The Amazing Mr. Mackintosh

This new book follows the amazing life of Scotland's world famous architect, artist and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

See the buildings and furniture he designed, the people he met, the places he went and his stunning artwork.

Learn about art and have fun investigating your way through his life.

The book The Amazing Mr Mackintosh retails at £5.99 and can be purchased at good bookshops and online.

Review from the Glasgow School of Art Library

We've recently purchased some copies of a cracking little book, the first to be written about Charles Rennie Mackintosh which is aimed specifically at children. 'The amazing Mr Mackintosh' is partly in the form of a graphic novel, but includes photographs and key 'Mack facts'. If you think it sounds ghastly, you'd be quite wrong: it's entertaining, informative and accurate, and has been published by the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society (ISBN 9780955778117, £5.99). It's likely to appeal to anyone with an interest in graphic novels, and would also be a valuable introduction to Mackintosh for those less confident with the English language.

Review from Joëlle Burridge, age 11

This book is about the life of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It is a biography but it is written as if he is telling it. The author is Sha Nazir and it is illustrated by David Braysher. It starts with Charles introducing his family of 13. His father, who worked for the police and his mother who looked after him and his 10 other brothers and sisters. When Mackintosh was six they moved to a bigger tenement flat in the east of Glasgow in Dennistoun.

At the age of sixteen Mackintosh started work for the local architect John Hutchison which is where he learnt how to imagine people using rooms in buildings. In the evenings he was also studying at The Glasgow School School of Art. Then in 1889 he got a job at Honeyman and Keppie Architects.

In 1891 he won a competition which allowed him to go to Italy. He loved the amount of colour and decoration in the buildings there and this gave him many new ideas. At the School of Art he became friends with James Herbert McNair (another architect) and two sisters Margaret and Frances Macdonald who were artists. They started working together and were soon known as the ‘Spook School’ because of their ghost like designs.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed many buildings including The Glasgow School of Art, Queen’s Cross Church, The Hill House and Scotland Street School. He is also famous for interiors like The Glasgow Tea Rooms and 78 Derngate, for furniture design and painting as well as being invited to take part in exhibitions abroad.

Margaret Macdonald and Mackintosh became close and in 1900 they got married. From 1906 – 1914 they lived at 78 Southpark Avenue. They designed the interior of their home, bright and simple and used geometric patterns which was very different to most people’s houses at that time. In 1914 they moved to South East England and then onto London in 1915. Finally in 1923 Margaret and Mackintosh moved to Port Vendres in the South of France. By 1928 Charles Rennie Mackintosh was dead.

The cover of the book is a colourful design of him standing on a hill like a super hero and in the background there is some of his buildings. The title is big and bold and stands out well. Throughout the book there are many real illustrations, cartoon pictures and old photographs. All of the pictures include a lot of colour and are relevant to what is being said.

Although short, the book is full of interesting information and key facts about Mackintosh’s life. On some pages they also have a ‘Mack Fact’ which is a clever way of telling a more detailed bit of information. Overall the way the book is set out looks quite childish although the content is serious. On the page about Scotland Street School the “Can you find Mackintosh” bubble is obviously meant for younger children but I would recommend the book for older readers.

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