digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















This article is about the Scottish artist. For the Scottish George Cross recipient, see George Wyllie (GC).
George Wyllie - August 2006
Scul?tures in the garden of George Wyllie

George Ralston Wyllie MBE (31 December 1921[1] – 15 May 2012) was a Scottish artist. Wyllie produced a number of notable public works, such as the Straw Locomotive and the Paper Boat.


Wyllie was born in Shettleston, in the east end of Glasgow, and grew up in Craigton, in the south west of the city. He was educated at Bellahouston Academy and Allan Glen's School.[2] He later resided in Gourock. He worked as a customs officer before taking up art.[3] He described himself as a "scul?tor".

Wyllie's Straw Locomotive consisted of a full size steam locomotive, constructed from straw, and suspended from the Finnieston Crane, by the River Clyde in Glasgow.[4] The sculpture was built at the former locomotive works at Springburn, and suspended from the crane for several months during 1987, before being taken back to the Springburn site and ceremonially burnt.[3] The 80-foot Paper Boat was exhibited at The Tramway in Glasgow and at other sites including a placement on the Hudson River in New York,[5] for which visit it carried quotations from Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments.[6]

Wyllie's Slap and Tickle Machine is in the collection of the People's Palace, Glasgow, and wind-up stainless steel palm trees and a sculptural bandstand featured in the café of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

George Wyllie was commissioned in the 1970s to build some French influenced sculptures including General Charles de Gaulle, one of the Eiffel Tower and smaller mustachioed & beret wearing French visages (used as coat hooks) that were dotted around the city's first wine bar, "La Bonne Auberge", in its original site (the basement of the now defunct Beacons Hotel at 7 Park Terrace).

The following year Wyllie contributed a golden eagle made from old car bumpers which adorned the wall of Harvey's Diner, (it took six men to lift and secure it) and two stainless steel palm trees in Harvey's Cocktail Bar at 8 Park Terrace. A gramophone with a rather large fiberglass megaphone was also sited in the bar at Harvey's but is now on display (alongside the Tour d' Eiffel) in La Bonne Auberge located within the Holiday Inn, in Glasgow's theatreland.

One of Wyllie's most famous creations, Charlie Parker & His Band, could be seen within Charlie Parker's Bar in Royal Exchange Square in the 1970s and 1980s, the set was up for sale and was meant to have been on display in a jazz museum .

Wyllie's work can also be seen in the Clyde Clock (depicting a clock on running legs), outside Buchanan bus station and in the Monument to Maternity (depicting a huge nappy pin), on the site of the former Rottenrow Maternity Hospital. Collections: Glasgow Corporation Museum of Transport, Cheshire County Council, Glasgow Cathedral, St. John's Kirk, Perth, St. Mary's Hospital, Lanark, Mitchell Limited, Greenock, and public and private collections at home, USA and Sweden.

Wyllie stood as a list candidate (Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party) for the West of Scotland region in the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary Election.[7]

Wyllie was a president of the Society of Scottish Artists and provides an award for an imaginative work at their annual exhibition.

Wyllie was awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List 2005.

Selected works[edit]

Publications and films[edit]


  1. ^ "Belated honour for George Wyllie as sculptor hits 90 - Art". Scotsman.com. 2011-12-31. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  2. ^ url = http://www.scottish-places.info/scotgaz/people/famousfirst3883.html
  3. ^ a b Sutherland, Giles (14 April 2012). "Visual joker provides gallery's last laugh". The Times. 
  4. ^ "Straw locomotive, by George Wyllie, 1987". Springburn Virtual Museum. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  5. ^ Shepard, Richard F. (1990-07-13). "Weekender: Monster Model Boat". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  6. ^ Macdonald, Murdo (1994). "The social space in Scottish art". Edinburgh Review 91: 29. 
  7. ^ "War veteran joins Holyrood fight". BBC News. 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  8. ^ "georgewyllie.com". http://georgewyllie.com/. The friends of George Wyllie.  External link in |website= (help)
  9. ^ New Broom page on Manchester City Galleries
  10. ^ Life Cycle page on Manchester City Galleries

External links[edit]

Official website

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wyllie — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
3664 videos foundNext > 

George Wyllie - Paper Boat

Genius and Scul?tor, George Wyllie, built his 78 foot long Paper Boat, 'QM', in 1989 as a celebration - and memorial - to the city's shipbuilding industry.

