Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a list of questions we are frequently asked about Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

1. When was Mackintosh born?

Charles was born at 70 Parson Street, Glasgow on 7 June 1868. He was the fourth of eleven children to William McIntosh (1837-1908), and Margaret Rennie (1837-1885). His father became a police superintendent in Glasgow.

2. Where/when did he die?

He died on 10 December 1928 in London after treatment of cancer of the tongue.

3. When did he leave Glasgow?

The Mackintoshes left Glasgow in 1914 for an extended holiday in the quiet coastal village of Walberswick in Suffolk. During the year they spent there, Mackintosh produced a series of beautiful watercolour paintings of flowers.

4. Why did he leave Glasgow ?

He resigned as a partner of Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh in 1913 after mounting tensions. It was a time of general economic difficulty in Glasgow, with many firms closing. He tried to set up his own office, but he could not attract any work.

5. What is his most famous building?

The Glasgow School of Art (1896-99 & 1907-9) is regarded by many as his masterpiece, where he gives full expression to his architectural ideals.

6. Did he have siblings?

Charles was the fourth of eleven children to William Mcintosh (1837-1908), and Margaret Rennie (1837-1885). Unfortunately only 7 survived to adulthood, 5 sisters and a brother. Charles and Margaret did not have any children of their own.

7. When did he begin to make jewellery?

The jewellery seen today is simply 'inspired' by Mackintosh as he made only a few private pieces for his wife.

8. Where did he meet Margaret Macdonald?

He met Margaret in 1889 when he attended classes at the Glasgow School of Art

9. Did Margaret Macdonald influence his work?

In 1927 he wrote to Margaret that she was half, if not three-quarters, of the inspiration for his architectural work.

10. What is a good 'all round' book on Mackintosh?

The World of Arts series by Thames and Hudson have produced an excellent book on Charles Rennie Mackintosh by Alan Crawford. The book has a wealth of new research that gives a concise understanding of the man and his work. ISBN0 500 20283 4

11. Where can drawing of his buildings/furniture be found?

At the Glasgow School of Art and the Hunterian Art Gallery and Museum by appointment only.

12. When did Margaret die?

Margaret died on 7 January 1933 in Chelsea, London after a short illness.

13. Did he die in poverty?

When they decided to settle in France, in 1923 they were fairly hard-pressed financially but could live and eat well there far more cheaply than in London and Margaret had a small private income.

14. Was he academically bright?

All records from his first school, Reid's Public School, were destroyed by fire but it is known that he suffered form some sort of dyslexia as he always had difficulty with spelling but showed an early talent for drawing. He decided, at 16, on architecture.

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