Young fans admire Honesty by Frances Macdonald that will be displayed in public for the first time at the Glasgow Mackintosh Festival. © Alan Donaldson.
Plans to hold a citywide celebration of Glasgow’s favourite son were launched by Patricia Ferguson MSP, Minister for Tourism, Culture & Sport, on December 12 2005.
The Glasgow Mackintosh Festival 2006 aims to showcase the undoubted riches the city possesses thanks to architect, designer and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Events, including exhibitions, educational workshops, online resources and other activities celebrating Mackintosh and his contemporaries, will take place throughout next years.
"The Festival will be a great tourism attraction for Glasgow and Scotland," said Patricia Ferguson during a launch event in the Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow.
"The buildings, drawings and designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh are tremendous assets for Glasgow and I am confident that this Festival will successfully showcase the fantastic cultural heritage that the city has to offer."
One of 11 children, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 – 1928) was born in the Townhead area of Glasgow and went on to be considered one of the most creative figures of the 20th century.
Fittingly, his city of birth was the greatest beneficiary of his talents with his legacy including Glasgow School of Art, the Scotland Street School and Kelvingrove.
A current exhibition of his artwork – on show at Edinburgh’s Dean Gallery until February 5 2006 – testifies to his proficiency with a paintbrush, but he also produced designs for furniture, metalwork and the graphic arts.
Often he worked in collaboration with three colleagues, James Herbert McNair (1868 - 1955), and the sisters, Margaret Macdonald (1864 - 1933) and Frances Macdonald (1873 - 1921) - together they were known as ‘The Four’.
Professor of Mackintosh Studies at the University of Glasgow, Pamela Robertson is coordinating the festival. © Alan Donaldson.
"Glasgow houses the most important buildings and artworks by Mackintosh anywhere in the world, and he is a figure of world-wide importance," explained Pamela Robertson, Festival Coordinator and Senior Curator and Professor of Mackintosh Studies University of Glasgow.
"The Glasgow Mackintosh Festival will enable us to place Glasgow’s Mackintosh heritage firmly on the global cultural map," she added.
"Barcelona has Gaudi, Chicago has Frank Lloyd Wright, and Glasgow has Mackintosh. Next year’s Festival will celebrate that heritage, and leave a lasting legacy for future generations."
Among the venues taking part in the festival will be the Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow, which holds the world’s most important Mackintosh collection.
Its contribution to festivities will be Doves and Dreams, the first exhibition devoted to the art of Frances Macdonald and J. Herbert McNair (August 12 2006 – November 18).
Glasgow School of Art embodies the distinctive style Mackintosh developed. © The Glasgow School of Art / Eric Thorburn 2003.
Other participating locations include: Glasgow School of Art, The Lighthouse (former Glasgow Herald Building), Scotland Street School, The Willow Tea Rooms, The Mackintosh Church at Queen’s Cross and House for an Art Lover.
The festival will also see the reopening of the much-loved Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Summer 2006) incorporating the new Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style gallery.
Proceedings are being led by the University of Glasgow with support and funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and Glasgow City Council.
It’s hoped the festival will help Glasgow's bid for World Heritage status on the back of its Mackintosh heritage.