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English - Enterprising People

Enterprising People 14 - Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Enterprising: (adjective).  Showing initiative and willingness to undertake new projects.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 - 1928)

He was an architect and designer. His style blended art nouveau and celtic traditionalism. He designed the Glasgow School of Art. He was the fourth out of eleven children, and the second son. In 1906 he designed the Scotland Street School, which would become his last major architectural commission. He lived most of his life in Glasgow.

Asian style and emerging modernist ideas also influenced Mackintosh's designs. When the Japanese isolationist regime softened, shipyards building at the River Clyde were exposed to Japanese navy and training engineers; Glasgow’s link with the eastern country became particularly close. Japanese design became more accessible and gained great popularity.

This style was admired by Mackintosh because of its restraint and economy of means rather than ostentatious accumulation; its simple forms and natural materials rather than elaboration and artifice; the use of texture and light and shadow rather than pattern and ornament. In the Japanese arts furniture and design focused on the quality of the space, which was meant to evoke a calming and organic feeling to the interior.

Due to financial hardship, the Mackintoshes moved in 1923 to the south of France, as Port Vendres was a comparably cheaper location in which to live.

During this peaceful phase of his life, Charles Rennie Mackintosh created a large portfolio of architecture and landscape watercolor paintings. The couple remained in France for five years, before being forced to return to London in 1927 due to illness.

Mr S. Sutton

Try Our "Brain Challenge"


Five Questions!

Calculate how many brothers and sisters he had when he was born.

What was the reason why workers on the Clyde started to learn a bit more about Japanese culture?

In your own words, explain what is meant by “restraint and economy”. Check with a dictionary if you need to,

Why did mackintosh move to the South of France?

What is a “portfolio … of paintings”?

Five words!

Write the following words in your jotter. Look up the words in a dictionary, or ask an adult to help with their meanings. Write the meaning for each word in your jotter, beside the word.

 architect           accessible             modernist            ostentatious           regime   

Research/Personal Investigation

Identify and trace a copy of a traditional celtic design.

Using “bullet points”, find and record in your jotter 5 pieces of information about the Glasgow School of Art.

Mr S. Sutton

e-mail : english@kilmarnockacademy.co.uk                                                 tel: 01563 525509

  N. McIlvanney 2011