The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) was established in 1845 and by the end of the nineteenth century was recognised as one of the most influential and respected art schools in the UK, with a growing international reputation. Today, the GSA remains first and foremost a teaching institution, however staff also care for the School’s archives and museum collections, and maintain a small Mackintosh Furniture Gallery and 'Window on Mackintosh' visitor centre.
In 2001 the GSA secured Registered status for its entire museum collections and in 2008 became an Accredited Museum. In 2009 the School's Charles Rennie Mackintosh collection was named as a 'Recognised Collection of National Significance' by Museums Galleries Scotland.
There was a fire in the west wing of GSA’s Mackintosh Building on the 23rd May 2014. Though the majority of the School’s archives and collections survived, many of the oil paintings in the School’s collection were sadly destroyed. Although the items no longer exist, descriptions and images of material lost in the fire are included on the Your Paintings website. Their descriptions still provide useful contextual information for researchers, while the images provide vital surrogates for users in the absence of the original paintings.