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Charles Rennie Mackintosh

SCOTLAND (1868-1928)

Charles Rennie Mack­in­tosh was an accom­plished painter, designer, and archi­tect of what would become known as the Glasgow School. He was born in Glasgow in 1868 and grad­u­ated from the pres­ti­gious Glasgow School of Art, which he designed and built with his future wife, Margaret MacDon­ald, her sister, Frances MacDon­ald, and Herbert MacNair. Together they were known as The Four” and devel­oped The Glasgow Style that was similar in intent to the Arts and Crafts move­ment — believ­ing in the total design,” that is, the creation of every aspect of an inte­rior, includ­ing furni­ture, metal­work, and stained glass. 

His work was informed by the under­state­ment and subtleties of Japan­ese design and the flora from his rural child­hood. He created elegant designs that opened the door from the Victo­rian to the Modern era. Mack­in­tosh believed that archi­tec­ture was the sum of its various artis­tic parts, which can be seen in the Windy­hill” house at Kilma­colm (1900), the Hill House” at Helens­burgh (1902 – 3), the arrange­ment of the Dern­gate house, Northamp­ton (1916 – 20), and the deco­ra­tive work in Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms in Glasgow. Among the furnish­ings of his deco­ra­tive inte­ri­ors, the chair, Willow 1,” is an object of special atten­tion in the Cassina I Maestri” collec­tion – repre­sent­ing the focal point for coor­di­nated spatial action. Within it, the control­ling force of the compo­si­tion is always resolved, some­times artic­u­lated in fluent and deli­cate forms, at other times in severely geomet­ric shapes. Mack­in­tosh died in London in Decem­ber of 1928, leaving behind a legacy of an artist who chal­lenged design conven­tions with his vision.


Designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh (3)