Exhibit at DAAP Library: Charles Mackintosh’s Interiors

This semester, I worked part time at the library of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati, and the culmination of my work here involved curating and designing exhibits for displays within the library area. For one of those displays, I chose a collection of drawings and objects by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of Scotland’s most celebrated architects, whose astounding buildings creatively reinterpreted the past and opened the way for the Modern Movement. He was also a highly accomplished artist and designer of interiors, furniture, metalwork, glass, and textiles. In December 1900, Mackintosh submitted drawings for a competition in Vienna under the pseudonym “Der Vogel.” Although disqualified for not including the required number of interior perspectives, the quality of his work won him a special Purchase Prize. His radical reappraisal of Scottish vernacular building and his ability to integrate structural and decorative elements into a coherent work of art impressed the judges and led to widespread recognition through publications across Europe and the United States.

Some of the drawings displayed at the exhibit are part of the competition entry. Produced within a deadline of only a few weeks, they give us insight into the greatest contribution that Mackintosh made to the practice of architecture – the complete integration of the structural and the decorative elements of a building into a coherent work of art.