Charles Rennie Mackintosh - Beginnings

by Physical Improvement in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Charles Rennie Mackintosh - Beginnings


raised of £5,000 target
4% 8 hours left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by December 7th 2019 at 3:45pm

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was raised at Firpark Terrace, Dennistoun. The mural, with your support, will celebrate his formative years!

by Physical Improvement in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Nestled in a quiet corner of Glasgow behind Tennents Wellpark brewery and The Necropolis lies the former home of one of Scotlands greatest creative minds, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 2 Firpark Terrace, Dennistoun. 

The Architect lived here between 1875 and 1892. From the age of 7 until 24.


It is fair to say that his surroundings helped to form him. 

Site of proposed mural in relation to CRM former home

The aim of the project is to create a mural which celebrates the formative years of the life of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The mural describes a scene which took place in his childhood when the Mackintosh family boarded a steamer with many animals accompanying them for a holiday along the west coast of Scotland.

The rewards below are a token of gratitude for your support.

Laser cut framed artwork. UK pledge £13

Laser cut wood keyrings - to support most mobile phones.                                                                                                                £5 pledges receive plain wooden keyring below:

Why not paint your keyring with colours of your choice:

UK Pledge £8 for plain Glass holder below:

UK £25 pledge for wooden bookends  (featuring C.R.Mackinstosh & wife Margaret Macdonald side profile).

UK pledge £15 for a hand made pen.

UK pledge £20 for a laser engraved blank Harvest Moon 3D picture.

Possible Murals

Mackintosh family holiday.

The Frieze of Cats, painted by Mackintosh on his bedroom studio wall.

The Harvest Moon.


Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the second son of a family of eleven children, was born at No. 70 Parson Street, Glasgow, on 7th June 1868. His father, Wiliam Mackintosh, was of Highland stock from Nairn on the Moray Firth, superintendent of police in the city and a man of integrity and high repute. Margaret, his mother, was a Lowlander, daughter of Charles Rennie of Ayr, unassuming, homely woman of character, greatly loved by her children. 

As the family increased and William Mackintosh's position improved, they moved from the Parson Street tenement to a more attractive house, No. 2 Firpark Terrace, Dennistoun, when the boy Charles was about ten years old. Here the really formative period of his life began. 

Dennistoun was a pleasant suburb of Glasgow in the 1870's and in more congenial surroundings William Mackintosh was able to enjoy and develop his favourite hobby- gardening. Even at the tenement in the early days, he had managed to keep a garden or an allotment, and such was his enthusiasm that he frequently rose at five in the morning and spent several hours working at his plot before going to the office – and he returned to it the evenings. In Dennistoun he had the good fortune to obtain part of the garden of Golf Hill House, a large residence vacated by its owners, the Dennistoun family, and left in the hands of a caretaker. This was beautifully laid out and he tended it with great care; the children christened it the 'Garden of Eden'. Flowers were his speciality and he was particularly interested in the cultivation of hyacinths; every year large quantities of bulbs were sent to him from Holland, and he became a well known figure and prize winner at local horticultural shows. Flowers were always to be found in profusion the Mackintosh household and from an early age the children were encouraged to take an interest in their father's hobby. They acquired, naturally, a profound regard for growing living things, a regard which, in the case of Charles, endured throughout his life and found expression in every work of art he created. 

As a child, Charles Mackintosh was not very strong and two physical deformities added to his handicap; he was born with a contracted sinew in one foot which brought about an awkward limp as he grew older, and then as the result of a chill after a game of football, the muscles of his right eye were permanently affected, causing the lid to droop. The family doctor prescribed a remedy popular the world over - `the boy should be encouraged to take plenty of exercise in the open air and to have long holidays whenever possible’. This advice Charles found exactly to his liking. To the Mackintosh household, how-ever, family holidays were always something of an adventure. Eleven children alone must have been a handful for the parents, but like most youngsters, they were fond of pets and at holiday times the pets went too. Miss Nancy Mackintosh recalls one amusing excursion to the Clyde coast where the family had taken a house - they boarded a steamer at Glasgow with a dog, several cats, a hedgehog, a tortoise, and a goat which had been acquired to provide milk for one of the children who was ill. Soon after their arrival Miss Nancy begged a lamb from a farmer to add to the collection, but after bleating all night in the kitchen the unfortunate creature was returned the next day, despite the tearful protestations of its young mistress. 

Quite apart from the annual exodus, Charles saw much of Scotland in these early days. He delighted especially in wandering over the lovely countryside surrounding Glasgow, and, by sketching, greatly enlarged his knowledge of local Architecture, wild flowers, plants and trees. 

Charles's school days passed uneventfully and he does not appear to have achieved particular distinction at either Reid's Private School, or later at Alan High School, where he completed his education. Unfortunately records 1880's have been destroyed at both institutions and there is nothing now gleaned from either source. In other respects too - apart from a strong a for cats- his early life appears to have been normal and without incident. He was a somewhat temperamental youth, however, capable of violent fits of rage, and he always insisted on getting his own way. But, even so, he was generous and kind-hearted and had an attractive personality which won him many friends. 

From an early age Charles was determined to be an architect, and in spite of his father's attempts to dissuade him, he succeeded as usual in winning parentaI approval, but only on the understanding that he would 'put his mind to it’ and work hard. So, on leaving Alan Glen's at the age of sixteen, he was to John Hutchison of Glasgow a firm no longer in existence. At the same time he enrolled as an evening student at the School of Art (1884). In those days it was customary for an architectural apprentice in the city to serve for five years, though in the country the period was reduced to four. No remuneration was offered for the first twelve months; but the student received £10 for the second year, and then annual increments of £5 until, during the final year of his apprenticeship, he would earn the princely sum of £25. 

Charles Rennie Mackintosh and The Modern Movement, (pg 1-3), Thomas Howarth, 1952

The Harvest Moon. Painted by CRM in 1892, the year he left Firpark Terrace.

****** If for any reason the mural cannot go ahead after the campaign has closed all proceeds will be donated to the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society*********


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£1 or more

£1 donation

Thanks you for supporting this cause.

£5 or more

2 of 300 claimed

Laser cut Keyring - phone support (UK pledges)

Unpainted 'Rennie Mackintosh' keyring, hand made in Scotland. Price includes Royal mail postage within the UK.

£8 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Wooden Glass Holders (UK pledges)

Hand-made glass holder (unpainted). Made in Scotland. Price includes postage within the UK.

£13 or more

1 of 45 claimed

Laser cut Framed Art work- ARTtheFlower(UK pledges

'Rennie Mackintosh' inspired artwork. Laser cut framed piece. Hand made in Scotland. Price includes postage within the UK.

£13 or more

0 of 45 claimed

LIFEtheGreenLeaf- Laser cut Framed Art work (£10)

'Rennie Mackintosh' inspired artwork. Laser cut framed piece. Hand made in Scotland. Price includes postage within the UK.

£15 or more

2 of 50 claimed

Fine wood pens (UK pledges)

Various fine wood pens available, Hand crafted in Scotland. We will aim to send your preferred variety chosen below but cannot guarantee due to limited styles. Includes UK postage.

£15 or more

0 of 50 claimed

Hand Turned Wooden Pen

Refillable hand turned wooden pens made from various species.

£20 or more

1 of 100 claimed

'Harvest moon' wooden picture (UK pledges)

Famous Rennie Mackinstosh 'Harvest Moon' painting has been recreated via laser cutting the image onto a wooden multi-layered picture. The image is sent plain but a custom painted version can be pledges for £35. Included UK postage.

£25 or more

2 of 20 claimed

Handmade wooden bookends (UK pledges)

Iroko handmade wooden bookends with laser cut silhouettes. Made in Scotland. Features side profile of C.R.M and wife M.M.M. Price includes postage within UK.

Let's make 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh - Beginnings' happen

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