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.