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Charles Rennie Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art and font design tea towel celebrating the Scottish artist, designer and architect on his 150th birthday by Gillian Kyle

A sad day for Glasgow…

Only one week ago we were celebrating Charles Rennie Mackintosh at 150.

Today, after a terrible fire that broke out late last night, CRM’s central Glasgow architectural masterpiece, the Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art, is a burnt out, smoldering shell.

It was little over 4 years ago that the Mack – as all students of the GSA affectionately call the building – was badly hit by fire. Major restoration work costing a reported £35 million was nearly completed and the building was due to reopen to students in 2019. A second fire at this point is a very cruel irony.

It is way too early to tell the fate of our beloved Mack but one thing is for sure, this fire is way worse than that of 2014. Speaking as a graduate of the GSA, a Glasgow lass and an active Scottish artist, this is a devastating day for Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a man born ahead of his time, with his  designs, architecture and general influence only being fully appreciated long after his death. We all hope and pray that the Mack will continue to play a part in his ongoing legacy.

I recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of CRM"s birth in my Mackintosh 150th Birthday Range. That celebration feels more than a little bittersweet today. To learn more about this great Scot, take a look at my Illustrated Story about his life and work.

Thank you to all the firefighters, police and others involved in acting so quickly to tackle this massive blaze. That there seems to have been no human casualties is a blessing and a tiny silver lining for us all today.

With love and positivity to all who are and will be affected by today"s fire.



  1. Caroline McAdam


    Will any proceeds from the mugs be going to the Mack restoration fund?

    1. Gillian Elliott

      Hi Caroline,

      This range was designed and launched to celebrate Mackintosh’s 150th anniversary, well before the fire. But, we are considering a ‘Save the Mack’ range for the future, to raise awareness and with a percentage of profits going to the fund. Its a little early yet to know what the options could be – but once there is more clarity on the future of the building and any potential restoration (fingers crossed) we will be very glad to get behind it, yes.


      Gill x

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