This week’s gem from the Stoddard - Templeton Design Archive is a small design attributed to Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The Glasgow born artist, designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), as we all probably know, is today celebrated internationally as one of the most significant figures in design history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since the late 1980s he has enjoyed something of a renaissance in popularity and is now known around the world as one of Glasgow’s most famous sons.
Mackintosh’s contribution to modern architecture and design is unquestioned, but it may surprise some that he also dabbled in textile design. Some of his designs for carpets in, for example, the Hill House in Helensburgh and Miss Cranston’s tea rooms in Ingram Street in Glasgow form part of the Mackintosh collection in the University’s Hunterian Art Gallery.
The design in the Stoddard – Templeton collection is, unfortunately, in frankly terrible condition. It is tiny, badly torn and some pieces are missing. Furthermore it has been completed on tracing paper rendering it even more fragile, and has also been badly framed at some point, damaging the design even more. Nevertheless, the title on this (now removed) frame reads as follows, dismissing almost all disappointment about the poor condition of the sketch (There’s nothing a good conservator can’t fix anyway…):
The fact that James Templeton & Co Ltd commissioned or collected designs by a now important, though at that time, avant garde and modern designer, shows how forward thinking the company were. Hopefully the variety of styles and designers chosen as the subjects of our blog each week help not only to reinforce how rich and useful a resource the design archive will be for researchers, but also how incredibly progressive the company could be in terms of the designs they created.
This will be my last friday gem, so I thought I’d save the best (well, biggest name) til last. I hope you’ve enjoyed the weekly blog thus far. The catalogue will be launched and the collection will be accessible for researchers later in the year – keep an eye on the project blog for updates. I bid you farewell and leave you with some of my favourite designs from the collection.
Categories: Archive Services (GUAS)