Glasgow gears up to mark 150 years of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

A MAJOR celebration of the life and legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh is to be staged in his home city to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth.

A Mackintosh-designed chair, now in the Hunterian
A Mackintosh-designed chair, now in the Hunterian

Museums chiefs in Glasgow have unveiled plans for a new exhibition of treasures linked to the celebrated architect, artist and designer.

Little-seen objects and artefacts from the city’s collection are expected to go on display along with a host of significant loans and acquisitions in 2018, to coincide with the official anniversary.

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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which is home to the largest permanent display devoted to Mackintosh and his colleagues in the Glasgow Style movement, will be hosting the blockbuster show.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Glasgow Life, which runs the attraction, will also be joining forces with a host of other organisations to stage city-wide celebrations in honour of Mackintosh, whose work has long been revered around the world.

Officials behind the celebrations say they want to use the 150th anniversary to “reinvigorate and grow the city’s Mackintosh offer”. Funding to the tune of £57,000 has been secured from Museums Galleries Scotland to help appoint someone to oversee the preparations for the show and the wider celebrations.

Born in Glasgow in 1868, Mackintosh was to become one of the leading lights of the British Arts and Crafts movement in the 19th century after serving an apprenticeship to architect John Hutchinson and enrolling in night classes at Glasgow School of Art.

His best-known creations include the 1909 building he designed for the art school, that was badly damaged in a fire two years ago, Scotland Street School Museum, in Tradeston, House for an Art Lover, in Bellahouston Park, and The Willow Tearooms, on Sauchiehall Street.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said: “We’re delighted that Museums Galleries Scotland has supported our ambition to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s birth in 2018.

“We are working with a wide range of stakeholders to bring together plans to celebrate the 150th anniversary. There is widespread recognition that we can use the anniversary to reinvigorate and grow the city’s Mackintosh offer. The funding will allow us to appoint an assistant curator to help bring these plans to fruition. More details will be made public in due course.”

A dedicated display of Mackintosh work will be a centrepiece of Dundee’s V&A museum, which will open in 2018.