2018 is the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, visit Glasgow and explore the life and times of the city's cultural icon in the year long programme of special events!
Born in Glasgow on 7 June 1868, Charles Rennie Mackintosh went on to be regarded as one of the most creative figures of the 20th century and a leading figure in both the Scottish Arts and Crafts Movement and European Art Nouveau. As an architect, designer and artist, Mackintosh left a legacy of magnificent work and is considered one of the key figures of the Glasgow Style, leading to a fantastic collection of Mackintosh buildings, drawings and designs in the city.
This year, take the opportunity to explore all the venues across Glasgow as well in nearby Helensburgh (all listed below), Dundee's V&A Museum, and at 78 Derngate in Northampton.
Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style Gallery, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is home to Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style Gallery, the largest permanent display of work in the world by the key names in the Glasgow Style movement. The gallery includes a fantastic collection of objects from this internationally important period of design and decorative arts, including furniture, stained glass and metalwork, as well as reconstructed rooms from the Mackintosh designed Ingram Street Tearooms.
Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1903, Miss Cranston’s original Willow Tea Rooms in their Sauchiehall Street location has undergone restoration by the Willow Tea Rooms Trust. Visitors can now enjoy the new exhibition, visitor centre, tea room and gift shop, showcasing the achievements of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh and Miss Kate Cranston. This world class cultural and heritage attraction is one not to miss during the year of Mackintosh's 150th anniversary!
The Hunterian is home to an unrivalled collection of work by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, the artist Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. Located on the University of Glasgow campus, The Hunterian features The Mackintosh House, a meticulous re-assembly of the principal interiors of their Glasgow home. These beautiful rooms are outstanding works of art in their own right, making the Mackintosh House a must-see attraction for Mackintosh fans.
The Lighthouse in Mitchell Lane is a great starting place to learn about Mackintosh and his work with the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre providing informative timelines, models, photos and drawings detailing his life, work, and lasting legacy.
Amongst the centre’s special Mackintosh 150 programming will be an ongoing series of archive film footage exploring aspects of Mackintosh’s architecture and the city of Glasgow, through screening events and exhibitions as well as an installation in the water tower in partnership with Cryptic/Sonica.
‘All The Young Nudes’ meanwhile will take inspiration from the works of Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald and deliver two exciting life drawing events with The Lighthouse, which will present vibrant, multimedia scenes with live music for attendees to sketch and develop their drawing skills.
Visaurihelix – Louise Harris (July 12 - February 2019) Marking the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s birth, sound and audiovisual artist Louise Harris takes inspiration from the many geometric forms found in his architecture to transform the Tower of The Lighthouse. Ascend through an interactive sound installation, which sees rods, reminiscent of piano strings strung across the staircase.
Pluck and play your accompaniment to a new electronic composition, which is enhanced by visuals emanating from the Tower base. Taking music making to new heights, Visaurihelix is a soaring celebration of the great man who gave us ‘The Glasgow Style.’ William Chambers X CRM (1 August - 7 October 2018) at The Lighthouse
As part of the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s birth, this exhibition features hats by one of the UK’s leading milliners, William Chambers. Pieces on display are from his Autumn-Winter 2018 collection, which was inspired by Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style. Exclusive exhibition-only pieces will also be on display.
William Chambers X CRM
William Chambers originally studied at the Scottish College of Textiles before starting his millinery business in 2008. He now creates handmade hats and headpieces that are stocked in the country’s top department stores, as well as in his own hat shop and atelier in Glasgow city centre. He has won Accessory Designer of the Year three times at the Scottish Fashion Awards, regularly shows at London Fashion Week and his designs have appeared in Vogue, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Glamour, Tatler and Wallpaper. Chambers seeks to modernise millinery with a fresh look at how we dress the head today.
Chambers said of the collection: “With 2018 being such a special year for Mackintosh, I felt it was finally time to pay homage to my fellow citizen and the rest of the Glasgow Four. Toshie and I share a love of geometry, line and florals, and these can be seen throughout the collection.”
The Hill House at The Lighthouse
The Hill House at The Lighthouse (4 August - 23 September)
The Hill House was designed and built between 1902–1904 for the publisher Walter Blackie, with Mackintosh continuing to create new pieces for the house in the years thereafter.
Objects on display at the exhibition include suites of furniture from the stunning White Bedroom and Drawing Room, as well as individual pieces that stand out as design icons.
The Hill House Exhibits
Visitors will see the instantly recognisable ladder back chairs, jewel-like mosaic glass and geometric shapes worked in a multitude of forms. Over 30 objects from The Hill House are presented in the exhibition, between them charting the progression of Mackintosh’s design ideas as he worked with different outlines, materials and motifs.
