Mackintosh Architecture


‌‌Mackintosh Architecture
18 July 2014 - 4 January 2015
Hunterian Art Gallery
Admission £5.00/£3.00

Mackintosh Architecture celebrates the completion of a major research project led by The Hunterian, 'Mackintosh Architecture: Context, Making and Meaning'

It is the first substantial exhibition devoted to Mackintosh’s architecture, with over 80 architectural drawings, many never exhibited before, rarely seen archival material, and specially commissioned films and models.

The Scottish architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928), is celebrated worldwide, hailed variously as an exponent of art nouveau, a modernist, a symbolist, an artist-architect. Understanding of his architectural career has tended to focus on a familiar group of buildings and unbuilt designs, marked out by the individuality of their formal design and detailing. 
‌‌‌By contrast, the ‘Mackintosh Architecture’ project aims to establish a more rounded picture, placing Mackintosh within the context of the office of John Honeyman & Keppie / Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh and its extended network of clients, contractors and suppliers. High and low-status buildings are acknowledged – both were part of the professional architect’s output. And due weight is given to the functional and constructional aspects, financial and other practical constraints, which shaped a design as well as its aesthetic qualities. Particular emphasis is placed in the exhibition on Mackintosh’s domestic designs, which comprise some of his most significant achievements.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Monument Trust.
Sponsored by Turcan Connell.
Organised in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh, c. 1893 © Annan, Glasgow.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scotland Street School, N. elevation, 1904
© Image courtesy of CSGCIC Glasgow Libraries Collection. ‌All rights reserved.‌



Charles Rennie Mackintosh trained and practiced as an architect in Glasgow, the city of his birth, first with John Hutchison then, from 1889, with the newly established practice of John Honeyman & Keppie. He remained there till 1913. Victorian Glasgow’s expanding industrial and commercial base, population and economy offered multiple opportunities for architectural practices. Over 120 projects designed by him in whole or in part have now been identified. These include houses, commercial buildings, schools, alterations and additions, monuments, exhibition settings and competition entries. The range of his output, from assistant and draughtsman to mature architect, is shown in the exhibition.

Mackintosh’s precocious individuality is seen in designs for the Glasgow Herald building and Scotland Street Public School. His exceptional draughtsmanship is strikingly shown in perspective drawings for Queen’s Cross Church and the ‘Daily Record’ building, and competition entries for the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition buildings and Liverpool Cathedral. The years from the late 1890s to around 1906 were intensely productive. After this, Mackintosh’s career faltered. The partnership with Keppie was dissolved in 1913, and he moved eventually to London where he worked on a few, largely unrealized schemes.

Charing Cross, Glasgow c. 1900 © Annan, Glasgow.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Liverpool Cathedral: south elevation, 1901 or 1902
© The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2014.

'The Dwelling House'

'The Dwelling House'

Residential designs were among Mackintosh’s most significant contributions as an architect and designer. The exhibition features all of his major projects with original drawings, specially commissioned models and film.

Just four villas were built to Mackintosh’s design: Windyhill, The Hill House, Auchinibert and Mossyde. Windyhill and The Hill House present Mackintosh’s vision of a new architecture for Scotland, one which did not follow historical styles but was responsive both to the users’ requirements and to traditional Scottish building forms and materials. Auchinibert is unexpected; its ‘Old English’ style selected by the client not the architect. Mossyde evolved in three phases of work into a boldly massed stone-built home, linked to the vernacular tradition. A small group of 'ideal' designs from around 1900 included ‘The Artist's house in the country’, ‘The Artist's house in the town’ and the competition entry for a ‘House for an art lover’.

Behind these achievements was nearly ten years’ involvement as draughtsman and/or design contributor for new buildings and alterations. Though often minor, these jobs were important for providing opportunities for Mackintosh to develop and introduce individualistic detailing.

The Hill House, 1902–04
© The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2014.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Artist’s House in the Country, 1899–1900
© The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2014.

Honeyman and Keppie

Honeyman and Keppie

Mackintosh was not an isolated figure. Within the practice there was a team of draughtsmen, assistants and apprentices. And beyond the office a wide network of clients, contractors and suppliers – over 650 have been identified. The two partners, John Honeyman and John Keppie, played important roles as mentors and managers. Original drawings for their projects are included in the exhibition, many on display for the first time.

Scholar-architect John Honeyman (1831–1914) set up in practice in 1854, taking John Keppie into practice in 1888. He is best known for church design and restoration work but also designed schools, public buildings, many large houses and one exceptional commercial building, F. & J. Smith's furniture warehouse, later known as the Ca d'Oro Building.

