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  • Stanley Bell
Harry McShane, 1891 - 1988. Socialist activist
© Stan Bell

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Harry McShane, 1891 - 1988. Socialist activist 1981

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Harry McShane is sometimes referred to as ‘The Last of the Red Clydesiders’ and is known for his active role in Glasgow’s working class movement. Whilst working as an engineer, McShane helped organise the unemployed in the 1920s and 30s, arranging demonstrations, hunger marches and protests throughout Scotland. His efforts led to the creation of a permanent organisation, the National Unemployed Workers Movement. In 1922, McShane joined the Communist Party, but later resigned because of ideological differences, although he remained a Marxist. This portrait draws attention to McShane’s commitment to socialism through his defiant expression, his vibrant red tie and the shipyards in the background.

Glossary Open

Red Clydeside

The era of political radicalism that characterised the city of Glasgow between the 1910s and 1930s, brought about by opposition to the First World War and poor housing and working conditions.

Red Clydeside


  • Acc. No. PG 3355
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 60.00 x 62.00 cm (framed: 69.50 x 69.50 x 5.00 cm)
  • Credit Gifted by Mrs Kay Carmichael, 2004