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Mackintosh, Charles Rennie
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Italian Sketchbook

This sketchbook consists of 81 pages of sketches made by Charles Rennie Mackintosh during his trip to Italy in 1891 funded by his Greek Thomson travelling scholarship prize money. The subjects he sketched are mainly architectural, with the one he felt to be most impressive being labelled 'A Caution'. Each sketch is labelled with the name of the city or town in which it was sketched. In 1890 Mackintosh won the Alexander 'Greek' Thomson Travelling Scholarship with a design for a public hall, which enabled him to take an extensive tour abroad from February to July 1891. He left Glasgow for London on 21 March 1891, sailing from Tilbury on the Thames on 27 March and arriving in Naples on 5 April. He then visited Palermo in Sicily, Rome, Orvieto, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Bologna, Ravenna, Ferrara, Venice, Padua, and Vicenza, arriving in Verona on 10 June 1891. The Sketchbook contains drawings from the later part of Mackintosh's tour, from 10th June, with sketches, mostly of architectural and sculptural details, beginning with Verona. It covers Verona (11-14 June); Mantua (14 June); Cremona (14-15 June); Brescia (16 June); Bergamo (17 June); Lecco (18 June); Cadenabbia and Lake Como (19-25 June); Como (26-27 June); Milan (28 June-6 July); Pavia (7 July-?); Certosa di Pavia (probably several days around 12 July); Paris and Chateau d'Ecouen (late July?); Antwerp (late July? - briefly visited on his return journey). It also contains several pages of designs for the Glasgow Art Club (1892-3) and the Glasgow Herald Building (1893-5). The drawings themselves are almost all pencil sketches, some of which are now quite faint.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

The Descent of Night

Appears in The Magazine, April 1894. 'The central figure is based upon that used in the 1893 design for a diploma for the GSA and like that in 'The Harvest Moon', has wings like an angel. Here, however, she appears naked and her outstretched arms and hair merge and are transformed into barren tree-like forms. These descend to the horizon behind which the sun is gradually disappearing under the feet of the winged figure. From the bottom of the picture, and directly beneath the sun, rises a flight of menacing birds. They are presumably nocturnal birds of prey and they seem to be flying directly towards the viewers. This is one of Mackintosh's earliest uses of this strange bird, which was to become more stylised and to appear in many different forms, in several media in his oeuvre.' (Roger Billcliffe).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Autumn

Bound in volume, The Magazine, November 1894. 'Behind a stylised tree stands another of Mackintosh's mysterious female figures, but this is the first one to appear that is not meticulously drawn. Only the head is shown in any detail, and the shape of the body is hidden by a voluminous cloak from which not even its limbs appear. This figure was to be repeated many times, becoming more and more stereotyped until, with the banners designed for the Turin Exhibition in 1902, the head is the only recognisably human part of a figure with a twelve-foot long, pear shaped torso. In 1895-96, Mackintosh was to develop this drawing into a poster for the Scottish Musical Review (Howarth, p1, 9F). The same cloaked figure appears with similar formal emblems at the ends of the branches of the bush.' (Roger Billcliffe).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Cabbages in an Orchard

From The Magazine, April 1894. The long text by Mackintosh which accompanies this watercolour in The Magazine (reproduced in full in Billcliffe's catalogue) suggests that he had already encountered public hostility to his work, possibly even from fellow students, on the grounds of incomprehensibility.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Dressing Table for Guthrie and Wells

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. Designed for Guthrie and Wells, Glasgow. This and others pieces of green stained furniture made by Guthrie and Wells, were collected by William Davidson for his house Gladsmuir and later in Windyhill. Guthrie and Wells, originally founded as a painting and decorating firm by J and W Guthrie, who entered into partnership with Andrew Wells in 1895, played an important role in the history of decor and design in Glasgow. They were the most important of the stained glass studios emerging in Glasgow in the 1890s, supplied furniture, glass, mosaics etc and had a reputation for first class craftsmanship and always employed excellent designers. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

The Tree of Personal Effort

From The Magazine, Spring 1896. Inscribed: The Tree of Personal Effort, The Sun of Indifference, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, January 1895.' The exact meaning of the symbolism of this work, and its companion, 'The Tree of Influence' has eluded all commentators on Mackintosh's early water-colours. The obvious source of the symbolism is nature, and Mackintosh here reaches his most extreme distortion of organic forms.' (Roger Billcliffe).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Washstand for Guthrie and Wells

Designed for Guthrie and Wells, Glasgow. This and others pieces of green stained furniture made by Guthrie and Wells, were collected by William Davidson for his house Gladsmuir and later in Windyhill. Guthrie and Wells, originally founded as a painting and decorating firm by J and W Guthrie, who entered into partnership with Andrew Wells in 1895, played an important role in the history of decor and design in Glasgow. They were the most important of the stained glass studios emerging in Glasgow in the 1890s, supplied furniture, glass, mosaics etc and had a reputation for first class craftsmanship and always employed excellent designers. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Linen Cupboard for John Henderson

