78 Derngate Archive

The Two Gentleman of Design: Josef Hoffmann, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and their Contribution to the Decorative Arts in Fin-de-Siecle Glasgow and Vienna

5 Nov
Elizabeth Muir

This article was first published in 2014 at http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/history_honproj/51 and is reproduced here by kind permission of the author Elizabeth Muir.

Muir, Elizabeth, “The Two Gentleman of Design: Josef Hoffmann, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and their Contribution to the Decorative Arts in Fin-de-Siecle Glasgow and Vienna” (2014).
Honors Projects. Paper 51. Illinois Wesleyan University.

In the twentieth century, two designers stood out as radicals: Josef Hoffmann of Vienna and Charles Rennie Mackintosh of Glasgow. Both of these designers rejected the design aesthetics of the Revival and Beaux Arts styles of architecture and decorative arts, which they found to be outdated and moribund. Due to their mutual hatred of this repetitive historicism in art, Hoffmann and Mackintosh explored new ways of creating decorative arts and architecture. Both men visited and corresponded with each other, creating not only a professional friendship but also a shared language of design aesthetics. Mackintosh and Hoffmann drew on each other’s designs and philosophies, establishing an exchange of ideas and new design ideals between the Scottish Arts and Crafts movement and the Wiener Werkstätte.

Most Mackintosh historians believe that the inspiration occurred wholly and only from Glasgow to Vienna, and not vice versa. Art historian Peter Vergo and famous gallery owner and Mackintosh historian Roger Billcliffe both adamantly argue against any influence of Viennese design on Mackintosh, saying “there can be no doubt that, at the time of the 1900 exhibition, it was Mackintosh and the Scots who were the leaders and Hoffmann, Moser, and the Viennese artists the admiring followers.” [ 1 ] Both authors go so far as to declare that despite the clear similarity in style between the later interiors of Hoffmann and Mackintosh’s geometrically severe interior created for at 78 Derngate, that Derngate’s interior is “a logical development of (Mackintosh’s) Glasgow work.” [ 2 ] Even in the areas of undisputable influence of Hoffmann on Mackintosh, both Vergo and Billcliffe claim Mackintosh resorted to inspiration from Hoffmann solely because he “exhausted his flow of genius,” demeaning the designs of Hoffmann and the Viennese Secessionists. [ 3 ] Wendy Kaplan, decorative art historian and curator of the Wolfsonian Research Library, claims Mackintosh had a “profound influence” on Hoffmann. [ 4 ] One of the only dissenting opinions is Alan Crawford, a decorative arts historian who believes “the truth is that the Viennese inspired Mackintosh more than the other way about.”  [ 5 ] Crawford, however, additionally negates the impact of Mackintosh and the Glasgow Four on the Viennese designers, stating, “Mackintosh’s influence in Vienna has been exaggerated.” [ 6 ] Among most Mackintosh historians, Crawford alone disputes that the Viennese influenced Mackintosh, but he also adamantly denies any design elements of Mackintosh appearing in the designs of the Viennese.

While I agree with Crawford’s argument concerning the enormous Viennese impact on Mackintosh, I disagree with his assentation that the Viennese designers took no inspiration from the Glasgow Four. i argue that the inspiration between Mackintosh and Hoffmann flowed from Glasgow to Vienna and from Vienna to Glasgow, and that the influence of Vienna is decidedly more visible in the work of Mackintosh. To be sure, the work that Hoffmann created following his viewing of both the Glasgow Four’s tearoom in the Vienna succession exhibit in 1900 and the Mackintoshes’ apartment reveals an obvious influence from the instantly recognizable design vernacular of Mackintosh. This is most visible in terms of Hoffmann’s use of all-white interiors and exteriors, his minimal usage of furniture, and in the incorporation oflithe curves in his silverworks and furniture. During a period when Hoffmann was struggling to find the inspiration to break with the past, the work of Mackintosh helped Hoffmann to create his own innovative interiors. I contend that Mackintosh began to employ the visual language of Hoffmann starting in 1903. Mackintosh changed almost every element of his own designs to those used frequently by Hoffmann, to the point of his design style nearly mirroring that of Hoffmann in his interiors created for 78 Demgate. This shows how vital Mackintosh found the work of Hoffmann, that he would abandon his own signature design elements to take on the bold colors, strict lines, and geometrically charged interiors of the Wiener Werkstätte.

