The Glasgow School of Art has produced many household names and had a profound impact on many of those who attended.

Fashion designer Pam Hogg studied textiles from 1973 to 1976. She once said: “I remember when I got to the steps and just looked up, I knew that my life was going to change forever.

“It was the most exciting thing that ever happened to me.”

The Herald: Photographer Harry Benson studied at GSAPhotographer Harry Benson studied at GSA (Image: Newsquest)Artist Peter Howson recalled how the building made students want to paint. “The studios are so beautiful. It's almost as if Mackintosh magically put an atmosphere into it through his imagination,” he said.

The School produced a Who’s Who of award-winning artists and host of famous names: photographer Harry Benson, artist Alison Watt - the first woman to have a solo exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery - King's Sculptor in Ordinary Alexander Stoddart, Alasdair Gray and Douglas Gordon, the first Glaswegian artist to win the Turner Prize.

The Herald: Fashion designer Pam Hogg pictured in 2016Fashion designer Pam Hogg pictured in 2016 (Image: Newsquest Colin Mearns)

Other Turner Prize winners include Richard Wright (2209), Simon Starling (2005) and Martin Boyce in 2011 for his installation Do Words Have Voices, beating what critics felt was the strongest shortlist for many years.

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David Shrigley, nominated for the Turner Prize in 2013 and creator of Partick Thistle’s mascot, Kingsley, studied at GSA. So did Jenny Saville, who exhibited in the Royal Academy's Sensation exhibition in London in 1997. She is known for her large-scale painted depictions of nude women.

I remember when I got to the steps and just looked up, I knew that my life was going to change forever.

Women artists thrived at the School, largely thanks to the leadership of Fra Newbery and his wife Jessie, who supported the Decorative Arts such as textiles, ceramics and jewellery-making and championed women’s creativity.

The Herald: Alasdair Gray studied at GSA in the 1950sAlasdair Gray studied at GSA in the 1950s (Image: Newsquest)

While GSA is entwined with the Glasgow Girls, the group of late 19th and early 20th century women artists who spanned a range of techniques and artistic styles. They included Bessie MacNicol and Stansmore Dean, Jessie M King and Helen Paxton Brown.

Weavers, textiles artists and silversmiths honed their craft within its studios, as did some of the nation’s finest acting talent too.

Paisley-born artist and playwright John Byrne, former partner of actress Tilda Swinton, graduated from  GSA in 1963. He went on to create the BBC Scotland series Tutti Frutti, which starred another Art School student, Robbie Coltrane.

The Herald:

Writing in Hugh Ferguson’s book Glasgow School of Art: The History, he told of “the excitement of walking into the building, its aura of shabby Bohemian gentility exactly as I had fantasised in my neo-gothic study at school.

“Spending four years in the company of people who are passionate about art, even if only their own, is an invaluable experience.”

His fellow actor Peter Capaldi recalled hating GSA then immersing himself in the culture: “You could discover ways of seeing, you could begin to form an understanding of aesthetics. Even better, you could wear a big black coat and get a “lust for Life” crew cut.

The Herald: Actor Peter Capaldi told how the school opened his eyes to see the world in a different wayActor Peter Capaldi told how the school opened his eyes to see the world in a different way (Image: Getty)

“You could be in a band, you could talk with great authority on matters you knew nothing about, you could explore the hidden delights and dangers of art and adulthood.

“The Art School taught me to look at the world and see that there is art in the mundane and obvious as well as in the exotic.”

From its doors poured musicians: singer-songwriter John Martyn, Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, Fran Healy of Travis and Robert Hardy of Franz Ferdinand – the band played its first recorded concert at GSA in 2002 – were all students.

Spending four years in the company of people who are passionate about art, even if only their own, is an invaluable experience.

Poet Liz Lochhead, broadcaster Muriel Gray, comic book artist Frank Quitely and former deputy leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, Cathy Jamieson and poet, writer, artist and gardener Ian Hamilton Findlay were all students.

And, of course, there were architects: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, his contemporary Andrew Graham Henderson - who was behind the Bank of Scotland in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow - and Thomas S. Tait, whose work included St. Andrew's House on Calton Hill, Edinburgh.

The Herald: Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Sometimes the staff were as remarkable as the students. In Ferguson’s book, caricaturist Emilio Coia recalled one, Charles Murray, was “influential and much-liked”, but “eschewed sobriety day and night to the despair of all.”

Another, Professor Maurice Grieffenhagen “adorned the School with his presence about three times a year, his white spats and black patent shoes gleaming as he silently strode the corridors.”

The Herald: Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison was a GSA studentFrightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison was a GSA student (Image: Contributed)

Joan Eardley arrived to begin her studies at GSA in January 1940, a time of upheaval that had seen air-raid shelters constructed in the basements.

The student population had been halved to just 600 – it would shrink further as students and teachers were called to arms.

It remained, however, a time of huge creativity.

Arts journalist, teacher and promoter Cordelia Oliver, a student in the 1940s, recalled how wartime shortages of food, clothing and art materials were seen as creative challenges to be overcome.

Perhaps ominously, she also wrote of students maintaining vigils to raise the alarm should fire break out.

“Fire watching looms large in the memory of those years perhaps because our social life tended to revolve around the common-room set aside for firewatchers.

The Herald:

“Firewatching gave us a privilege enjoyed by no student before or since. The whole of the Mackintosh building was open to us, from the basement to the roof, in the days before the corridors were blocked by mandatory fire doors.

“The essence of its magnificent structure was continuing space, forever changing forever rewarding but always related to the human scale.”