Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born on June 7, 1868, in Townhead, Glasgow, Scotland, to William McIntosh, a superintendent and chief clerk working for Glasgow Police. He was a renowned architect, designer, artist, and watercolorist who became a notable figure in various art movements, such as the Symbolist, Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts, and Glasgow Style. He started his career as an apprentice to architect John Hutchinson while attending evening sessions at the Glasgow School of Art. He is famous for designing the Glasgow School of Art and Kate Cranston’s tearooms. He was married to Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, an English artist. Later in life, he was diagnosed with tongue and throat cancer and died in 1928.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born on June 7, 1868, in Townhead, Glasgow, to William McIntosh and Margaret Rennie. His father worked for Glasgow City Police. As a youngster, he was extremely interested in painting and spent much time sketching. Mackintosh once suffered from a rheumatic disease that resulted in a lifelong droop on one side of his face. When the family purchased a two-story house on the outskirts of Glasgow, he redesigned the fireplace and decorated the walls. He studied architectural and technical drawing. Between the ages of 15 and 25, he studied part-time at the Glasgow School of Art while working as an intern for the architect Hutchinson. Additionally, he interned as a painter under the school’s director, Francis Newberry. Mackintosh and his friend, Herbert MacNair, met Margaret and Frances Macdonald at art school. They all started working together on furniture, metalwork, and illustration. Their style was recognized as the “Spook School,” and they became well-known as “The Four.”
Between 1896 and 1917, Cranston, a businesswoman from Glasgow, who was the daughter of an affluent tea merchant, wished to construct tea rooms where people might have tea while appreciating art. Together with his wife Margaret Macdonald (of the Macdonald sisters), Mackintosh redesigned all four of Cranston’s tearooms in Glasgow. After the outbreak of World War I, he was detained on suspicion of being a German spy. However, he was released shortly thereafter. After this incident, he and his wife relocated to London, where he was unable to find employment. His wife immediately joined the city’s creative community. His mental health continued to decline, and they faced financial difficulties. In 1923, the couple moved to Port Vendres in southern France for an affordable life. Mackintosh and his wife grew increasingly ill and had to relocate to London for treatment. He was diagnosed with tongue and throat cancer and died in 1928.
Mackintosh bags a job with Glasgow's renowned architecture firm, Honeyman and Keppie.
He is invited to the eighth Vienna Secessionist exhibition.
Mackintosh moves up in the company Honeyman and Keppie, as a partner.
Mackintosh's proposal to design the second part of the Glasgow School of Art is accepted, and the project is finished two years later.
Why We Love Charles Macintosh
He blended various styles
The Glasgow School of Art (1896 to 1909) is recognized as the earliest authentic example of Art Nouveau architecture in Great Britain. It was one of Mackintosh's most noteworthy architectural endeavors. Since he was inspired by his Scottish upbringing, he combined the flourish of Art Nouveau and the simplicity of Japanese forms.
His work is timeless
In the late 20th century, there was a revival of interest in his work. Eventually, reproductions of Mackintosh chairs were produced. He developed his distinct style very well.
He was hardworking
He interned under artists and architects while studying part-time at the Glasgow School of Art. He stayed devoted to his work and created his individual style by blending different styles belonging to different cultures. For example, he blended European architecture with Japanese architecture.
5 Surprising Facts
He altered his name
Around 1893, he, like his father before him, altered the spelling of his name, from 'McIntosh' to 'Mackintosh' for unexplained reasons.
His middle name
His middle name, ‘Rennie,’ was his mother’s maiden name which he preferred to adopt.
His posthumous fame
Much of the fame he received was posthumous, and many of his designs were implemented after his demise.
He designed two private houses
He designed the Windyhill in Kilmacolm and the Hill House in Helensburgh.
He lost his speech
Due to malignant growth in his tongue and throat, Mackintosh lost the capacity to speak in his latter years.
Charles Macintosh FAQs
What was Charles Rennie Mackintosh famous for?
He was famous for his unique style. Around 1900, the Glasgow Style was shown in Europe and profoundly affected the Viennese Art Nouveau movement known as “Sezessionstil.” Mackintosh was also a designer of interiors, furniture, textiles, and metalwork. Later in life, he primarily worked as a watercolorist, portraying scenery and flower studies.
What made Charles Rennie Mackintosh leave Glasgow?
After growing conflicts, he stepped down as a partner at Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh in 1913. Glasgow was experiencing general fiscal problems, with many businesses closing. He attempted to open his own office, but he was unable to find work.
How many siblings did he have?
Mackintosh was the fourth of 11 children born to his parents. Unfortunately, only five sisters and one brother survived to adulthood. Mackintosh and his wife did not have any children.
Charles Macintosh’s birthday dates