Celebrating Mackintosh 150 with the Reflecting Mackintosh Collective

An exclusive Craft Design House collection
Mackintosh 150
2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s birth.

Mackintosh’s innovation and style were a break with tradition, a move towards integrated design and clean lines, a new vision for a new era, and it remains relevant today, over a century later.

The styles, architecture and art school that Glasgow is known for have all been shaped at some point in their development by the work of Mackintosh, and it is impossible to soak up the atmosphere of the city without acknowledging on some level the contribution of Mackintosh and his contemporaries. Whether it is the spidery Willow font menus, the sweeping art nouveau ironwork, the vast modernist expanses of glass window, or the inescapable Mockintosh rose.

To celebrate this anniversary, a large exhibition of Mackintosh’s is on display in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum (30th March – 14th August 2018) and other event spaces curated by Glasgow Life. Craft Design House worked alongside Glasgow Life to create a unique 21st-century collection of new craft and design work to accompany it.

Reflecting Mackintosh Collective
The collection is the result of reflections on Mackintosh’s work and not direct distillations of it. ‘Reflecting Mackintosh’, will showcase leading craft and design in 2018, with each of the designers and makers celebrating their own unique interpretation of Mackintosh’s work, 150 years after he was born.

For many of the designers and makers involved, all of whom are either living in Scotland or have close links with the country through their work, their artistic training has been infused with the works of the designer, artist and architect. ‘Reflecting Mackintosh’ is an extraordinary opportunity to see what Mackintosh really means to the new generations of craftspeople and designers who are following in his footsteps, and what it is about his work that speaks to them. Every creation is highly personal and draws on a different aspect of his work.

And yet, Mackintosh’s work was very much not just his own. His story and his output are testament not only to his own genius but to the support of the people he worked with: of his wife and fellow artist Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh: of her sister Frances MacNair and her husband Herbert, who along with Charles and Margaret made up the famed ‘Glasgow Four’ and were instrumental in the birth of the Glasgow Style; of the Glasgow School of Art and its director who nurtured the talent and vision of this young quartet; of Miss Cranston, a Glasgow businesswoman who gave Mackintosh his first substantial commission and offered him patronage; of later patrons such as Walter Blackie, a publisher and former owner of Hill House in Helensburgh, for which Mackintosh was commissioned to oversee the whole of the works; and of the Art Nouveau movement on the continent that recognised the vital contributions of ‘the Four’ to the Art Nouveau oeuvre. Throughout 2018 we will be publishing a range of articles on this period of Glasgow’s architectural and artistic history and the people who made it possible.

Working with partners the ‘Reflecting Mackintosh’ collective will be available through select venues throughout the year, the range will be available exclusively through Craft Design House and our partners on this project.

‘Reflecting Mackintosh Collective': a bespoke retail collection to compliment Mackintosh 150 launched 30th March 2018.

Watch our Reflecting Mackintosh Collective video, an eye-opening glimpse into the designer makers and their inspirations for the practices.

2018 is the year to delve into the history of Scottish design and its contemporary practitioners, and to reflect more than ever on the significance of the work and talent that we have on our doorsteps.