhibition, Gallery Downstairs, Burnley
  • 1991 Light Forms, Syon House, London, organised by Guild of Glass Engravers
  • 1991 Human Interest, Gainsborough House, Sudbury
  • 1991 European Glass Exhibition, European Centre for Traditional & Regional Cultures, Llangollen
  • 1990 European Glass Exhibition, European Centre for Traditional & Regional Cultures, Llangollen
  • 1990 Festival of Contemporary Glass, Opus No. 1, London
  • 1988 Solo exhibition, Coleridge, London
  • 1987 Group exhibition, Galerie de Vier Linden, Asperen, The Netherlands
  • 1986 Group exhibition, Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh
  • 1986 Crafts Exhibition, The Minories, Colchester
  • 1986 British Artists in Glass, Libertys, London
  • 1985 Scottish Crafts Collection, organised by Scottish Development Agency (tour)
  • 1984 Guild of Glass Engravers Annual Exhibition, Leighton House, London
  • 1984 British Artists in Glass, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Sunderland
  • 1984 Group exhibition, Habatat Gallery, Detroit, USA
  • 1983 Timepieces, Rufford Crafts Centre, Newark
  • 1983 British Studio Glass, (catalogue, tour), Ceolfrith Gallery, Sunderland
  • 1981 Edinburgh Festival Exhibition, 369 Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 1980 Engraved Crystal by Alison Kinnaird, Corran Hall, Oban
  • 1979 The Bowl, British Crafts Centre, organised by World Crafts Council, London
  • 1979 Engraved Crystal by Alison Kinnaird, 369 Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 1979 Contemporary Scottish Glass, St Enoch Exhibition Centre, Glasgow
  • 1977 Engraved Crystal by Alison Kinnaird, 369 Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 1977 Salzburg Festival, Art Gallery, Salzburg, Austria
  • 1976 Guild of Glass Engravers, Glaziers Hall, London
  • 1975 Contemporary Scottish Artists, Exhibitions Centre, Edinburgh
  • Commissions

  • 2006 Butterfly Panels, Marchmont St Giles Church, Edinburgh
  • 2003 Portrait for National Portrait Gallery of Scotland
  • 2003 Window, Dornoch Cathedral
  • 2002 Britten-Pears Library, Aldeburgh
  • 2001 Merchant Company of Edinburgh
  • 2000 Millennium Commission, Broadfield House Glass Museum
  • 1998 Alumnus of the Year Award, commissioned by Edinburgh University
  • 1997 Gift for Sir Charles Mackerras, commissioned by Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • 1995 Bookends, commissioned by Royal Bank of Scotland
  • 1993 British Film Institute Awards
  • 1992 Door panels, commissioned by Lord Bute of Mount Stuart
  • 1991 Alumnus of the Year Award, commissioned by Edinburgh University
  • 1990 Gift for the Crown Prince of Japan, commissioned by Royal Bank of Scotland
  • 1990 Gift for the Queen Mother, commissioned by Royal College of Physicians
  • 1989 Screen of 10 panels, commissioned by Lord Bute of Mount Stuart
  • 1985 Retirement gift for Lord Bute, commissioned by Scottish National Trust 1985 25th anniversary
  • 1985 SDA/RIAS Architects Awards
  • 1983 Duke of Edinburgh Design Award, commissioned by Alan Doe of Westland Helicopters
  • 1983 Times Crossword trophy, commissioned by Times/Collins dictionaries
  • 1983 Mr Speaker Sir trophy, commissioned by BBC
  • 1982 Superscot trophy, commissioned by the BBC
  • 1980 Engraved crystal chunk presented to the Queen Mother, commissioned by The Black Watch regiment
  • 1980 Wedding bowl for the Prince of Wales, commissioned by The Scotsman newspaper
  • 1980 Engraved Chunk, commissioned by the BBC
  • 1980 Engraved crystal cross for St Nicholas Church, Dalkeith
  • 1979 The Wealth of Nations presented to the Institute of Bankers in England, commissioned by Institute of Bankers in Scotland
  • 1978 Decanter presented to the Prince of Wales, commissioned by Glasgow Museum
  • 1976 Goblet presented to the Queen Mother, commissioned by Stockbridge House
  • Collections

  • 2005 Psalmsong, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
  • 2005 Streetwise I, Tutsek Foundation, Munich
  • 2004 Streetwise II, Dundee Museum & Art Gallery
  • 2003 Roy Dennis, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 2001 Evolve, Broadfield House Glass Museum
  • 2001 White Lies, Crafts Council Collection
  • 2001 Eclipse, Cowdy Gallery
  • 2000 Narrow Sampler, Dundee Art Gallery, Dundee
  • 1995 Triptych, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • 1989 Man into Seal, Corning Museum of Glass, New York City
  • 1988 Ring of Crystal, Ring of Stone, Leicestershire Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester
  • 1987 Disc – Leap, Ulster Museum, Belfast 1986 Doors on the Past, Royal Museum of Scotland
  • 1986 Disc – She is Summer, Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow
  • 1985 Bowl – Earth Mother, City Art Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1980 Doors – engraved block, Scottish Development Agency – Scottish Crafts Collection, Edinburgh
  • Discography

  • 2005: The Silver String
  • 1994: Mac-talla – Mairidh Gaol Is Ceol
  • 1992: The Harper's Land (with Ann Heymann)
  • 1990: The Quiet Tradition (with Christine Primrose)
  • 1988: The Scottish Harp
  • 1988: Music in Trust Vol. 2 (with Battlefield Band)
  • 1986: Music in Trust Vol. 1 (with Battlefield Band)
  • 1979: The Harp Key – Crann Nan Teud (Temple US Records)
  • References

    Alison Kinnaird Wikipedia

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