June 26–September 27, 2020
Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style
Charles Rennie Mackintosh Port Vendres—La Ville, ca, 1925–26. Pencil and watercolor on paper 34 7/8 x 26 7/8 x 1 1/8 in. Glasgow Museums: Bought from the Mackintosh Memorial Exhibition, 1933, 1856
Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. The May Queen: detail of a panel from the Ladies’ Luncheon Room, Ingram Street Tea Rooms, 1900. Gesso, hessian, scrim, twine, glass beads, thread, mother-of-pearl, and tin leaf, 62 1/2 x 179 7/8 in. overall. Glasgow Museums, Acquired by Glasgow Corporation, as part of the Ingram Street Tearooms, 1950. © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection. Courtesy American Federation of Arts
At the end of the nineteenth century, the Glasgow Style emerged as the major manifestation of Art Nouveau in Britain and established Glasgow as the Second City of the Empire. This exhibition showcases Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928)—the greatest exponent of the Glasgow Style—as an architect, designer, and artist, and contextualizes his production within a larger circle of designers and craftspeople in the major Scottish city. Mackintosh worked most closely with his wife, Margaret Macdonald (1864–1933); Margaret’s sister, Frances Macdonald (1873–1921); and Frances’ husband, James Herbert McNair (1868–1955). They met as students at the progressive Glasgow School of Art in 1892 and together were known as The Four.
Combining influences from the Arts and Crafts Movement, Celtic Revival, and Japonism, Glasgow artists created their own modern design aesthetic synonymous with sleek lines and emphatic geometries expressed in a wide range of materials. The exhibition presents 165 works of fine and decorative art, including architectural drawings, books, ceramics, furniture, posters, textiles, and watercolors, drawn from Glasgow’s most significant public and private collections.
Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style is a touring exhibition co-organized by Glasgow Museums and the American Federation of Arts. Support for the US national tour is provided by the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation.