Modern Master Mackintosh Exhibit Opens at Chicago's Art Institute

By Barbara Hertenstein Of the Post-Dispatch | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), April 6, 1997 | Go to article overview

Modern Master Mackintosh Exhibit Opens at Chicago's Art Institute


Barbara Hertenstein Of the Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Until 30 years ago, wrecking crews in Glasgow were tearing down buildings designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Today, he's the city's hero.

The Scottish architect and designer, born in Glasgow in 1860, is known for his unique style, which combined the starkness of hard-edge Arts and Crafts with the sensous curves of Art Nouveau. You can visit Mackintosh's most famous buildings in Scotland, have a cup of tea in the Willow Tea Room, and walk the streets of Glasgow, soaking up the atmosphere that influ enced his designs. But much closer to home, you can see the Ladies Luncheon Room from Miss Cranston's Ingram Street Tea Rooms and more than 250 examples of Mackintosh's work in "Charles Rennie Mackintosh," a visually rich exhibit that opened last weekend at The Art Institute of Chicago. Seeing Mackintosh's work in Chicago, home to Frank Lloyd Wright's early work, is especially appropriate. While both were influenced by the British Arts and Crafts movement, each spawned a unique design style of his own. "Both designed total environmets that not only spoke of individual works, but of something more powerful," said Ghenete Zelleke, curator of the Mackintosh exhibition in Chicago. The parallels between Glasgow and Chicago, both expanding second cities home to industry and trade, are just as intriguing. The chronologically arranged show tells the Mackintosh story through sketches, drawings and paintings, original furniture, stained glass panels, portions of whole rooms and several carefully executed models of houses and schools that were among Mackintosh's early commissions. A highlight of the show is a room from Cranston's tea rooms, designed by Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret Macdonald, in 1900. Catherine Cranston, a character who dressed in Victorian costume, was one of the first to give Mackintosh free reign in interior design. Like most of Mackintosh's work, the tea rooms blur the boundaries between architecture and interior design, creating a totally integrated environment. The couple designed virtually everything used in the room, from the wall panels that define the space to the menus and the waitresses' dresses and necklaces. The room has been recreated using the original chairs, light fixtures, coat racks and wood panels. Tables are set with homey blue willow china. A pale scrim outside the windows creates a ghost-like image of Glasgow. Above eye level are stunning oil-painted gesso panels by Macdonald, who was one of the most skilled workers in gesso at the time. The panels are set with glass beads, thread, mother of pearl and tin leaf. (You can inspect a smaller one at close range later in the exhibition.) "We unpacked more than a thousand huge crates just for the tea room alone," said Daniel Robbins, a coordinator of the exhibit in Glasgow. The tea rooms, designed between 1900 and 1911, had remained open until the 1940s. In the '50s, the entire complex was bought by Glasgow Corp. In the '70s the entire room was dismantled piece by piece and put into storage. The restoration took more than four years. The Mackintosh exhibit opened in Glasgow last spring, where it was seen by more than 200,000 people. A Changing World The turn of the century was a time of easier communication among artists and architiects like Mackintosh, Wright, William Morris, the Vienna Secessionists and other European artists, so there is a continuing controversy over who influenced whom. Several of these designers, including Mackintosh, were influenced by Japanese design.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Modern Master Mackintosh Exhibit Opens at Chicago's Art Institute
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.