Heritage & Monuments

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Scotland / Europe

The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Plaque at 70 Parson Street, Townhead, marks the birth place of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), instigator of the Glasgow Style. He was born here on 7 June 1868, the fourth of eleven children. His father was Chief Clerk to the City of Glasgow Police. In 1890 he won a travelling studentship in memory of Alexander “Greek” Thomson (1817-75), to study ancient classic architecture. Later he became a partner at the architects, Honeyman and Keppie. While he became respected in Austria and Germany for his Art Nouveau designs and work as a painter and water colourist, with exhibitions in many European cities, he was less understood in Glasgow in his lifetime. Mackintosh was responsible for many projects in Glasgow, including the Glasgow Herald Building (now The Lighthouse: Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture) within the city centre in 1899, making his name with the Glasgow School of Art on Renfrew Street (now the Mackintosh Building), built between 1897 and 1909, Queen’s Cross Church at Maryhill 1897-99, and the Willow Tea Room on Sauchiehall Street, opened in 1902. In 1914 he moved to Suffolk with his artist wife, Margaret Macdonald, eventually moving to Port-Vendres in the South of France, where he painted in watercolours. He died in London, almost forgotten, in 1928. But his fame has grown considerably since his death.

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