MACKINTOSH, Charles Rennie
(b. 1868, Glasgow, d. 1928, London)

High-backed chair

Wood, 137 x 51 x 46 cm
Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow

Although Mackintosh created this chair of elegant style in 1898-99 for Catherine Cranston's Argyle Street tea rooms in Glasgow city centre, he also used the design in the dining room of his own home. It was the first of many of his high-back chair designs.

Mackintosh had a lifelong interest in nature, and this greatly influenced a lot of his earlier work. The oval headpiece of the chair has been pierced with a silhouette that can be read as a flying bird, a motif used in the Argyle Street tea rooms.

Although the design of the chair looks simple, it has actually been built with a combination of different geometric shapes fitted together like a jigsaw. The curves in the oval headpiece neatly slot into the back posts, which are rectangular at the bottom, but gradually taper off into a circular form as they reach the top.

The seat has horsehair upholstery.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.