Hoffmann and Mackintosh: Origins and Training
Hoffmann and Mackintosh had analogous beginnings working as young students of architecture. Hoffmann was born in Pimitz, Moravia in 1870 to a home kept in “perfect order” by an adoring mother, otherwise occupied in raising his four other brothers and sisters. [ 7 ] Beginning in 1880 at the age of ten, Hoffmann began to fail most of his subjects. Hoffmann recalled being ashamed by his poor academic skills, as he was the only child in his town forced to retake a year of school. His only friend through this ordeal was “the son of a builder” who introduced him to architecture through this father’s work sites. [ 8 ] These experiences captivated the soul of Hoffmann in their “sense of purpose,” and as a result, he went to live with his aunt and uncle in Brno to attend a building technical school. [ 9 ] While studying at this building school, Hoffmann discovered his talent for architecture.

Fig 1. Vienna Burgtheater

Fig 1. Vienna Burgtheater.

He began his professional training in 1892 at the Academy of Fine Arts, studying under Baron Karl Von Hasenauer, one of Vienna’s premier architects of the Revival style. The Revival style was the most popular type of architecture in Vienna during the 1890s. It consisted of buildings that repeatedly drew on architectural elements of the Classical and Baroque past. An excellent example of a Viennese Revival style building is the Burgtheater (Fig 1) created in 1880 by Hasenauer. This theater is architecturally imposing, and Hasenauer covered its commanding façade in classical columns, acroterion, and arches jumbled together with Baroque busts and grand statuary. Hoffmann disliked Hasenauer’s method of Revival architectural teaching and called the class environment both inartistic and routine. While studying architecture under Hasenauer, Hoffmann desperately tried to move past all the required historical mummery and applied architectural decorative work to get a “real sense of building.” [ 10 ] Hoffmann wished to “move away from the copying of old styles” and strove to create buildings with an innate sense of “purpose and beauty.” [ 11 ] One of the other students who wanted to move away from this continual historicism of architecture and art was Koloman Moser, a talented painter and decorative artist. Hoffmann and Moser founded a group called the “Siebenerclub,” with the goal of exploring new ways of working in architecture and art. [ 12 ] Moser was especially influential within this group, in inspiring the members to acquire an “interest and enthusiasm for all of the fine arts.” He would later join Hoffmann as one of the co-founders ofthe Wiener Werkstätte. [ 13 ]

In 1894 architect Otto Wagner, who was to be a major influence on and mentor to Hoffmann, took over Hasenauer’s position as head Professor of Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts. Wagner’s style of teaching was far more creative than that of Hasenauer, and in a speech Wagner delivered upon accepting his post, he declared, “Art and artists should and must represent their own day and age.” [ 14 ] Wagner saw great talent in Hoffmann and thought of him as a “favorite disciple.” [ 15 ] Following Hoffmann’s graduation from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1896, Wagner personally chose him to work as an architect with his firm. Hoffmann was in awe of Wagner’s studio, and he called it “epoch-making” in the originality of architecture that it produced. [ 16 ] Hoffmann worked at this studio with fellow Siebenerclub member Joseph Maria Olbrich, who later became a founding member of the Vienna Secession with Moser. Hoffmann owes much to the teachings of Wagner for providing him the training and courage to challenge the architectural conventions of Vienna. However, Hoffmann was still learning to experiment with architecture while working at Wagner’s studio. The Western European Art Nouveau movement inspired his early buildings and interiors. For example, Hoffmann’s interior for the hunting room of concert pianist Paul Wittgenstein contained unsightly rounded arches above the windows, low ceilings, and the rather unfortunate color scheme of salmon and teal, creating a rustic and rather dated interior. [ 17 ] Wittgenstein’s hunting room shows Hoffmann searching for new inspiration, but failing to find it in Art Nouveau.

In 1897, Hoffmann became a member of the Vienna Secession, attributable to his friendship with Olbrich and Moser. The Vienna Secession was founded by a revolutionary group of painters, architects and designers who found the artwork of their age to be archaic and in desperate need of fresh ideas. The Secessionists called for a clean “break with the fathers,” and they wished for art to provide a reflection of life itself, rather than reproducing past traditions and artistic styles. [ 18 ] It is clear to see why Hoffmann was attracted to this group, as their philosophy of breaking with tradition was what Hoffmann desired to do in architecture and decorative arts. Hoffmann was granted a professorship at the newly-formed Vienna School of Arts and Crafts just a year later in 1899, at the unusually young age of twenty-nine. [ 19 ] This professorship meant that Hoffmann could devote his schedule to his own projects, instead of spending time working on designs for Wagner’s clients.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh, born only three years earlier than Hoffmann, had a nearly identical upbringing and schooling. Mackintosh was born in Glasgow in 1868, the son of a police clerk with a fondness for gardening and a loving mother. In 1877 Mackintosh attended Allen Glen’s School, but he performed quite poorly in school, perhaps because of his dyslexia. [ 2o ] This disability was evident in Mackintosh’s consistent struggle with spelling, visible in his letters and blueprints created throughout his life. Mackintosh began his artistic instruction in 1883 at the Glasgow School of Art, taking night courses where he excelled at both drawing and architecture. He later received training as a draughtsman in the traditional Beaux Arts style, first working with architect John Hutchison in 1884 and then moving to the well-respected firm of Honeyman and Keppie in 1889. [ 21 ] While working with Honeyman and Keppie, Mackintosh first began to notice the repetition of design elements that characterized the popular Beaux Arts and Classical architectural styles in Glasgow. Mackintosh wished to move away from these two Revival styles, which he stated were “carved in the image of emptiness and inanity.” [ 22 ]

Fig 2 The Glasgow School of Art

Fig 2. The Glasgow School of Art.

The Glasgow School of Art building (Fig. 2) is one of the first designs Mackintosh created that shows his clear break with tradition. The façade of the building is a symphony of juxtaposition. The rough orange surface of the sandstone contrasts against the smoothness of the large paned windows, and the geometric shapes of the building visually diverge from the sinuous curves of black steel, located on the windowsills and in an arch over the entrance. When the new Glasgow School of Art building opened to the public in 1899, critics were in awe of its “artistic simplicity and fine design.” [ 23 ] They began to take note of Mackintosh as an architect, even if he officially received little of the glory for the building’s creation, as his design was under the name of his firm. However, Mackintosh was made a partner at Honeyman and Keppie in 1901 at the age of thirty-three, in part because of his brilliant and celebrated design for the Glasgow School of Art. This partnership allowed him greater creativity in his designs and meant that he could take full credit for his own work.  

While working at Honeyman and Keppie, Mackintosh met Herbert James McNair.  McNair was a craftsman who created delicate mosaics, metal works, and paintings in addition to working as a draughtsman at Honeyman and Keppie. [ 24 ] Mackintosh and McNair both became artistically and romantically involved with a group of women artists at the Glasgow School of Art. These women artists included Jessie Keppie, sister of John Keppie, and the sisters Frances MacDonald and Margaret MacDonald. Jessie Keppie and Mackintosh were together for a brief period, before he broke off their relationship. The MacDonald sisters were extremely talented in the fields of drawing and painting. They created ethereal pen and ink drawings that were shocking to the public of the time in their spooky imagery and unnatural figures. McNair, Mackintosh, and the two MacDonald sisters saw in each other and in each other’s work a common thread of rejection of the Revival past, and they thus banded together to create the Glasgow Four. The MacDonald sisters and McNair were influential in creating fine and decorative arts Mackintosh would use in his early interiors. Their creations aided Mackintosh in creating a unified interior, which helped him to realize his vision of the interior as a complete work of art. [ 25  ] Hermann Muthesius, a writer for “The Studio” magazine and a friend of Mackintosh, was a huge supporter of the Glasgow Four and their work. When Muthesius visited Mackintosh’s apartment in Glasgow, he loved the interior’s simplicity and elegance, and raved about the “color scheme that reminds one of the grey paintings of [Diego]  Velazquez,” because the splashes of color in the furniture stood out so beautifully against the whiteness of the interiors. [ 26 ] However, Muthesius also noticed a fundamental issue with these total interiors as living spaces, noting that even “a book with unsuitable lining would disturb the atmosphere simply by lying on the table. ” [ 27 ] The realization of a total work of art was so important to Mackintosh in his own home that his grey Persian cats were kept on matching grey corduroy cushions, so that the colors of the room would remain well ordered. [ 28 ]

The Vienna Secession
In 1900, The Glasgow Four were invited to create an interior for the Vienna Secession exhibit; therefore, Hoffmann was undoubtedly charmed with them and their work. Hoffmann shared this love of the Glasgow Four with his close friend, benefactor, and future patron of the Wiener Werkstätte, Fritz Waerndorfer. Waerndorfer was a wealthy fabric merchant and art connoisseur who spoke English perfectly and traveled frequently to England. As a recently converted, formerly Jewish man in Vienna, Waerndorfer desperately wanted to “distance himself from his parent’s generation,” by being viewed as an artistic benefactor, and not a wealthy Jewish businessman. [ 29 ] Therefore, he whole-heartedly endorsed the designs of the Scottish Arts and Crafts movement and the Vienna Secession, and willingly helped Hoffmann in his endeavors. [ 3o ] Hoffmann had Waerndorfer travel to Glasgow in the fall of 1900 to personally extend an invitation to the Glasgow Four about exhibiting. [ 31 ] Because Hoffinann was vice president of this exhibition, he placed particular emphasis on presenting the decorative artS. [ 32 ] He found the work of the Glasgow Four so important to include that he not only sent Waerndorfer as an ambassador of the Secession, but also gave the Glasgow Four one of the best locations within the exhibit. The Glasgow Four were “strategically situated adjacent to the entrance of the building,” allowing visitors to immediately see their work upon entering. [ 33 ]

Fig 3 Vienna Succession Exhibit

Fig 3. Vienna Secession Exhibit.

The installation (Fig. 3) they created was a starkly simple tearoom with three walls painted white and fourth wall missing (similar to that of a dollhouse) for the public to view. The center of the room was bare, save a tall geometric standing vase filled with twigs and blooming branches. [ 34 ] This lack of furniture placement in the center and the absence of excess decoration within the tearoom made this space a complete work of art. Most of the furniture in this tearoom was not created by Mackintosh for this exhibit; instead, it came from his Main Street apartment. Part of Mackintosh’s philosophy with both his own apartment and the Secession exhibit was to create a room as a pure and total work of art, with everything from the wardrobe to the candleholders created to fit in with the scheme of the rest of the room. [ 35 ] In Mackintosh’s Main Street apartment, “everything was art” and there was a complete absence of needless clutter or objects. [ 36 ] Mackintosh’s home was strikingly artistic in its severe minimalism and contrasting light and dark furniture and wall colors.

Fig 4 'Argyle Chair - as displayed in Vienna Secession exhibit

Fig 4. ‘Argyle Chair’ – as displayed in Vienna Secession exhibit.

The Glasgow Four’s tearoom brilliantly contrasted many elements, including dark and light, curves and straight lines, and flat enamel paint and sparkling stained glass. These juxtapositions are most evident in the furnishings. The lithe lines of the white-painted wood cheval mirror with pink rosebud glass accents complimented the hard, straight lines of the dark-stained wood chairs . [ 37 ] These chairs are anthropomorphic, with rounded “heads” creating the illusion in the tearoom that the chairs were occupied. Above the cheval mirror hung the gesso and mixed media panel titled The May Queen, created by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, the new wife of Charles Mackintosh. [ 38 ] This panel portrays ethereal women greeting the May Queen. The main color in this work is the shimmering gold background, which popped against the white walls of the tearoom. The figures in this panel are depicted within green or pink bubbles of color. Viennese painter and Secessionist Gustav Klimt loved The May Queen and some of the design elements from Macdonald’s panel show up in Klimt’s Beethoven frieze created for the 1902 Secession exhibit [ 39 ] Additionally, there were ghostlike illustrations hung on the walls the newly married McNair and Frances Macdonald. These panels and illustrations gave a soft and otherworldly air to the room, which only heightened the sense that this space was a work of art, and not a space for mundane day-to-day use. The eighth exhibition was a success for Hoffmann and the Glasgow Four, and over 20,000 people visited the exhibition hall. Most Viennese critics highly praised the work of these Scottish artists. [ 4o ] They felt this tearoom was “among the most striking achievements that modem art has created.” [ 41 ] It was highly admired for its “half mystical, half religious” nature, with one critic claiming that the chairs’ monastic character could have belonged to Saint Francis of Assisi. [ 42 ] The contrast between the wholly artistic spirit of this tearoom and the more cluttered interiors created by past Secession designers struck the public, and they were enchanted with this Scottish room. The Glasgow Four were “reputed to have been pulled through the streets of the city, in a flower decked carriage,” which, if true, is a testament to how smitten the Viennese public was with the work of the Four. [ 43 ] More importantly, according to Waerndorfer, both Mackintosh and Hoffmann were utterly delighted with each other upon meeting. [ 44 ] Although it is unclear if Hoffmann spoke English, it appears that Mackintosh, based on his blueprints for House For an Art Lover (Haus eines Kunstfreundes), understood German. After meeting, Hoffmann and Mackintosh had the chance to work together on a commission for Waerndorfer’s home in 1902. Macintosh created a music room inspired by the fairy tale The Seven Princesses by Maurice Maeterlinck. The room was painted all-white and was decorated mainly with decorative panels illustrating the fairy tale created by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. [ 45 ] Hoffmann designed the dining room, which was painted with silver metallic paint. There was little furniture present in this room, save the dining room table set in the middle of the room and a china cabinet pushed up against the wall. In this room, the ideas Hoffmann gleaned from the Scottish tearoom were visible in the expanse of space and in the sparseness of decorative elements. Hoffmann personally designed the entire monogrammed silverware set for this dining room (Fig.5). The Waerndorfers were so thrilled with this silver set that they stayed home from an opera by Wagner solely to unwrap it [ 46 ] The combination of the hard lines of the silverware handles with the large, rounded bowls on the spoons was noticeably similar to the anthropomorphic chairs Mackintosh created for the Secession exhibit. [ 47 ] This new appearance of lithe curves in the silverwork of Hoffmann reveals the influence of Mackintosh on Hoffmann.

Fig 5 Silverware Designed for the Waerndorfer Family

Fig 5. Silverware Designed for the Waerndorfer Family.

Hoffmann also created a studio in Waerndorfer’s home that was deeply reminiscent of the Mackintoshes Main Street apartment. In 1902, Hoffmann visited the Mackintoshes apartment in Glasgow. [ 48 ] The studio color scheme was all-white, and it appears from the two surviving photographs that, like the Mackintoshes’ apartment, there was a focus on open space and a minimal use of furniture. The light fixtures hung low from the ceiling consisted of four small geometric boxes edged in dark-stained wood. These light fixtures were modelled off of Mackintosh’s four square light fixture pattern that he used in his Music Room blueprints in his House for an Art Lover and in his own apartment. [ 49 ]

I believe that in his post – 1900 interiors, Hoffmann drew on the inspiration he garnered from Mackintosh and mixed it with his own design sensibility, most strikingly in the continual uses of all-white interiors and spare use of decoration and furniture. An excellent example of all of these elements in one interior is in the apartment of Max Biach, finished in 1902. For the Biach apartment Hoffmann designed the living room, drawing room, card room, stairwell on the ground floor, and four bedrooms on the second floor. In the dining room, Hoffmann used only white painted wood for the surfaces of his dining room set, built-in bar, and vitrines of the room. [ 50 ] There was a break in Hoffmann’s sectioning of the walls between the marble panels and built-in furniture in the lower half of the walls, and the use of lightly patterned wallpaper in the upper half. This sectioning of walls created a large expanse of visual rest within the room, making the room appear ample and simple. This method of open space was first employed by Mackintosh in both the tearoom exhibit and in his own apartment. Mackintosh used a running frieze rail along the interior walls of his apartment, with dark furniture on the lower half of the wall and wide tracts of painted white above the frieze rail. [ 51 ] Hoffmann’s use of wall sectioning continued in the living room, with the majority of furniture being built-in the lower portion of the walls, including the couch, fireplace, and bookshelves. [ 52 ]  Mackintosh rarely employed built-ins in his interiors.

Therefore, this living room demonstrates Hoffmann improving on the concept of the white, visually spare interiors of Mackintosh by adding the functionality of built-in seating and storage for the Biach family. The living room of the Biach apartment shows the inspiration Hoffmann took from Mackintosh in the use of contrasting elements. The white painted wood cabinets and chair contrasted against the dark stained wood table. Moreover, the mix of both the dull wood in the furniture and the metallic shine of the gas fireplace and glass cabinet doors broke up the visual rhythm of the room. [ 53 ]

The similarity between the cupboards Mackintosh created for his own apartment’s living room in 1900 and the wardrobe Hoffmann created for Katarina Biach in 1902 is unquestionable. In his living room, Mackintosh built two matching cupboards in white painted oak, with a square, decorative panel on the middle portion of each door containing colorful “divided blossoms on long stems.” [ 54 ] The wardrobe Hoffmann created for the Biach apartment was also made of painted white wood with a panel in the middle of each door containing a design of a blossom, growing up the length of the door. [ 55 ] However, while it is clear that Hoffmann took inspiration from the cupboards he saw in the Mackintoshes’ apartment, these pieces also represent a fundamental divergence in style between the two designers. Mackintosh’s flower panel is whimsical in its curving lines and use of colors, while Hoffmann chose to paint a severe painted blossom, revealing Hoffmann’s stricter adherence to minimal ism in furniture design.

Among design and decorative arts historians, there are sharply opposing stances on if Mackintosh and Hoffmann took inspiration from each other. Architectural historian David Gebhard contends that Hoffmann’s “fondness for white” in interiors came in part from his exposure to Mackintosh. [ 56 ] Design historians Peter and Charlotte Fiell agree that the use of painted white surfaces and lattice paneling that occurred after 1900 in Viennese design were “directly influenced by Mackintosh.” [ 57 ] Dr. Augest Sarnitz begrudgingly admits only that Hoffmann often “combined his own furniture designs with those of Mackintosh,” but quickly points out that he believes this was only for a short period. [ 58 ] Christian Witt-Dorring, curator of the Museum for the Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna, more willingly acknowledges the enormous impact the Glasgow Four’s exhibit made on both Hoffmann and the Vienna Secessionists. He states that after viewing the 1900 exhibit, the Viennese and Hoffmann began to use the method of “horizontally unified alignments” of furniture along walls to create a “soothing of space” in their own interiors. [ 59 ] Brigitte Huck agrees with this assessment, stating that the exhibit by the Glasgow Four “fired the Viennese artists with enthusiasm” in its “austerity and simplicity.” [ 6o ] While I agree with these historians that Hoffmann most certainly was influenced by Mackintosh, based on his move into the Viennese design styles that occurred after 1903, I believe that Mackintosh also was even more so taken with the work of Hoffmann and the Viennese.

