A fresh look at a familiar icon – Mackintosh Architecture at The Hunterian

A new exhibition at The Hunterian is set to challenge the customary view of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, offering a fresh look at this familiar icon. Mackintosh is celebrated internationally as one of the most creative and individual artists and designers of the early 20th century but his core activity as an architect has been remarkably under-researched.

Mackintosh Architecture is the first major exhibition to be devoted to Mackintosh’s architectural work, featuring over 80 architectural drawings from The Hunterian and collections across the UK. Many have never been exhibited before and are on display alongside specially commissioned film, models and rarely seen archival material.

Challenging the familiar view of Mackintosh as the isolated genius, the exhibition presents the wider context of the practice of Honeyman, Keppie and Mackintosh, introducing the contractors, suppliers and clients who supported the delivery of the buildings and outlining the building process, from initial planning permissions to final inspections. The exhibition also has a particular focus on Mackintosh’s designs for dwelling houses.

Mackintosh Architecture is the result of a landmark four-year research project led by The Hunterian which delivers the first comprehensive evaluation of Mackintosh’s architectural career.

The project, Mackintosh Architecture: Context Making and Meaning, has also resulted in a major new online resource. The website launches on 18 July and provides a richly illustrated catalogue of Mackintosh’s architectural projects and architectural drawings, over 3000 images, 350 biographies, timeline, interactive map, glossary and bibliography. www.mackintosh-architecture.gla.ac.uk

Mackintosh Architecture opens at the Hunterian Art Gallery on 18 July and runs until 4 January 2015.

The exhibition is supported by three special displays which showcase Mackintosh’s skills as a draughtsman and designer, largely drawn from The Hunterian’s unrivalled Mackintosh Collection: Mackintosh Travel Sketches; William Davidson: Art Collector; and Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Begonias.

Mackintosh Travel Sketches presents a selection of drawings and sketchbooks, including studies from the north of Scotland, drawings of the castle at Holy Island, Northumberland, and later complex drawings from Cintra, Portugal.

William Davidson: Art Collector displays highlights from the art collection of one of Mackintosh’s most important patrons and Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Begonias focusses on one of Mackintosh’s most beautiful late still-life compositions, accompanied by botanical drawings and floral textile designs.

Mackintosh Architecture is sponsored by Turcan Connell. It has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Monument Trust. Organised in association with RIBA, London.

Mackintosh Architecture: Context, Making and Meaning has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, with additional support from the Pilgrim Trust and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

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