This unique opportunity to see these objects in Glasgow has arisen as the charity which owns The Hill House - the National Trust for Scotland - is undertaking an extraordinary conservation project which will place a mesh ‘box’ over and around the building to allow it to dry out in order to tackle long-term water ingress, with some key items of the collection removed during the construction phase.
Marie O’Connor (October 6-7)
In response to Charles Rennie Mackintosh's textile designs and 150th anniversary, Marie O’Connor will produce a new body of work resulting in an interactive installation where visitors can dress up in motifs from Mackintosh textiles, bringing the designs to life. The workshop will take place over two days with a resulting exhibition of the documentation and objects to take place in the Mack room from mid-October onwards.
*The Glasgow School of Art
Following a major fire in the Mackintosh Building on the 15 June 2018, The Glasgow School of Art visitor centre, shop and exhibition spaces in the neighbouring Reid building are currently closed to visitors. Mackintosh at the GSA Tours and Mackintosh’s Glasgow Walking Tours will cease to operate during this closure period. For upcoming events, lectures and degree shows at The Glasgow School of Art, view their events calendar.
Steeped in culture and heritage, Glasgow Art Club on Bath Street has long been a meeting place for generations of the city’s most innovative and creative inhabitants. The Grade A-Listed Clubhouse is resplendent with historically significant interior features – many of which were designed by Mackintosh when he was only 25 years old! This includes the recently recreated Mackintosh Frieze - painted in 1893, the stencilled artwork was Mackintosh's first major public work and the centrepiece of the club's Gallery.
In 2018, Glasgow Art Club will operate free guided tours every Tuesday from the beginning of October until mid-December.
House for an Art Lover was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1901 but was not built until 1989, using plans he submitted as part of a competition in German art magazine ‘Zeitschrift für Innendekoration’. Built to exceptional standards, the building houses a beautiful Main Hall, Dining Room, and a Music Room, which all form part of the unique atmosphere that you'll find in this amazing building.
As part of Mackintosh 150, Scotland Street School Museum have a special tour called “What I myself consider my own personal ideal” – a family orientated building tour exploring Mackintosh’s difficult relationship with the school board and the mysterious symbols he incorporated into his design.
Mackintosh grew up just over the road from Glasgow Cathedral, and as a young man living in Dennistoun, sketched details of the building and its surroundings. Later in life he worked to redesign the Cathedral’s chancel, alongside many other moments where his work - and interests - led him back to this iconic building. Curated by Dr James Macaulay, a world-renowned authority on Mackintosh, this exhibition features selected sketches and photographs, and is designed by Fiona MacDonald for exhibition at Glasgow Cathedral Festival 2018.
Entry is free (donations welcome), for more details and opening hours, visit: www.gcfestival.com
Charles Rennie Mackintosh Go Glasgow App
To honour Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the City of Glasgow has installed an innovative network of Bluetooth beacons at all Mackintosh venues so when you're walking around the city, each beacon communicates with the Go Glasgow app to reveal the story of each building as you arrive or pass by. The app also provides practical information for each venue, Mackintosh news & events and a map of all the venues. The app is free and you can download from either the App Store or Google Play.
A house of beautiful contrast, Mackintosh's Hill House was built as his vision of a "home for the future" between 1902 and 1904, and is considered one of his greatest works. The Hill House is currently closed while they carry out an exciting project to protect it from the rain. They hope to reopen this iconic Mackintosh property towards the end of 2018, find out more about the restoration.
The Mackintosh Club, Helensburgh
Designed in 1894 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Mackintosh Club is Helensburgh's creative hub for Architecture, Art, Design and Music and will host a programme of exhibitions, workshops and food and drink events for 2018.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room: V&A Dundee
Unseen for 50 years, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room is the largest of Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street Tearooms and will be conserved and installed as the centrepiece of the new V&A Dundee’s Scottish Design Galleries. The new museum opens to the public on the 15th of September and presents the perfect chance to see a rare piece of his work.
Mackintosh 150 cocktail
Inspired by the great Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his rose motif, The Principal Grand Central Glasgow has unveiled their bespoke Bouquet of Roses cocktail menu in the iconic Champagne Central. Each cocktail is named after a different coloured rose, infused with a beautiful blend of ingredients - check out the full Mackintosh inspired menu.
If you’re planning to travel from Scotland’s other cities to experience Mackintosh’s 150th anniversary, ScotRail make getting to Glasgow easy. The city has direct rail links to all of Scotland’s major cities, with trains every 15 minutes from Edinburgh and at least every hour from Dundee and Aberdeen. You’ll get the best value fares when you travel off-peak and can also save up to 65% when you book up to 12 weeks in advance.
For over 50s, ScotRail’s Club 50 scheme offers a year-round 20% discount for members, as well as seasonal flat fare promotions.