Baltimore, MD— The Walters Art Museum, in collaboration with The American Federation of Arts and Glasgow Museums, is pleased to announce the touring exhibition Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style, opening October 6.
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s birth (1868-1928), this exhibition presents the most comprehensive showing of the Glasgow Style ever assembled in the United States and will feature approximately 165 remarkable works of art and design, the majority of which will be on view for the first time in North America. Co-organized by Glasgow Museums and the American Federation of Arts, Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style introduces audiences to some of the most iconic works by the architect, designer, and artist—bold graphic designs for posters, high-backed chairs for Glasgow’s tearooms, striking textile and interior designs, and the intricate watercolors he painted in the last years of his life.
“The Walters is excited to host this incredible exhibition of works that show the beauty of Mackintosh’s innovative designs and the power of artistic collaboration. Mackintosh and his contemporaries drew inspiration from a variety of objects and cultures, and visitors will be able to see those artistic links in the Japanese sword handguards called tsubas, Islamic tiles, and extraordinary book bindings so prominent in the Walters permanent collections,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director.
Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style unpacks themes such as the international influences upon Mackintosh’s work, the Glasgow School of Art’s crucial support and encouragement of women designers, and the physical processes involved in making the visionary interiors, furnishings, and decorative works that present and define the imaginative breadth of the Glasgow Style. It also establishes a link between Glasgow and Baltimore through the development of their respective art schools the Glasgow School of the Arts and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Works included in the exhibition are drawn from the best of Glasgow Museums’ internationally renowned civic collections, alongside key pieces from The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, The Glasgow School of Art, and important loans from private collections.
“Baltimore and Glasgow are industrial cities that produced rich artistic traditions and cultures as they grew. With Designing the New, we get a chance to tell a story of young artists, designers, manufacturers, and industrialists all working together to create something that is now iconic, the Glasgow Style,” said Jo Briggs, Associate Curator of 18th and 19th Century Art and curator of the exhibition for the Walters.
The North American tour officially launches at the Walters on October 6, 2019, where it will be on view until January 5, 2020. It then travels to the Frist Art Museum in Nashville (June 26–September 27, 2020), the Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg, FL (October 29, 2020–January 24, 2021), and the Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago (February 27–May 23, 2021).
“The American Federation of Arts is pleased to share these incredible works by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his contemporaries with a new generation of audiences across the United States, beginning at the Walters Art Museum,” said Pauline Willis, Director and CEO of the American Federation of Arts. “The firsthand experience of the iconic Glasgow Style and its distinctive contributions to the fields of architecture and design will inspire viewers with a rich visual tapestry of objects rarely seen by the American public.”
“It has been a joy to have this opportunity to introduce audiences in North America to the ideas, names, stories, and visual experiences unique to this period of Glasgow’s rich cultural history,” said Alison Brown, Glasgow Museum’s Curator for European Decorative Art and Design from 1800 and curator of the exhibition. “We cannot send Mackintosh’s buildings abroad, but I can pick artworks, objects, and historic room parts in our collections to show what makes the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his amazingly talented friends and contemporaries so special.”
Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style is a touring exhibition co-organized by Glasgow Museums and the American Federation of Arts. The exhibition comprises works from the collections of Glasgow City Council (Museums and Collections), with loans from Scottish collections and private lenders. Support for the U.S. national tour is provided by the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation.
The Walters Art Museum’s presentation is made possible by generous support from the Women’s Committee of the Walters Art Museum and The St. Andrew’s Society of Baltimore.
About the Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum is a cultural hub in the heart of Baltimore, located in the city’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. The museum’s collection spans more than seven millennia, from 5000 BCE to the 21st century, and encompasses 36,000 objects from around the world. Walking through the museum’s historic buildings, visitors encounter a stunning panorama of thousands of years of art, from romantic 19th-century images of French gardens to mesmerizing Ethiopian icons, richly illuminated Qur’ans and Gospel books, ancient roman sarcophagi, and serene images of the Buddha. Since its founding, the Walters’ mission has been to bring art and people together to create a place where people of every background can be touched by art. As part of this commitment, admission to the museum and special exhibitions is always free.
Admission to the museum and Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style is free. The Walters Art Museum is located at 600 N. Charles St., north of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. For general museum information, call 410-547-9000 or visit https://thewalters.org.
Free admission to the Walters Art Museum is made possible through the combined generosity of individual members and donors, foundations, corporations, and grants from the City of Baltimore, Maryland State Arts Council, Citizens of Baltimore County, and Howard County Government and Howard County Arts Council.
About the American Federation of Arts
The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit institution founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing scholarly exhibition catalogues, developing innovative educational programs, and the fostering of a better understanding among nations through the international exchange of art.
About Glasgow Museums
Glasgow Museums and Collections is the largest most visited Museum service in the UK outside London. Its world-class portfolio includes over 1.2 million objects and the service attracts over 3.5 million visitors per year. Glasgow Museums operates nine Museum venues across the city of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Riverside, Gallery of Modern Art, People’s Palace, The Burrell Collection, St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, Provand’s Lordship, Scotland Street School Museum, in addition the City Archives and Special Collections are housed in the Mitchell Library, the Open Museum, and the Collections Showcase within the iconic and newly refurbished Kelvin Hall. Museums are open year round and entry is free. 100% of the collections are publicly accessible, either through current displays within the world-class venues or in fully accessible stores at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre and the Kelvin Hall. The breadth of the collection is of notable significance, ranging from fine art including works by Van Gogh, Degas, Botticelli natural history, contemporary art, transport and technology, Scottish history and archaeology, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, arms and armour and more.
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