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By the end of the 19th century, Glasgow was a leading industrial powerhouse and the sixth largest city in Europe. By the 1890s, Glasgow School of Art had established itself as a leading centre for both contemporary painting and the decorative arts under the direction of Francis Newbery its influential headmaster.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a former pupil of the School was the leading protagonist of the so-called Glasgow Style in the decorative arts. Alongside him, artist/designers such as Margaret and Frances Macdonald, Herbert MacNair, George Walton, Ann Macbeth and Jessie King introduced a more controlled less floral approach to their designs in metal, wood, glass, textiles and illustration, in contrast to their Art Nouveau colleagues in mainland Europe.

Through high-profile exhibitions and features in The Studio and Dekorative Kunst,Glasgow designers, in particular Mackintosh, became increasingly influential amongst the Secessionists in Austria and Germany during the early years of the 20th century. Mackintosh's buildings and interiors, especially Glasgow School of Art, the Willow Tea Room, and The Lighthouse reflect the energy, spirit of innovation and confidence inspired by the great industrial wealth generated in Glasgow in that period.

This heritage combined with the city's vibrant contemporary visual arts scene helped to win for Glasgow the accolade of European City of Culture in 1990 and of UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999.



Glasgow by Serge Brison


Glasgow by Serge Brison