Glasgow Style: The life and work of Glasgow School pioneer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Scottish architect, designer, and painter Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928) was one of the earliest pioneers of modern architecture and design. While he never received major recognition in his hometown of Glasgow, his bold new blend of simplicity and poetic details inspired modernists across Europe.
Mackintosh’s avant-garde approach embraced a variety of media as well as fresh stylistic devices. His multi-faceted oeuvre incorporated architecture, furniture, graphic design, landscapes, and flower studies. He embraced strong lines, elegant proportions, and natural motifs, combining a healthy dose of japonisme with a modernist sensibility for function. He preferred bold black typography, restrained shapes, and tall, generous windows suffusing rooms with light.
Mackintosh’s projects in Glasgow include the famous Willow Tearooms, the private residences Windyhill and The Hill House, and the Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art, widely considered his masterwork. Much of his work was collaborative practice with his wife, fellow artist Margaret Macdonald. The couple made up half of the loose Glasgow collective known as “The Four”; the other two were Margaret’s sister, Frances, and her husband, Herbert MacNair.
On the continent, this “Glasgow Style” was met with delight. In Italy, Germany, and, in particular, Austria, artists of the Viennese Secession and Art Nouveau drew much from its rectilinear, yet lyrical, forms. In this introductory book, we take in Mackintosh’s practice across art, architecture, and design to explore his particular combination of the statuesque and sensual and its vital influence on modernist expression across Europe.