The Straw Locomotive - George Wyllie

It's 25 years since a straw locomotive hung from the Finnieston Crane. It was on the fourth of May, 1987 that it arrived there from Springburn and it hung over the ...

George Wyllie: In Pursuit of the Question Mark, A Retrospective Exhibition

3 November 2012 - 2 February 2013 Open 10am - 5pm, Monday - Saturday Mitchell Library Exhibition Hall North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN ...

George Wyllie: A Life Less Ordinary at The Collins Gallery

George Wyllie at 90: A Celebration, Aye Write! Glasgow Book Festival

Part of the Whysman Festival: http://www.whysman.co.uk/ Aye Write! joins the national celebration of Wyllie's work with an evening celebrating George at 90 and ...

Some Questions about Govan...In Honour of George Wyllie

As part of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, TS Beall and Matt Baker presented an evening of films and conversation about people, power, and protest ...

George Wyllie - Circus Gold

George Wyllie Artwork Celebrated

An exhibition celebrating the life work of renowned Scottish artist George Wyllie will open in at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow on Friday. The self-taught sculptor ...

George Wyllie, The Cosmic Voyage

Clip from George Wyllie, The Cosmic Voyage. Filmed and edited by Martin Laycock.

George Wyllie sculpture in Hattersley

3664 videos foundNext > 

241 news items

Glasgow Evening Times

Glasgow Evening Times
Wed, 06 Jan 2016 16:09:05 -0800

They include sculptor George Wyllie (1921-2012), church architect Isi Metzstein (1928-2012), Japanese POW and autobiographer Eric Lomax (1919-2012), the public official Lesley Strathie (1955-2012), Gaelic poet and scholar Derick Thomson (1921-2012), ...

Herald Scotland

Herald Scotland
Tue, 14 Jul 2015 16:20:12 -0700

Herald arts writer, Jan Patience, a trustee of the George Wyllie Foundation and co-author of a forthcoming biography of the artist, called The Making of George Wyllie, said: "George grew up just a stone's throw from Paisley in Cardonald and he would ...

Greenock Telegraph

Greenock Telegraph
Thu, 21 Jan 2016 08:37:49 -0800

“We painted the George Wyllie stag Monarch of the Glen because it was covered in graffiti, so we could paint the container to fit in with the environment of the Glen too.” John says he and volunteers want to raise the profile of the east end oasis but ...

Scotland Now

Scotland Now
Sat, 09 Jan 2016 16:09:44 -0800

Forty of these individuals were born, lived or worked in Scotland - including artist and sculptor George Wyllie, prisoner of war Eric Lomax, Gaelic poet and scholar Derick Thomson, Darts champ Jocky Wilson, Civil Servant Lesley Strathie and Journalist ...
Herald Scotland
Fri, 09 Jan 2015 16:22:30 -0800

A large steel eagle proudly stands guard at the entrance of a new exhibition of work by the late George Wyllie at Summerhall in Edinburgh. In a previous life, this vast, sprawling arts venue was a vet school, so it's fitting that Wyllie's eagle, which ...

BBC News

BBC News
Wed, 16 May 2012 02:52:19 -0700

Glasgow-born sculptor George Wyllie has died at the age of 90 following a short illness. He was best known for his giant public works including The Paper Boat and The Straw Locomotive. The Paper Boat sailed along the Clyde on a journey to New York via ...

Herald Scotland

Herald Scotland
Wed, 16 May 2012 02:50:52 -0700

Louise Wyllie, his elder daughter, said: "My father was delighted at all the developments which the Friends of George Wyllie have made in the last year in establishing his legacy and he was keen to know what was happening right up to the end.

BBC News

BBC News
Mon, 26 Aug 2013 16:48:45 -0700

An auction of works from the studio of the late Glasgow artist George Wyllie is to be held later. Wyllie, who died last year aged 90, was one of Scotland's most prolific artists whose work can be found in public places around the country. He is best ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight