Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh was, alongside her husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of the key figures in the emergence of the ‘Glasgow Style’ in the 1890s. Born near Wolverhampton, she settled in Glasgow in the late 1880s. Margaret and her sister Frances enrolled at Glasgow School of Art, where they met Charles Rennie Mackintosh and James Herbert MacNair. By the mid-1890s the sisters had established a studio and soon began to collaborate with Mackintosh and MacNair. The four artists quickly cemented their international reputations. Frances Macdonald and MacNair married in 1899, and Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald married in 1900. However, owing to Mackintosh’s deteriorating health health, Margaret spent her time looking after him and so made few works after 1914. (National Galleries of Scotland)

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh

Embroidered panel​


Similar panels appear in Mackintosh's drawings of the east wall of the principal bedroom at The Hill House although it is not certain when they were installed there as early photographs taken in 1904 do not show them. The panels appear to be duplicates of those shown at the Vienna Secession exhibition in 1900 and bought by Emil Blumenfelt; at least one of these (listed as a 'bed curtain') was lent by Blumenfelt to the Turin exhibition in 1902 - although it lacks the lower section of black silk seen on The Hill House panels.

Courtesy of the Glasgow School of Art.

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, Heart of the Rose​, 1901. Designed for the 'Rose Boudoir', International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Art, Turin, 1902.

Courtesy of Glasgow School of Art.

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, wall hanging designed for The Dug-Out, Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow, 1914, paint on canvas backed on linen, 137 x 173 mm.

This item was lost in the fire in The Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014. The canvas relates to smaller watercolours in the Hunterian collection, formerly thought to be textile designs, and to their painted canvas, 'The Little Hills' by Margaret Macdonald. It is likely that they were intended for 'The Dug-Out', though it is not known whether they were ever installed there. Jessie Newbery recalled in 1933, that 'He (Mackintosh) and his wife spent the winter of 1914 painting two large decorations for Miss Cranston'. This would have been in Suffolk, after they had left Glasgow. Although The Dug-Out was not created till 1917-18 it is not unlikely that Miss Cranston was considering the project some years earlier. The canvas was found in the GSA in a single roll in 1981 and was cleaned and mounted on two stretchers.

Courtesy of The Glasgow School of Art.

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, Menu for Miss Cranston's exhibition cafe, The White Cockade, 1911, coloured lithograph printed in black, white, red and green, 214 x 316 mm.

The White Cockade was a temporary cafe designed for Miss Cranston for the 1911 Glasgow International Exhibition.

Courtesy of the Glasgow School of Art.


Background Artwork by Lily Ross 'Untitled'  Watercolour on paper 2019

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Vimeo

 Art in Hospital is a charity registered in Scotland No SC038351