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Jessie Newbery

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Jessie Newbery

Jessie Newbery (28 May 1864 - 27 April 1948) was a Scottish artist and embroiderer. Born Jessie Wylie Rowat in Paisley, she was the daughter of Margaret Downie Hill and William Rowat, a shawl manufacturer.

A visit to Italy when she was eighteen stimulated a lifelong interest in textiles and other decorative arts. She enrolled as a student at Glasgow School of Art in 1884, and some time later established its embroidery department, where she was appointed head in 1894. Her teaching was respected, as was her artistic work which helped to raise the status of creative needlework.

Newbery's appliqué work gave rise to the rose motif identified with Glasgow Style, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his circle. She was one of the women artists known as the Glasgow Girls.

She taught dress design alongside embroidery. She thought clothing should be practical and took an interest in rational dress, while also believing that clothes should be beautiful.

Jessie Newbery died in Dorset, where she and her husband, Francis Newbery, had gone to live after retirement.

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