New exhibit comes to Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg

The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement has announced a new exhibit coming in March. “Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style” is a traveling exhibition organized by the Glasgow Museums and the American Federation of Arts.

This is the first traveling American exhibition in a generation for the famous Scottish architect, designer and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). Many works had never been exhibited in the United States before. The tour began in 2019 in Baltimore and the exhibition makes its final stop in the United States at the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg, from March 11 to June 5.

The exhibition features 166 works of art and design by and related to Mackintosh and the Glasgow School of Art. It features Mackintosh’s seminal works, including graphic designs for posters and high-backed chairs for artistic tearooms, as well as lesser-known works in textiles and home decor and the watercolors he painted during the last years of his life. It highlights his connection to influential artists, collaborators and his hometown of Glasgow.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (designer).  High-backed chair for the Ingram Street Tea Rooms, 1900-1901.  Stained oak, modern horsehair upholstery, 59 x 18 5/8 x 17 1/8 inches.  Glasgow Museums.  Acquired by Glasgow Corporation, as part of Ingram Street Tearooms, 1950 © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (designer). High-backed chair for the Ingram Street Tea Rooms, 1900-1901. Stained oak, modern horsehair upholstery, 59 x 18 5/8 x 17 1/8 inches. Glasgow Museums. Acquired by Glasgow Corporation, as part of Ingram Street Tearooms, 1950 © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection. [ DI COSMO | Courtesy of American Federation of Arts ]

The Glasgow style grew out of the Arts and Crafts movement to become Britain’s only response to Art Nouveau from the late 1890s to the 1900s. The exhibition highlights the Glasgow School of Art’s encouragement of female designers, as well as the processes involved in creating the furniture, interiors and artwork that define Glasgow’s style. Audio-visual components enhance the objects and bring the Glasgow School’s architecture to life.

Many artists in the Arts and Crafts movement were inspired by Mackintosh and the works of the Glasgow School, and related pieces from the museum’s collection will be highlighted through educational programming.

“(Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement) is delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the stunning and historically significant work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow School, contemporaries of arts and crafts artisans in America,” Rudy Ciccarello, president of the museum, said in a press release. “‘Designing the New’ offers the opportunity to see the MAACM’s permanent collection in light of its international context, highlighting the many connections between the two movements.”

Designing the New is curated by Alison Brown, Glasgow Museums Curator for European Decorative Arts and Design 1800-Present. Works included in the exhibition are drawn from the civic collections of Glasgow Museums, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, Glasgow School of Art and on loan from private collections.

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An extensive program is planned throughout the course of the exhibition at the museum. A fully illustrated catalog will be available for purchase in the museum shop.

For more information, visit museumaacm.org.

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