‌‌‌John Keppie (1862–1945) trained with Campbell Douglas & Sellars, one of Glasgow’s leading architectural practices. A prize-winning student, he attended classes at the University of Glasgow, the Glasgow School of Art, and the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. An effective manager, networker and committee man, Keppie secured the future of Honeyman’s practice as well as delivering the majority of the firm’s output. His assured designs include the Parkhead Savings Bank and Hope Street tenement.

John Keppie, 1909, Coll. Glasgow Art Club.
John Keppie, Parkhead Savings Bank, 1906–8
© Image courtesy of CSGCIC Glasgow Libraries Collection. All rights reserved.

Further Information

Further Information

Mackintosh Architecture marks the completion of the landmark research project ‘Mackintosh Architecture: Context, Making and Meaning’ and the launch of the website

This four-year project provides the first authoritative catalogue raisonné of Mackintosh’s architectural projects; entries for other projects by his architectural practice, John Honeyman & Keppie / Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh during the Mackintosh years 1889–1913; images and data from the office record books; the first catalogue raisonné of Mackintosh’s architectural drawings; analytical and contextual essays; biographies of over 400 clients, colleagues, contractors and suppliers; a timeline; glossary; and bibliography.

The project was led by The Hunterian and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, with additional support from the Pilgrim Trust and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.  



Supporting displays
Mackintosh Travel Sketches
Charles Rennie Mackintosh: ‘Begonias’
William Davidson: Art Collector

Public programme

Mackintosh Architecture: A New Study
Friday 19 September 2014
Hunterian Art Gallery
One-day symposium focusing on the development and outputs of ‘Mackintosh Architecture: Context, Making and Meaning’. For further information and to register contact; telephone 0141 946 6600. Organised in association with the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society. Download symposium programme and booking form.‌

MUSE Exhibition Tours
Daily* from 26 July 2014
12.15pm and 3.15pm
Hunterian Art Gallery
Mackintosh Architecture exhibition tours given by our student MUSEs (Museum University Student Educators). Tours last approximately 30 minutes and are included in exhibition ticket price (£5.00/£3.00). *Excluding Mondays.

Walking Tour: ‘Sauchiehall Street: A Great Glasgow Thoroughfare’
This new online tour takes you the length of Sauchiehall Street and highlights its rich diversity of buildings from the Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco and modern eras. Take our online walking tour.

Doors Open Weekend 
Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 September 2014
Free admission to Mackintosh Architecture exhibition

Free Public Lecture
Sunday 21 September 2014
2.00pm – 3.00pm
Hunterian Art Gallery
‘Art and Domesticity: Mackintosh and the Dwelling House’ by Professor Pamela Robertson, The Hunterian

Lunchtime Talks
1.00pm - 1.15pm
Hunterian Art Gallery
Admission free

Wednesday 1 October 2014 
On the Drawing Board
Pamela Robertson, The Hunterian

Wednesday 8 October 2014 
Mackintosh and Europe
Nicky Imrie, University of Glasgow

Wednesday 15 October 2014 
William Davidson: Art Collector
Pamela Robertson, The Hunterian

Wednesday 22 October 2014 
John Keppie: Architect
Simon Green, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

Wednesday 29 October 2014 
The Hill House: Living with a National Treasure
Anne Ellis, former Property Representative, The Hill House

Wednesday 5 November 2014 
Modelling Mackintosh
Brian Gallagher, BG Models

Wednesday 12 November 2014 
The Paper Trail: Glasgow’s building records
Irene O’Brien, Glasgow City Archives

Wednesday 19 November 2014 
The stones that built Victorian Glasgow
John Faithfull, The Hunterian

Wednesday 26 November 2014 
Travels with Mackintosh
Pamela Robertson, The Hunterian

Drawing inspiration from Charles Rennie Mackintosh
24 October and 31 October 2014
10.00am – 3.00pm
Special practical art one-day event, available on two seperate dates, with curator Pamela Robertson and artist Steve McQueen. For further information and to book, contact Centre for Open Studies, University of Glasgow, telephone 0141 330 1835/1860;
Part of the Creative Mackintosh Festival 2014.

Book Reading - Esther Freud ‘Mr Mac and Me’
Sunday 12 October 2014 
2.00pm – 3.15pm
Hunterian Art Gallery
Admission free - booking required
Esther Freud will introduce her latest novel, ‘Mr Mac and Me’ which is set in Walberswick, Suffolk, and features Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald. Book your place.
Part of the Creative Mackintosh Festival 2014.

Architects in Conversation
Sundays 30 November, 7 and 14 December 2014
2.00pm – 3.00pm
Hunterian Art Gallery 
Admission free
A series of presentations by contemporary architects on themes inspired by the exhibition.