Charles Rennie Mackintosh

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Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

(măk`əntŏsh'), 1868–1928, Scottish architect, artist, and furniture designer. Probably the greatest architect and designer Scotland has produced, he attempted to create a native style for the modern era. His decorative and graphic works are some of the finest manifestations of art nouveauart nouveau
, decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World War I.
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 while also being beautiful examples of early modernism. His few buildings are notable for their absence of external decoration and their subtlety of proportion—both qualities partially derived from Scottish medieval precedent and from the Scottish Baronial style of the 16th and 17th cent. Among these buildings are the Glasgow School of Art (1899, additional wing 1909), widely considered his masterwork; Queen's Cross Church, Glasgow; and two country houses—"Windyhill," Kilmacolm, and "Hill House," Helensburgh—both built around the turn of the century.

As a designer, Mackintosh was influenced in his early work by the English arts and craftsarts and crafts,
term for that general field of applied design in which hand fabrication is dominant. The term was coined in England in the late 19th cent. as a label for the then-current movement directed toward the revivifying of the decorative arts.
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 movement and, like the members of that school, he strove to integrate architectural and decorative elements in his work. Among his finest interiors were those executed for several turn-of-the-century Glasgow tea rooms. The sole survivor, the Willow Tea Room (1904), was restored and reopened in 1983. Many of his designs, often incorporating squares and stylized roses and other plant forms, were created in collaboration with his wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. Best known of his stark, elegant, and often beautifully detailed furniture designs are graceful wooden chairs with extremely high backs. He also designed other furniture, stained glass, murals, and clocks. His work influenced such important 20th-century figures as Josef HoffmannHoffmann, Josef,
1870–1956, Austrian architect. A student of Otto Wagner, he was a leader of Austrian decoration in the first three decades of the 20th cent. His sophisticated compositions, based on rectangles and squares, with delicate ornamental trimming, can best be
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 and Frank Lloyd WrightWright, Frank Lloyd,
1867–1959, American architect, b. Richland Center, Wis., as Frank Lincoln Wright; he changed his name to honor his mother's family (the Lloyd Joneses). Wright is widely considered the greatest American architect.
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See Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Architectural Papers (1990), ed. by P. Robertson; studies by T. Howarth (1952) and A. Crawford (1995); E. Wilhide, The Mackintosh Style (1995).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie


Born June 7, 1868, in Glasgow; died Dec. 10, 1928, in London. Scottish architect.

Mackintosh worked in Glasgow and London. In his buildings he achieved a flexibility and elegance of design that reveal the aesthetically expressive possibilities of construction design and building materials. His chief work was the Glasgow School of Art (1898-1909). Mackintosh was an architect in the style of art nouveau and as such exerted an important influence on the development of rationalism in Great Britain, Germany, and Austria. As a member of the association of artist-designers known as ’The Four” (organized in 1890), Mackintosh concerned himself with interior decoration and furniture design.


Howarth, T. Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Modern Movement. London, 1952.
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A watercolour of pine cones done by Charles Rennie Mackintosh during the First World War is expected to fetch up to PS15,000 at auction on Wednesday.
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