Charles Rennie Mackintosh

From Academic Kids

Charles Mackintosh's Scotland Street school in Glasgow
Charles Mackintosh's Scotland Street school in Glasgow

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 - 1928) was a Scottish architect, designer, and watercolourist who was a designer in the Arts and Crafts Movement and also the main exponent of Art Nouveau in Scotland.

Born in Glasgow, and suffering from a bad foot and eye problems, he was free to discover and draw sketches of a great deal of the Scotland countryside as a child. At the age of 15 he was apprenticed to an architect named John Hutchison where he worked from 1884 until 1889. Also during that time he became a draughtsman with Honeyman and Keppie, a new architectural practice, where he became a partner in 1901. All along he attended evening classes in art at the Glasgow School of Art. It was at these classes that he first met Margaret MacDonald (whom he later married), her sister Frances MacDonald, and Herbert McNair who was also a fellow apprentice with Mackintosh at Honeyman and Keppie. The group of artists, known as "The Four," exhibited in Glasgow, London and Vienna, and these exhibitions helped establish Mackintosh's reputation. The so-called "Glasgow" style was exhibited in Europe and influenced the Viennese Art Nouveau movement known as Sezessionstil (in English, The Secession) around 1900. (*)

He joined a firm of architects in 1889 and developed his own style: a contrast between strong right angles and floral-inspired decorative motifs with subtle curves, e.g. the Mackintosh Rose motif, along with some references to traditional Scottish architecture. The project that helped make his international reputation was the Glasgow School of Art (1897-1909).

Amongst his other architectural works are:

Missing image
North elevation of GSA's Mackintosh building
  • Hill House, Helensburgh (National Trust for Scotland)
  • House for an Art Lover, Glasgow
  • The Mackintosh House (Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow)
  • Queen's Cross church, Glasgow
  • Ruchill Church Hall, Glasgow
  • Holy Trinity Church, Bridge of Allan, Stirling
  • Scotland Street School, Glasgow
  • The Willow Rooms, also known as Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms
  • Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
  • Craigie Hall, Glasgow
  • Martyrs' Public School
  • The Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum, Glasgow
  • Former Daily Record offices, Glasgow
  • Former The Herald offices in Mitchell Street
  • 78 Derngate, Northampton (for Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke)
  • 5 The Drive, Northampton (for Basset-Lowke's brother-in-law)
"The Lighthouse", Charles Mackintosh's Glasgow Herald building
"The Lighthouse", Charles Mackintosh's Glasgow Herald building

Mackintosh also worked in interior design, furniture, textiles and, metalwork. Much of this work combines Mackintosh's own designs with those of his wife, whose flowing, floral style complimented his more formal, rectilinear work. Like his contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright, Mackintosh's architectural designs often included extensive specifications for the detailing, decoration, and furnishing of his buildings. His work was shown at the Vienna Secession Exhibition in 1900.

Although moderately popular (for a period) in his native Scotland, Mackintosh enjoyed little success outside the UK, and most of his more ambitious designs were not built. His designs of various buildings for the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition were not constructed, as was his Haus fur eines Kunstfreundes (House for an Art Lover) in the same year. He competed in the 1903 design competition for Liverpool Cathedral, but lost the commission to Giles Gilbert Scott. Later in life, disillusioned with architecture, Mackintosh worked largely as a watercolourist, painting numerous landscapes and flower studies (often in collaboration with Margaret, with whose style Mackintosh's own gradually converged) in the Suffolk village of Walberswick (to which the pair moved in 1914).

Mackintosh's designs gained in popularity in the decades following his death. His House for an Art Lover was finally built in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park in 1996, and the University of Glasgow (which owns the majority of his watercolour work) rebuilt a terraced house Mackintosh had designed, and furnished it with his and Margaret's work (it is part of the University's Hunterian Museum). The Glasgow School of Art building (now renamed "The Mackintosh Building") is regularly cited by architectural critics as among the very finest buildings in the UK. The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society tries to encourage a greater awareness of the work of Mackintosh as an important architect, artist and designer.


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Similar uses of this name include: Charles Macintosh, inventorbg:Чарлз Рене Макинтош de:Charles Rennie Mackintosh fr:Charles Rennie Mackintosh nl:Charles Rennie Mackintosh pt:Charles Rennie Mackintosh sv:Charles Rennie Mackintosh he:צארלס רני מקינטוש


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