Mac(k)cessibility Project

Mac(k)cessibility: exploring digital display & digital loans of Mackintosh collection material through an Augmented Reality App!

GSA Archives & Collections are excited to announce the launch of an Augmented Reality App which will be available to download and use in galleries in 2020. Details to follow.

The App has been developed by GSA’s School of Simulation and Visualisation, through the School’s Archives and Collections, and with the generous support of Museums Galleries Scotland through the Museum Development Fund.

Recent events at The Glasgow School of Art have severely affected our Mackintosh Collection. The iconic Library, filled with Mackintosh pieces, was destroyed by fire in 2014 and a significant proportion of the Mackintosh Furniture Collection, which was stored above the library, was lost. Alongside the physical loss, GSA’s role as key custodian of all things Mackintosh, and its ability to loan works for exhibition around the world, has been dramatically reduced.

The “Mac(k)cessibility” project aims to:

This project enables GSA to re-position ourselves as key custodians of Mackintosh heritage, while exploring and addressing contemporary issues that are of potential use to the broader sector.

The furniture that has been selected for the App come from three settings, all of which were key to Mackintosh’s practice:

Domestic furniture

Mackintosh designed a series of domestic projects. Commissions included designs for furniture and decorative schemes, remodelling interiors, and creating entire homes. Only a handful of his interiors still exist. The most notable are: The Hill House in Helensburgh (1902 – 1904); Windyhill in Kilmacolm (1900 – 1901); 78 Derngate in Northampton (1916 – 1917); and the re-assembled interiors of the Mackintoshes’ Glasgow house (1906) which can be seen at the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Art Gallery.

Pieces included are:

Tea Rooms

Arguably Mackintosh’s most important patron was the tea-room entrepreneur, Catherine Cranston (1849 – 1934) who established four tea rooms across Glasgow city centre during the temperance era. These tea rooms created a refined and alternative social venue to the local pubs, providing refreshments and leisure activities throughout the day for working men and for women from the growing middle class. Mackintosh designed furniture for the Argyle Street tea rooms and created murals for the Buchanan Street tea rooms. He also provided furniture and interior designs for Miss Cranston’s tea rooms at Ingram Street and worked as architect and interior designer at the Willow Tea Rooms, Sauchiehall Street.

Pieces included are:

The Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art building, affectionately known as ‘the Mack’, is considered by many as Mackintosh’s masterwork. It was built in two phases between 1897 – 1899 and 1907 – 1909, and as such, it spans Mackintosh’s architectural career in Glasgow. Mackintosh designed the building, its interior detailing, and many pieces of furniture, including complete sets for the Library and the Board Room. The interiors reflected many influences including the English Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau and traditional Japanese architecture.  ‘The Mack’ and its contents were severely damaged by fire in 2014 and 2018, however, many items of furniture survive in the School’s collection. After the 2014 fire, a full 3D scan of the building was made and this, along with the results of an extensive programme of conservation work, provide us with a detailed record of the building and its interiors.

Pieces included are: