Charles Rennie Mackintosh: architect of choice for Doctor Who and Madonna

From sci-fi libraries to steampunk tearooms, his dazzling creations made Glasgow a design paradise – and even crop up in Blade Runner, Doctor Who and Madonna videos. We join in the 150th anniversary celebrations ‘Those who want to see art should bypass London and go straight to Glasgow,” wrote the German critic Hermann Muthesius in 1902. “Glasgow’s take on art is unique,” he added. “In architecture, it is a new, young city.” What most caught his eye was the work of a young couple, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, who were quietly making wildly original furniture, buildings and interiors. These struck him as utterly “divergent from everything that is familiar”. Fusing the sinuous forms of art nouveau with rugged Scots baronial motifs and exotic Japanese touches, their designs were a startling sight – too much for many British critics to stomach. Continue reading...

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