Mackintosh letter donated to Glasgow School of Art

A section of the Mackintosh Building in the Glasgow School of Art as the restoration process continues. Picture: John Devlin
A section of the Mackintosh Building in the Glasgow School of Art as the restoration process continues. Picture: John Devlin
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A LETTER written by Charles Rennie Mackintosh is among a number of items being donated to the Glasgow School of Art.

The 1898 letter was addressed to Cameron Davidson, the young son of William Davidson, who commissioned Mackintosh to design the family home Windyhill in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, in 1900.

A section of roofing is lowered onto the Mackintosh Building last October. Picture: John Devlin

A section of roofing is lowered onto the Mackintosh Building last October. Picture: John Devlin

Davidson was in France and recovering from illness when the letter was sent to accompany a book of animals given as a Christmas gift by Mackintosh.

It wished him “a jolly Christmas and a very happy new year”, and also included Mackintosh’s hopes that the youngster would “soon be well enough to come back and tell us all about your adventures in a foreign land”.

The letter was donated to the Mackintosh-designed art school, along with a collection of around 30 books, by King Edward VI High School for Girls in Birmingham.

The donation is part of an extensive library which was gifted to the Birmingham school by a former headmistress Jean Wilks CBE last year. Miss Wilks had for many years cared for her friend and colleague Maggie Davidson - a grand-daughter of William Davidson.

There’s something quite poignant about the letter, given that Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald never had children of their own

David Buri

“This is an incredibly generous gift from the King Edward VI High School for Girls,” David Buri, librarian at the art school, said.

“Among the books are many on the life and work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh as well as books with a direct link to Mackintosh and the Davidsons.”

He added: “There’s something quite poignant about the letter, given that Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald never had children of their own.”

The donation was made following a call for help in replacing books lost in the fire which destroyed the art school’s library last May.

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