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  • Day4

    Charles Rennie Mackintosh

    August 8, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    For me, Glasgow means Charles Rennie Makintosh, Scotland's celebrated architect and designer, who became a leading figure in the Art Nouveau movement in the late 19th/early 20th century. His work is immediately recognisable with its fluidity of form and simplicity of line. He was well known for his treatment of a room as a complete "work of art". Much of his work was an artistic collaboration with his wife Margaret Macdonald. He took inspiration from Scottish traditions and blended them with the flourish of Art Nouveau and the simplicity of Japanese forms. There are still excellent examples of his work throughout Glasgow, not only in museums, but also whole buildings (such as the Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow School of Art, Queens Cross Church and Hill House). The next few entries will highlight some of our key Mackintosh experiences.

    Our first introduction to Mackintosh was at the Kelvingrove Museum, where a large collection of works by key names in the Glasgow Style are exhibited. Amongst them are Margaret Macdonald's stunning gesso panels "The Wassail", which were made for the Ladies Luncheon Room at Miss Cranston's Ingham StreetTea Room. Tea rooms were all the rage during this period and Miss Kate Cranston was an early proponent and leading entrepreneur. The panels depict the pagan fertility ceremony of wassailing, which aimed to promote a successful fruit crop. Another beautiful gesso panel "O Ye, All ye that walk in the Willowwood" was created for the Salon de Lux in the Willow Tea Rooms. Also on display was a setting from the Chinese Room (also known as the Blue Room), again from the Ingham Street Tea Rooms. This brief introduction to the work of Mackintosh and Macdonald set the scene for the remainder of our Glasgow exploration.
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