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Examples of Mackintosh Fabric

  • DC 020
  • Collection
  • c1900-1986
  • Trimming of mauve linen, pre-1914
  • Original cover of Charles Rennie Mackintosh Willow Tea Rooms settle
  • 4 samples of horse hair fabric
  • ample of purple fabric used to re-upholster Charles Rennie Mackintosh yellow settle
  • Letter from GSA Curator regarding 2 of the fabric samples, dated January 1986

Open, lugged ginger jar

Ginger jar without a lid. Handpainted green leaves around the mouth and a yellow design around the body. Two small handles on either side. Signed "AMcB" on the bottom. Ginger jars were initially used to store and transport spices and have been used as decorative items. Similar in shape to a Mary Fairgrieve two-handled pot - possibly a large sugar basin - decorated with a typical Glasgow School design that is featured in the Scottish Pottery 25th Historical Review 2013.

Macbeth, Ann

China tea service

Part set of painted china tea service. Green/yellow lustre glaze over painted flower pattern on white china blanks. Lustreware is a type of pottery or porcelain (china) with a metallic glaze that gives the effect of iridescence due to the metallic oxides in the overglaze finish. Because lustre glaze is not underneath the glaze, it is ephemeral and wears away over time. One plate suffered damage in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. It has since undergone conservation.

Macbeth, Ann

Pot with lid

Pot: Yellow lustre glaze on white blank. Lustre glaze covers body of pot. Handpainted green and brown band of flowers around the rim of the pot with a brown handle. 'W    Gep.L.Ashworth Bros. Ltd Hanley England 1917' stamped on the bottom. Lid: Yellow lustre glaze on white blank with brown knob on top. Handpainted green and brown band of flowers around the edge the lid with a small opening for a spoon.

Macbeth, Ann

High-back settle

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. All that remains is a badly damaged copper repousse panel. This was assessed by a conservator but no conservation work was deemed possible. Settle with high back and wings. The style of the settle is very similar to work produced by Wylie & Lochhead and it is most likely that it was made by this firm. The fabric was probably designed by Samuel Rowe. The woven fabric covering of the settle was woven by the firm of A H Less of Birkenhead in 1897 and is jacquard woven and warp-printed wool and cotton. Warp printing was a special technique used by this firm. Although Lee's bought designs from a numbers of leading freelance designers it is uncertain who designed this particular piece although it is likely to have been by Samual Rowe.

Not available / given

Armchair

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. Painted white wood with inlaid metals and wood.

Birch & Co

Velvet collar

Embroidered dark fawn silk and velvet collar. There are several reasons for the attribution to Jessie Newbery: the very fine quality of the fabrics used; the method of construction; the quality of the stitching; the colours used; the simplicity of the design which complements the shape of the collar so effectively and the use of silver metal clasps.

Newbery, Jessie Wylie

Armchair cover

Rectangular yellow armchair cover. Thought to be by Ann Macbeth. This item was damaged in the fire in GSA's Mackintosh Building on 23rd May 2014. Textile conservation was completed in 2019.

Not available / given

Exhibition labels

Identification labels removed from the backing boards of various (now lost) exhibition frames including 'Exhibition of British Architects', London, 1914 and 'Mackintosh Memorial Exhibition', McLellan Galleries, Glasgow, 1933.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Furniture and Interiors

Includes:

  • chairs
  • tables
  • benches
  • ettles
  • periodical and writing desks
  • mokers' cabinets
  • beds
  • mirrors
  • washstands
  • bookcases
  • cabinets
  • linen presses
  • dressers
  • fenders
  • hat, coat and umbrella stands
  • a baptismal font, letter racks
  • light-fittings
  • clocks.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Reproduction Furniture

A series of facsimile armchairs were commissioned by GSA between 2003 and 2005 to replace the original armchairs (from 1904 and 1906) that remained in situ and in daily use within the Director's Room and Board Room of Glasgow School of Art.

Bruce Hamilton Furniture Makers

Heart of the Rose

Designed for the 'Rose Boudoir', International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Art, Turin, 1902. 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, Margaret Macdonald

A Pond

Bound in the November 1894 edition of 'The Magazine'. "It must have been something like this watercolour.... that evoked the 'critics from foreign parts' (as reported by Gleeson White in The Studio, pp88-9) to deduce 'the personality of the Misses MacDonald from their works' and see them as 'middle-ages sisters, flat footed, with projecting teeth and long past matrimony... gaunt, unlovely females'. Gleeson White who visited Glasgow to see the Mackintosh group was pleasantly surprised to meet two laughing comely girls scarce out of their teens." (MacLaren Young).

MacNair, Frances Macdonald

Leaf of Gold

In 1896 McNair held his first one-man show, an exhibition of pastels at the Gutekunst Gallery, London. Twenty-one works, including this, were displayed in distinctive dark-stained wood frames. McNair had clearly drawn inspiration from Whistler’s exhibition installations, even down to the typesetting of the catalogue. The entry for this work explained, ‘The Fairy is guarding the Leaf of Love from the Witch of Evil who has robbed the Tree of Life of all its other leaves.’

MacNair, James Herbert

'Vanity' mirror

Beaten lead mirror with peacock designs.
The mirror was almost certainly part of the furnishings of the Mackintoshes Southpark Avenue flat taken over by William Davidson when he purchased the flat.

MacNair, James Herbert

Furniture drawings

One sheet from a folder of six sheets of furniture designs, and designs for a fireplace, including one with a GSoA label recording session 1903-1904, James Porteous' student registration number 237, and Mr Taylor as his tutor. This sheet shows front elevations of a chair, a dressing table and a cabinet.

