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Gordon Thomson

Gordon Thomson

We are very sorry to have to report that Mr Gordon MacLeod Thomson, former Senior Lecturer in the School of Textile Industries, died on 11 November 2005.

A graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, Gordon Thomson lectured briefly at the Scottish College of Textiles before spending three successful years in industry, as Assistant Print Producer for a firm within the Viyella Group. He was appointed as a Lecturer at Leeds in May 1971, specialising in Textile Design, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1992.

Gordon Thomson was an excellent and enthusiastic teacher across a wide range of design topics, whose students benefited greatly from his keen artistic sense combined with his understanding and appreciation of commercial requirements. Under his guidance and direction, the subject of textile design flourished at Leeds, its graduates coming to be widely sought after for their technical prowess, creativity and professionalism. He supervised a number of research students, on topics ranging from Nigerian hand-made menswear to pattern symmetry and characterisation, and the influence of photography on textile design. Externally, he enjoyed a substantial reputation as a textile designer and for much of his time at Leeds continued to produce print designs for commercial use as textiles and wall coverings. In collaboration with Professor Michael Hann, he also organised a series of exhibitions of, and produced well-received monographs on, various textile collections, including the Qing Dynasty and Louisa Pesel Collections held in the Universitys International Textiles Archive.

A personable and charming colleague, Gordon Thomson was prominent in other areas of University affairs. For more than a decade, he was a highly respected and successful Adviser to Residents in the Lupton Flats. As a long-standing member of the Board for Collegiate Academic Awards and Chair of its Art and Design Subject Panel, he was one of the lynchpins of the Universitys relationship with the colleges, held in very high regard for his contribution to college courses involving art and design, for his unstinting helpfulness and his common sense. Mr Thomsons national reputation in the design world led to his appointment as external examiner for degree courses at a number of other institutions and also as an examiner for the Textile Institute, the international professional body for the textile industry. He served for many years as a member of the Association of Heads of Degree Courses in Fashion and Textile Design.

Mr Thomson took early retirement from his post in July 2000, after twenty-nine years service to the University. Subsequently, he was re-engaged as a Senior Fellow on a part-time basis for the next two years.

The funeral is to be held at 2.20pm on Friday 18th November 2005, at Lawnswood Crematorium, Otley Road, Leeds 16. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Macmillan Cancer Relief.

Mr Thomson is survived by his wife, Heather, two daughters, Joanna and Emma, and son, Oliver.

Published: 15 November 2005