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Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Architect, designer and graphic artist born on 07.06.1868 in Glasgow.


Mackintosh grew up as the second of eleven children. His father Wilhelm Mackintosh was a chief police inspector. His mother was a housewife.

His father, a passionate amateur gardener, encouraged his children to work actively in the garden. This may have been the basis for Mackintosh´s floral design elements.

Mackintosh drew a lot - houses, plants and animals, during the rural excursions with the family. In 1884, at the age of 16, against his father's wishes, he joined the architectural firm of John Hutchinson, as he had already distinguished himself early on by his artistic skills.

From this time he also attended evening classes at the School of Arts and Crafts. Together with his group of friends, he became known as "The Four", who made notable contributions to the burgeoning Glasgow Style of British Art Nouveau.
After five years of training, he left in 1889 and joined the newly formed office of Honeyman and Keppie as a draftsman.
In 1890 Machintosh won a travel grant and was able to spend several months in Italy in 1891. By this time he had won several awards for drawing, painting and architecture. His most outstanding work is the Glasgow School Art at 167 Denfrew Street, whose rectangular structure is largely austere, clear and seemingly unadorned.

The firm of Honeyman and Keppie had won the competition with Mackintosh´s design. In 1896, Mackintosh made his mark as an interior designer, with his Art Nouveau designs for the Crauston chain of tea rooms, the realization of which can be seen at the Willow Tearooms in Glasgow. He designed without financial or artistic constraints, buildings, furniture and interiors - which included his famous chair designs.
Mackintosh, after having been commissioned by the architectural firm Honeyman and Keppie to produce numerous and successful designs, was able to join as a partner in 1904 and remained until 1915. Due to economic difficulties, the association was dissolved in 1915. Customers threatened to pull orders because of Mackintosh's unreliability. Life during the war became difficult. Nearing financial ruin, the Mackintosh family decided to move to the Pyrenees, where life was cheaper. In 1927 Mackintosh became seriously ill. He once again returned to London. He could not pay for the treatment himself. Penniless he wandered around London with his wife until his death in London on December 10th 1928