Biography of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Photo of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was an early twentieth century architect and designer.

When and Where was he Born?

7th June 1868, Glasgow, Scotland.

Family background:

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was the son of a Police Superintendent.


Allen Glen’s School. Apprenticed to an Architect, John Hutchinson. Attended evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art where he met Margaret MacDonald.

Timeline of Charles Rennie Mackintosh:

1884: Mackintosh is apprenticed to the firm of John Hutchinson.

1889: He joins the firm of Honeyman and Keppie as an architectural assistant.

1890: Charles Rennie Mackintosh wins a traveling Scholarship and tours extensively in Italy, Belgium and France.

1891: He works with Margaret MacDonald and her sister Frances and her husband Herbert McNair and the group become known as “The Four” and the “Glasgow Style” is born. They exhibitboth in London and abroad in Vienna and Turin.

1893: He designs his first major commission, the Glasgow Herald Newspaper building. Known as the Lighthouse.

1897: He designs the Glasgow School of Art and Queen’s Cross Church.

1899: Mackintosh designs Windyhill, Kilmalcolm.

1900: He exhibits at the Vienna Sezession. He marries Margaret MacDonald, a fellow student at Glasgow.

1901: Now married Mackintosh and Margaret continue to work together and enter many international competitions. They design the Warndorfer Music Salon in Vienna and the Exhibition Room in Moscow.

1901-03: Designs are produced for the “House for an Art Lover” (In Bellahouston Park, Glasgow), the Hill House in Helensburgh for the publisher Walter Blackie, Scotland Street School and the Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street for Miss Kate Cranston.

1902: Mackintosh organises the Scottish section of the Turin Exhibition.

1904: He becomes a partner in Honeyman and Keppie.

1906: He becomes a Member of the Royal Institution of British Architects. The Mackintoshes moved to 78 Southpark Avenue, Glasgow and he remodels the interiors of the Victorian home. (The house was purchased by the University of Glasgow in 1946).

1914: Mackintosh moves to Walberswick in Suffolk.

1915: He moves to Chelsea in London where he begins working on designs for fabrics, furniture and book covers.

1916: He designs the interior of 78 Derngate, Northampton for the industrial designer W. J. Basset-Lowke.

1923: He moves to Port Vendres in the South of France where he mainly works on landscape painting.

1927: Charles Rennie Mackintosh returns to London to receive treatment for cancer.

(1933): Death of Margaret.

When and Where did he Die?

10th December 1928, London, England of cancer of the tongue.

Age at Death:



1900 to Margaret MacDonald, a fellow student at Glasgow.

Site of Grave:

Cremated at Golder’s Green Crematorium, London.

Places of Interest:


The Lighthouse Museum, Mitchell Street.
The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, Queens Cross Church, 870 Garscube Road.
Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street. (burned down twice in the last few years).
The Willow Tea Rooms, 217 Sauchiehall Street.
House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park.
The Hunterian Gallery, 82 Hill Head Street (Holds reconstructed Interior of the Mackintosh House).
Scotland Street School, Museum of Education, 225 Scotland Street.


78 Derngate, Northampton.


The Hill House, Kennedy Drive, Helensburgh.