Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh is known as the father of the Glasgow style. The style was heightened primarily through the 1890s to 1910. Glasgow is identified by a lot of metal and woodwork as well as stained glass. There is a cabbage rose that is seen in much of Mackintosh’s work that was a defining factor. It was very nature based and natural. There were around 70 designers who participated in Glasgow and it mainly stayed local. Amongst those designers were Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald. Charles was an artist and an architect. Born in Glasgow, UK in 1868, Mackintosh grew up and became a designer. He started with working under his mentor John Hutchinson until he started working for Honeyman and Keppie, an architecture firm. Much of his art development came from his studies at the Glasgow School of Design. Under the watch of Francis Newbery, Charles evolved in his art and he became an exemplary student. While attending the school he met his future wife Margaret Macdonald, he worked closely with her and her sister while studying. An interesting fact is that his closest friend at Glasgow married Maragret’s sister. They all worked together and had a strong bond. His designs emerged during the Art Nouveau movement. Much of his art contains a lot of floral designs and a feminie figures. This aligns with the Art Nouveau movement and its primary style. He worked a lot with stained glass and also using new materials. He designed furniture as well as metal and more. He is very well known for his design of a new building for the Glasgow school. The building was postponed because of funding but it gave Mackintosh more time to perfect his design. It was finally completed in 1909. Many of his designs gained popularity in other countries but he was not very recognized in his local town. Part of Mackintosh’s career is almost a mystery. He reached a slump and struggled to find jobs. His career started to decline despite the quality of his work. Many do not know the reason and he had a partner that also struggled. Around this time Charles and his now wife, Margaret, went on vacation in Walberswick, England. While they were gone the first World War broke out and they never left, until forced to. Surprisingly, Mackintosh was suspected of spying because of his inspirational walks, activities, and accent. The military searched his belongings and asked him to move away from the area. He had picked up and moved to London. He was later joined by Maragret. He and his wife made ends meet by selling paintings and designing interiors. In 1928 Charles died from tongue cancer. He had received treatment and was unable to speak for many of the last months of his life. After both he and his wife had died their artwork was inherited by a friend and client. He then gave the work to the Glasgow school. Many of Mackintosh’s last years were spent painting and working with watercolor. Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a very influential designer and will forever be recognized for his architectural and design talents.

Works Cited

Crawford, Alan. “Mackintosh, Charles Rennie.” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 23 Sept. 2004,

“Charles Rennie Mackintosh.” Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society,

“The Glasgow Style.” The Glasgow Style, Accessed 4 Apr. 2022.