Ann Macbeth was a student at the Technical Art Studios of Glasgow School of Art, when she designed and made this silk panel of a scene from the fairy tale, 'Sleeping Beauty'. We see the princess in a peaceful sleep. Entwined with briar roses, she can only be woken after one hundred years with a kiss from a prince. The embroidery and applique is exquisite and the use of the technique of 'couching' or padding on her face and foot enhances the impact of the sleeping figure.
Macbeth was one of the stars of the Artistic Needlework and Embroidery Department of the School and in 1901 became an Assistant Instructress, exhibiting her work widely to great acclaim. She was awarded a silver medal for the 'Sleeping Beauty' panel at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Art in Turin, Italy in 1902.
The Technical Art Studios had been founded as part of a national ambition to raise standards of craft and design and were important in the development of the 'Glasgow Style', which valued art applied to everyday objects. Ann Macbeth was part of the wider artistic circle of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and a leading exponent of the Glasgow Style saying,
"Beauty must come back to the useful arts and the distinction between fine and useful arts be forgotten".