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Friday, 03 February 2012

Mad For Mackintosh - Page 2

Written by John Thomson
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Inside, Mackintosh continued the angular theme I first saw in his chair, especially in the Library with its dropped light fixtures and window treatments. His wife Margaret, an accomplished artist in her own right, softened her husband’s hard-edge sensibilities with floral motifs on the wall.

“Where dae ye think yer going?” the uniformed security guard shouted out as I was halfway down the hallway. Anxious to see inside I had scurried through the main doors and didn’t see the sign that tells, indeed commands, visitors to check in with security. The School doesn’t want tourists wandering the halls interrupting classes. Instead, student volunteers are on hand to escort visitors through the building. Tour times are posted on the School’s website at

Having already sneaked a peek, I skipped the formal tour and hopped on the subway, the third oldest in the world after Budapest and London.  “One fare, 15 stops and don’t call it the Tube. You’re not in London and it will only infuriate the locals,” I was told.

George Street

By now my curiosity was piqued and I was burning through the Mackintosh trail. I got off at the Kelvinhall stop and walked to the Hunterian Art Gallery on the grounds of the University of Glasgow. Mackintosh’s 1906 residence or at least parts of it – the hall, the dining room, a living room and the main bedroom - have been moved from their original location and reassembled here for public display. Mackintosh and his wife designed everything themselves right down to the fireplace decorations. They even removed interior walls to create more space, a radical innovation at the turn of the twentieth century.

The display was breathtaking in its simplicity. Sunlight bounced off the stark white walls accentuating the open plan. Mack’s angular motif, lots of right angles and variations on the square, was repeated in the floor, the furniture and the wall decorations.  Everything was coordinated. A bit too coordinated.  I felt like I was in a museum piece which of course I was and I wondered if Mack and his wife ever felt the same way. Probably not. I longed for a piece of half-eaten toast on the dining room table or a pile of dirty clothes at the foot of those oh-so-perfect matching beds.

(Page 2 of 4)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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