There’s a gem to be found nestled in the sprawl of Glasgow. And, it’s worth the search.
When you hear the word Mackintosh, you likely think of a yellow raincoat. But, there were other Mackintosh notables. Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), the architect/designer/artist, was one of them.
Considered a pioneer of the Modern Movement, his vision balanced opposites: modernity with tradition, masculine with feminine, light with dark, sensual with chaste.
His inspiration was fed by association with Margaret (an artist in her own right who later became his wife) and Frances Macdonald and James Herbert McNair.
Known as the Group of Four they produced some of the most avant-garde decorative and graphic design of the time.
In 1901, Mackintosh entered a German competition to design an Art Lovers House. He and Margaret expressed their creative genius in the design of the house, including all the furniture and fixtures within.
When you enter the Art Lovers House you feel like you are walking through a masterpiece rather than viewing it on a gallery wall.
You become one with the all-encompassing experience of the art.
The modernity expressed includes a touch of Japanese influence and is, today, as modern in feeling as it was when conceived.
While Mackintosh’s design was lauded by the judges for its absolutely original character, impressive design, and inner and outer cohesiveness, it didn’t win the contest. But it would have if Mackintosh had submitted all the drawings specified in the comprehensive rules of entry by the deadline.
For 80 years, his drawings were lost to the world. Then, in 1989 Graham Roxburgh was inspired to dust off the plans and actually build Mackintosh’s dream.
And he did.
The house opened to the public in 1996. If you don’t have time to visit the Art Lovers House in Glasgow, at least treat yourself to a YouTube tour.