Porteous, James Henry

Mackintosh Art, Design and Architecture Collection

  • MC
  • Collection
  • c1891-2018

Items in The Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh collection include: furniture, watercolours, drawings, architectural drawings, design drawings, sketchbooks, metalwork and photographs.

The majority of Mackintosh's three-dimensional work was created with the help of a small number of patrons within a short period of intense activity between 1896 and 1910. Francis Newbery was headmaster of The Glasgow School of Art at the time and was supportive of Mackintosh's ultimately successful bid to design a new art school building, in 1896 - his most prestigious undertaking. For Miss Kate Cranston he designed a series of Glasgow tearoom interiors and for the businessmen William Davidson and Walter Blackie, he was commissioned to design large private houses, 'Windyhill' in Kilmacolm and 'The Hill House' in Helensburgh. In Europe, the originality of Mackintosh's style was quickly appreciated and in 1900 he was invited to participate at the 8th Vienna Secession.

In 1902 Mackintosh was invited to participate at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Art in Turin and later at exhibitions in Moscow and Berlin. Despite this success Mackintosh's work met with considerable indifference at home. Few private clients were sufficiently sympathetic to want his 'total design' of house and interior and he was incapable of compromise.

By 1914 Mackintosh had despaired of ever receiving true recognition in Glasgow and together with his wife Margaret Macdonald he moved, temporarily, to Walberswick on the Suffolk Coastline (in England), where he painted many fine flower studies in watercolour. In 1915 the Mackintoshes settled in London and for the next few years Mackintosh attempted to resume practice as an architect and designer. The designs he produced at this time for textiles, for the 'Dug-out' Tea Room in Glasgow and the dramatic interiors for 78 Derngate in Northampton, England show him working in a bold new style of decoration, using primary colours and geometric motifs.

In 1923 the Mackintoshes left London for the South of France, finally living in Port Vendres where Mackintosh gave up all thoughts of architecture and design and devoted himself entirely to painting landscapes. He died in London, of cancer, on 10 December 1928.

The majority of Mackintosh's design work, (including furniture and metalwork), architectural drawings, textile designs and watercolours are in the possession of three public collections - The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow Museums, and the Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow - although significant (individual) pieces can be found in museums across the UK and Europe, North America and Japan. However, some of Mackintosh's most important, symbolist watercolours from the early to mid-1890s are to be found in the collection of The Glasgow School of Art.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Ladder-back chair for Willow Tea Rooms

Designed for the Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow. These chairs were 'the most successful solution of Mackintosh's attempts to use traditional, vernacular designs' (Roger Billcliffe). However they evidently proved too fragile in use, for all the surviving examples have had an additional cross piece fixed to the top of the uprights (apparently at an early date) to support them. This chair was used in conjunction with the low boxy chair as the main seating unit in the Willow Tea Rooms. 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

Ladder-back chair for Willow 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 the Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow. These chairs were 'the most successful solution of Mackintosh's attempts to use traditional, vernacular designs' (Roger Billcliffe). However they evidently proved too fragile in use, for all the surviving examples have had an additional cross piece fixed to the top of the uprights (apparently at an early date) to support them. This chair was used in conjunction with the low boxy chair as the main seating unit in the Willow Tea Rooms.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Stool for Willow Tea Rooms

Designed for the Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow. These chairs do not appear in any contemporary photographs but the provenance suggests that they came from the Willow Tea Rooms as the Grosvenor Restaurant owned Willow furniture. Reupholstered in blue horsehair 1985. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Table for Room de Luxe, Willow 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 the Room de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow. Contemporary photos of the Willow Tea Rooms do not show where these tables would have been placed, the edge of one seems to be visible between the bow windows, but the legs are identical to those on the square or oblong tables for the Room de Luxe. Probably while the tables belonged to the Grosvenor Restaurant, they were over-painted black (like the yellow couch from the Dug-Out, MC/F/84). In 1986 the black paint was removed and the tables repainted silver with an aluminium paint similar to the original (paint sample analysed by Kelvingrove conservators). At the same time missing glass insets were replaced. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Low-backed armchair for the Director's Room, Glasgow School of Art

Designed for the Director's Room, Glasgow School of Art. Twelve chairs were made in 1904 for the GSA, but William Davidson acquired a further two, with six of MC/F/58 for use as dining chairs in the hall at Windyhill. Twelve chairs reupholstered in brown horsehair 1984. One chair on loan from Glasgow University, returned 1984. This item was assessed for conservation in 2010 as part of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project (2006-2010).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Chest of drawers for Glasgow School of Art

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 the Glasgow School of Art. 'A very simple piece which seems to have been designed specifically for the GSA. A certain amount of furniture was made in 1904 for the Director... but Mackintosh did further work for the GSA in 1906 and 1907-09 so this piece could date from as late as 1909.' (Roger Billcliffe).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Chair for Windyhill

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 Windyhill, Kilmacolm. A variant of the GSA armchair, acquired by Davidson for use as dining chairs in the hall at Windyhill. After 1919 they were used by him at 78 Southpark Avenue, Glasgow. Four chairs reupholstered in brown horsehair 1984. Four chairs on loan from Glasgow University, returned 1984.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Baptismal font for Abbey Close Church

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 Abbey Close Church, Paisley. Mackintosh also designed the pulpit, pulpit screen and lights for this church, but the church has been demolished and all the other fittings destroyed. In the job books of Honeyman and Keppie, under Abbey Close: Oct.24 1905, James Dyce & Son, new font, £4.7.6. March 26 1906, Andrew Hutchinson, silver basin, £2.0.0.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

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