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RIBA exhibition to focus on work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

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An exhibition of work by Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) will open at the RIBA in February, including more than 60 original drawings and watercolours.

The exhibition – entitled ‘Mackintosh Architecture’ – is curated by Pamela Robertson, senior curator and professor of Mackintosh studies at the Hunterian, University of Glasgow, and will mark the launch of a new website cataloguing the architectural works of Charles Mackintosh.

Discussing the works going on display at the RIBA, Robertson said: ‘The exhibition challenges the idea of Mackintosh as an isolated genius by showing the context of his work and paying attention to his network of supporters, contractors and suppliers.’

Artist's house in the country by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Image: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

Artist’s house in the country by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Image: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

The exhibition will cover the whole of Mackintosh’s career and includes original ink drawings for projects such the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland Street School, Glasgow Herald Building and Windyhill.

Although widely celebrated today, Mackintosh was less popularly known during his lifetime.

‘Mackintosh was always known among design and architecture circles, but wider popular awareness dates to the 1960s,’ said Robertson. ‘There was a major centenary exhibition in 1968 in Edinburgh, which then travelled to London, which was the first time his work was seen by a major public audience.’

The regeneration of Glasgow in the mid-1980s also helped to raise the profile of many of Mackintosh’s works, with the Willow Tea Rooms being refurbished from 1979-1980, with part of the building reopening as a tea room; the Hunterian being refurbished from 1980-1981; and Hill House being transferred to the National Trust in 1982.

‘There was a momentum of access [to Mackintosh’s buildings], and his legacy became available in ways it was not before,’ said Robertson. ‘This came alongside the renaissance of post-industrial Glasgow, and the marketing of the city also raised his profile.’

Mackintosh Architecture
Architecture Gallery, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD
From 18 February – 23 May 2015




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