His contribution to the art heritage of his home city in the 19th century led to the Glasgow School of Art becoming one of Europe’s most significant art academies. He inspired a golden era for Glasgow's architectural and decorative arts influence.
Mackintosh's meteoric rise to prominence began with an architectural apprenticeship and evening classes in drawing. He scooped many student prizes and awards, including the Alexander Thomson Travelling Studentship, which allowed him to go on a pivotal architectural tour of Italy.
While gaining attention as an architect, Mackintosh began to experiment with decorative forms in furniture and the graphic arts. Then, in 1896, he won a commission to design a new building for the Glasgow School of Art. He brought to this a highly memorable and eclectic mix of influences and styles.
More Glasgow – and overseas - commissions followed, before Macintosh eventually moved to London, then retired to the South of France to paint.
Chairs and tables from his design collection feature both complex linear designs and flowing, unfettered curves. This includes the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Hillhouse Chair and the Argyle.