Designed for John Henderson.'One of the earliest surviving pieces with repousse panels, here designed by Mackintosh. Although probably made by cabinet makers such as Guthrie & Wells, it has none of the more traditional mouldings that appear on the commercial bedroom units, probably because Mackintosh was designing directly for a client. The pendant leaf motif at the base was slowly transformed in later pieces, into a characteristic dip in the lower stretcher or apron based upon a favorite Mackintosh motif, the swooping bird.' (Roger Billcliffe). This item was assessed for conversation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access project (2006-2010), and then again in 2018 following the fire in the Mackintosh Building in June 2018.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

The Magazine

There are 4 known surviving volumes: The Magazine 1893, The Magazine April 1894, The Magazine November 1894, The Magazine 1896.

The Magazine was a publication of original writings and designs by students from the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland, and their friends. Appearing in 4 volumes between November 1893 and Spring 1896, The Magazine contains text from contributors handwritten by Lucy Raeburn, editor, accompanied by original illustrations. These volumes are the only known copies of The Magazine. In addition to rare, early watercolours and designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the volumes contain early designs by Frances MacDonald and Margaret MacDonald, at a stage in their development which has been labelled 'Spook School', and two sets of photographs by James Craig Annan, when he was beginning to establish a reputation at home and abroad. Among other contributors were Janet Aitken, Katherine Cameron, Agnes Raeburn and Jessie Keppie, all of whom enjoyed lengthy careers in art and design.

The Magazine is similar to an album amicorum such as those which originated in the middle of the 16th century among German university students, who collected autographs of their friends and notable persons, sometimes adding coats of arms and illustrations. The Magazine resembled the album amicorum in that contributions were by a close group of students and their friends and is all the more interesting because the illustrations were produced by young people who had a common social background, were trained at the same school, and subjected to the same artistic influences. The contributors were closely linked, some by family, some by romantic attachments and had close social connections. Other contributors include C Kelpie, John M Wilson, Jane Keppie, and Ethel M Goodrich. Source: Jude Burkhauser, Glasgow Girls: women in art and design (Edinburgh : Canongate, 1990) The Magazine has been digitised in its entirety, and is available to search and browse at www.gsathemagazine.net/

Raeburn, Lucy

Chest of Drawers for Regent Park Square

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).
Designed for Mackintosh's bedroom at 27 Regent Park Square, Glasgow, probably to match the bed. This and others pieces of green stained furniture made by Guthrie and Wells, were collected by William Davidson for his house Gladsmuir and later in Windyhill. Guthrie and Wells, originally founded as a painting and decorating firm by J and W Guthrie, who entered into partnership with Andrew Wells in 1895, played an important role in the history of decor and design in Glasgow. They were the most important of the stained glass studios emerging in Glasgow in the 1890s, supplied furniture, glass, mosaics etc and had a reputation for first class craftsmanship and always employed excellent designers.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Linen Cupboard for Gladsmuir

Designed for the nursery, Gladsmuir, Kilmacolm. Probably made by Guthrie & Wells. The wide vertical panels running either side of the back of the cupboard, here terminating in two decorated lugs, are a motif Mackintosh often used in later work. One of Mackintosh's early pieces which William Davidson acquired for his home in his parents' house Gladsmuir before he built Windyhill. Original photos of the Windyhill interiors show it located in the hall.
This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Bed for Regent Park Square

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd of May 2014. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).
Designed for Mackintosh's bedroom at 27 Regent Park Square, Glasgow, probably to match the chest of drawers.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Writing desk for Gladsmuir (Version 3)

This item suffered significant damage in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014.
The majority of this piece of furniture was lost, however a brass repousse panel plus three handles, all damaged, were salvaged and have undergone conservation and consolidation work.The original item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Writing desk for Gladsmuir (Version 6)

This item suffered significant damage in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014.
The majority of this piece of furniture was lost, however a brass repousse panel plus three handles, all damaged, were salvaged and have undergone conservation and consolidation work.The original item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Schoolroom table for Gladsmuir

This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).
Designed for Gladsmuir, Kilmacolm. Two tables and two benches were made for the schoolroom at Gladsmuir, probably at the same time as the bookcase. The thistle motif pierced in the sides of the legs of the benches is repeated in the leaded glass of the bookcase.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Schoolroom table for Gladsmuir

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).
Designed for Gladsmuir, Kilmacolm. Two tables and two benches were made for the schoolroom at Gladsmuir, probably at the same time as the bookcase. The thistle motif pierced in the sides of the legs of the benches is repeated in the leaded glass of the bookcase.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Schoolroom bench for Gladsmuir

