Karen Mailley-Watt has an MA Joint (Hons) and an MLitt in Decorative Arts & Design History from the University of Glasgow. She is currently a Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities ARCS funded PhD Researcher at the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art. Karen passed her PhD viva in October 2020 and has been published in various journals including The Scottish Society for Art History and The Decorative Arts Society Journal.
Until October 2016 Karen was the Heritage & Outreach Officer for Glasgow City Heritage Trust (GCHT) and Head Organiser of the Gilded Age Project at GCHT. She is currently the Gallery Coordinator at The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. Throughout 2020, she has worked on several new projects including Haud Yer Wheesht which aims to help improve representation in Scotland’s heritage sector.
About Karen’s PhD Research: Her thesis The Glasgow Society of Lady Artists (1882-1942) provides a comprehensive overview of the members of the society and women relating to the club house. The research investigates women’s artistic production, impact and growth of social and professional networks within a local, national and international context. A key element to this research is an investigation of the relationship between gender, space, class and the built environment during this period.
Rachael Purse has an MA (hons) in History and an MSc in Museum Studies, both from the University of Glasgow. Rachael is a positive thinking and confident woman who is passionate about the celebration and dissemination of heritage and history. Rachael will try her hand at anything, from repointing lime mortar to database creation, all done with a can-do attitude which she hopes would make Rosie the Riveter proud.Rachael was Co-Organiser of the Gilded Age Project alongside Karen at GCHT, the Glasgow’s Gilded Age 1864-1914 Project celebrates the architecture, art and design of the city in this period.
About Rachael’s PhD Research: In May 2016 Rachael was lucky enough to be successful in her application for The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) ‘Bringing Back the Mack’ PhD Scholarship, funded by the GSA and Historic Environment Scotland. Rachael will be recording and providing critical reflection on the restoration process, as well as the changing use of space within the building and contemporary conservation practices and ethics. It is a real privilege to be able to contribute to this vast project in real-time, working alongside such a skilled multi-disciplinary team.
The History Girls also sometimes make appearances on STV Glasgow’s Riverside Show and The People’s History Show, presenting segments on the more obscure aspects of Glasgow’s rich history.