Mackintosh Architecture website at The Hunterian

At the recent international coupDefouet congress on Art Nouveau held at the University of Barcelona (June 26–29, 2013), Pamela Robertson, Senior Curator and Professor of Mackintosh Studies at The Hunterian in Glasgow, introduced a substantial new scholarly project documenting the architectural career of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928). The project, led by Robertson along with research contributed by Joseph Sharples and Nicky Imrie, aims to make a complete digitized catalogue raisonné of architectural drawings and photographs of extant buildings by Mackintosh available online. Although Mackintosh’s work in interior design and highlights from his architectural designs have been well documented in the art historical literature, this project is significant in constituting not only a major new online academic resource but also the first comprehensive, dedicated chronicling of Mackintosh’s career as an architect. While the full database will not be launched until next summer in conjunction with the Mackintosh Architecture exhibition to open at the Hunterian on July 18, 2014, the teaser website (http://www.mackintosh-architecture.gla.ac.uk/new-win-icon) offers an exciting preview of the wealth of material and high quality of research to anticipate. The database promises not only to offer access to digitized archival documents and a photographic catalogue raisonné of Mackintosh’s architectural works, but also to provide social historians with a network of resources drawn from primary sources to give insight into a cross-section of design, craft, construction, and patronage in Scotland at the turn of the century.

The preview website provides not only links and information for inquisitive members of the general public and students beginning research on Mackintosh, but also suggests the scope of detailed photographic and archival resources that will be made available to specialists. Scans of Mackintosh’s architectural plans along with photographic reproductions of the office record books kept by the firm of John Honeyman & Keppie during the period of Mackintosh’s association from 1889–1913 offer a taste of the rich resources that will be accessible online to international researchers when the full site launches next year.[1] The database aims to make available an exhaustive online catalogue of images and archival material spanning the entirety of Mackintosh’s architectural career. As a component of digitizing and contextualizing the complete office record books from the period of Mackintosh’s association with Honeyman & Keppie, the database will additionally provide supplemental information on the firm’s professional network with clients, tradesmen, suppliers and construction contractors from 1889–1913. The historical significance of this infrastructure is greatly enhanced by the biographical information provided for individuals associated with two or more projects contracted by the firm. The art historical context is further enhanced by providing specialized bibliographies for each entry along with period photographs and illustrations from trade journals and newspapers to supplement the full-color photographs of existing sites. The ambitious scope of the project can be appreciated by browsing the three sample catalogue entries currently available on the preview website (http://www.mackintosh-architecture.gla.ac.uk/catalogue_temp/new-win-icon). The Mackintosh Architecture online database promises to be an invaluable resource for researchers and a substantial contribution to Mackintosh studies. A full review of the database will be forthcoming in the fall 2014 issue of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide.

Sarah Sik, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Art History
Art Department
The University of South Dakota
Sarah.Sikncaw[at]usd.edu





[1] In 1901, Mackintosh became a partner of the firm.

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