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).
Design for Gladsmuir, Kilmacolm. Designed to match the schoolroom tables and bookcase, the thistle motif pierced in the legs being repeated in the leaded glass of the bookcase.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Schoolroom bench for Gladsmuir

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).
Designed for Gladsmuir, Kilmacolm. Designed to match the schoolroom tables and bookcase, the thistle motif pierced in the legs being repeated in the leaded glass of the bookcase.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Writing desk for Gladsmuir (Version 1)

This item suffered significant damage in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014.
The majority of this piece of furniture was lost, however a brass repousse panel plus three handles, all damaged, were salvaged and have undergone conservation and consolidation work.The original item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Writing desk for Gladsmuir (Version 2)

This item suffered significant damage in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014.
The majority of this piece of furniture was lost, however a brass repousse panel plus three handles, all damaged, were salvaged and have undergone conservation and consolidation work.The original item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Writing desk for Gladsmuir (Version 5)

This item suffered significant damage in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014.
The majority of this piece of furniture was lost, however a brass repousse panel plus three handles, all damaged, were salvaged and have undergone conservation and consolidation work.The original item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Writing desk for Gladsmuir

This item suffered significant damage in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014.
The majority of this piece of furniture was lost, however a brass repousse panel plus three handles, all damaged, were salvaged and have undergone conservation and consolidation work.The original item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).
Desk with hinged top, designed for Gladsmuir, Kilmacolm.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Bookcase for Gladsmuir

Designed for the schoolroom, Gladsmuir, Kilmacolm. The same two metal panels first appear in the design for the fireplace and fender probably intended for Regent Park Square and were repeated in the wardrobe designed for Westdel in 1898. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Writing desk for Gladsmuir (Version 4)

This item suffered significant damage in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014.
The majority of this piece of furniture was lost, however a brass repousse panel plus three handles, all damaged, were salvaged and have undergone conservation and consolidation work.The original item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Writing desk for Gladsmuir (Version 7)

This item suffered significant damage in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014.
The majority of this piece of furniture was lost, however a brass repousse panel plus three handles, all damaged, were salvaged and have undergone conservation and consolidation work.The original item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Upholstered armchair for Argyle Street Tea Rooms

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).
Designed for Argyle Street Tea Rooms, Glasgow. 'One of the most successful and comfortable pieces from Argyle Street. The drawing D1897.21 indicated that it was intended for the Ladies Reading Room, of which no photographs survive.' The only chairs in the collection surviving with their original upholstery.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

High-back chair with oval back rail

Designed for 120 Mains Street, Glasgow and also for the Luncheon Room, Argyle Street Tea Rooms, Glasgow. Stylistically, the most advanced piece of furniture designed for Argyle Street and used by Mackintosh again in his own flat. The examples in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the V&A in London were formerly in the GSA collection and donated by Douglas Percy Bliss, GSA director, in 1958. The horsehair and rush seats were reupholstered 1985-86. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Card table for Argyle Street Tea Rooms

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. Designed for Argyle Street Tea Rooms, Glasgow. A very similar table with a square top was also used in the Argyle Street Tea Rooms, and a white version appears in Annan's photograph of Mackintosh's drawing room in Mains Street. Top repaired and repolished 1985. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

High-back chair with oval back-rail

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. Designed for 120 Mains Street, Glasgow and also for the Luncheon Room, Argyle Street Tea Rooms, Glasgow. Stylistically, the most advanced piece of furniture designed for Argyle Street and used by Mackintosh again in his own flat. The examples in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the V&A in London were formerly in the GSA collection and donated by Douglas Percy Bliss, GSA director, in 1958. The horsehair and rush seats were reupholstered 1985-86. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Armchair for Argyle Street Tea Rooms

Designed for the Argyle Street Tea Rooms, Glasgow. One example appears in contemporary photographs of the Luncheon Room, but several others, possibly used in the ground floor apartments at Argyle Street, have survived. (Roger Billcliffe). The pierced motif in the side panels is the same as in the oval back-rail chair, MC/F/14. In a sketch the same chair but with a slightly taller back is used in a bedroom design (repro. Alison as principal bedroom, Westdel, Queen's Place, 1901). It is quite possible this chair was used in other commissions besides Argyle Street.
This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Design for the Grand Hall, Glasgow International Exhibition, 1901

The competition, held in 1898, was won by the Glasgow architect James Miller with a considerably more ornate design for a 'bit of Spanish baroque confectionery' (McLaren Young). Like Miller's, Mackintosh's design derives from James Sellars' for the 1888 Glasgow exhibition, but simplified. 'The dome, perhaps a prerequisite for Glasgow exhibitions, remained, but it was presented with severe geometricality, with an Art Nouveau lantern surmounted by a Chinese coolie hat.'

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

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