In the late nineteenth century, the Glasgow style became the main expression of Art Nouveau in Britain. This exhibition showcases Charles Rennie McIntosh – the greatest exponent of Glasgow’s style – as an architect, designer, and artist, and also contextualizes his production within the broader range of designers and craftsmen in a major Scottish city.
Rennie Mackintosh worked most closely with his wife Margaret MacDonald, sister Margaret, Frances MacDonald, and husband Francis James Herbert McNair. They met while students at the Glasgow progressive art school in 1892, and were collectively known as the “Four”.
Glasgow artists have created their own contemporary design aesthetic. It became synonymous with sleek lines and expressive geometry, expressed in a wide range of materials.
The exhibition features 165 pieces of fine and decorative Mackintosh art, including architectural drawings, books, ceramics, furniture, posters, textiles, and watercolors from Glasgow’s most significant public and private collections.
Designing the New: Charles Rennie McIntosh and Glasgow Style is a traveling exhibit hosted by Glasgow Museums and the American Federation of Arts.
Rennie Mackintosh design exhibition showcases artworks from the collections of the Glasgow City Council. The US National Tour is supported by the Dr. Lee McCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation.
In recent centuries, few creative personalities have possessed the range of artistry demonstrated by Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). The artist was a man equally versed in architecture, interior design, and painting. When Americans wanted to see his best work in the decades after his death, they made vigorous study trips to his hometown of Glasgow, where he worked with his close associates.
Then 25 years ago, Glasgow museums sent in a major exhibit that bounced across the continent from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, and collectors are still reaching for the 1996-1997 Charles Rennie McIntosh catalog on the shelf for reference. But finally, Design of the New: Charles Rennie McIntosh and Glasgow Style – a fresh take on the artist – opened June 12 for a three-month show at the Frist Museum of Art in Nashville.
The exhibition, organized by Glasgow Museums in cooperation with the American Federation of Arts, featured 165 artifacts from public and private collections, showcasing the work of Mackintosh and his closest associates. In addition to real architectural drawings, furniture, posters, ceramics, textiles, books, and paintings, there will be video tours of real buildings in Scotland.
Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the museum is housed in the city’s splendid Art Deco post office, which opened in 1934. When it was repurposed, the goal was to attract high-quality exhibitions, and this goal has been consistently pursued. The Macintosh follows the wildly popular Picasso Figures earlier this year and will be replaced later in 2021 by the perfectly matched American Art Deco: Design for People 1918-1939.
Anyone fully interested in the exhibition and catalog should visit the website of the Charles Rennie McIntosh Society of Glasgow, crmsociety.com. View history, find more books about the artist, access online conversations and tour options, and view notifications when artwork appears on the auction market. The Society’s international headquarters is in Macintosh Queens Cross, the only church he designed that, for your information, is available as a memorial site for weddings and renewal of vows.