Wiener Werkstätte
During the same year Hoffmann was designing the interiors for the Biach residence, he was also founding a guild of designers and craftsmen, known as the Wiener Werkstätte. [ 61 ] The goal of the Wiener Werkstätte was to imbue everyday life with beautiful and functional objects. They wished for their creations (even objects as ordinary as a stamp holder) to be “works of art.” They dealt in a dizzying array of fields, which included metalworking, glassblowing, textile design, jewelry making, and women’s clothing design. [ 62 ] Fritz Waerndorfer provided the funds to start up this costly endeavor, and the business was officially recorded in the Vienna Trade Register in May of 1903. [ 63 ] The Wiener Werkstätte took its inspiration in part from William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement of England. Hoffmann spoke of Morris with admiration, and in his autobiography he notes with uncontainable enthusiasm finding a bookbinder that, like him, “knew Morris’ movement and its excellent bookbinding work.” [ 64 ] Hoffmann also mentions that after an “intensive search” he was able to track down a leather producer in Paris “which Morris, too, uses as his exclusive supplier.” [ 65 ] Both Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement and Hoffmann and the Wiener Werkstätte wanted to bring beautiful, functional, and hand-made decorative arts back in an age of growing industrial prominence.

One of the people who aided in the creation of the Wiener Werkstätte was Mackintosh. Mackintosh and Waerndorfer stayed in contact through letters, and Mackintosh gave both Waerndorfer and Hoffmann advice on the creation of this guild. In a letter from 1903, Waerndorfer told Hoffmann he had written to Mackintosh for counsel concerning the creation of the Wiener Werkstätte and its metalwork shops. [ 66 ] Waerndorfer stated that Mackintosh wrote back, and he had found the idea of the Wiener Werkstätte “simply splendid.” [ 67 ] Mackintosh told them their utmost concern in the Wiener Werkstätte must be creating objects that

“carry an outspoken mark of individuality, beauty, and the most exact execution. From the very outset your aim must be that every object which you produce is made for a certain purpose or place. Later, once your hands and positions have been strengthened by the high quality of your product and by financial successes, then you can emerge boldly into the full light of the world, attack the factory trade on its own ground, and you can achieve the greatest work of the century: namely the production of useful objects in magnificent form.” [ 68 ]

Mackintosh was wistfully enthusiastic about the creation of the Wiener Werkstätte, stating “if I were in Vienna I would assist you with a great, big strong shovel!” [ 69 ] Mackintosh also designed an emblem for the Wiener Werkstätte to use [ 70 ] However, understandably so, Hoffmann and Waerndorfer decided to use a Wiener Werkstätte creation (Fig.6). The severe and simple two interlocking W’s framed within a double square became the iconic symbol of this new endeavor. [ 71 ]

Fig 6. Wiener Werkstätte Logo.

Fig 6. Wiener Werkstätte Logo.

In addition to the decorative arts, within the Wiener Werkstätte Hoffmann installed “a studio for draughtsman and architects.” [ 72 ] In terms of his architectural innovations, the Wiener Werkstätte helped Hoffmann to realize his goal of creating interiors and exteriors that were complete and perfect works of art: buildings like the Purkersdorf Sanatorium, the Palais Stoclet, and the Fledermaus Cabaret. [ 73 ] The availability of such a wide range of craftsmen with similar artistic predilections to his own meant Hoffmann could design spaces in which everything was created according to his vision. Like Mackintosh with his Glasgow Four, Hoffmann was now able to realize the concept of a Gesamtkunstwerk.

Gesamtkunstwerk, meaning both a “complete” and “perfect” work of art is a design philosophy that is evident in the work of Hoffmann and Mackintosh, (despite the fact that neither designer wrote extensively about their own design philosophies). While Hoffmann was teaching architecture, his students remembered how his own technique was based “less on conveying a method, and more about awakening an (individual’s) artistic personality.” [ 74 ] Likewise, at the height of his commercial success in 1902, the best advice Macintosh could give to young architects was to stop “the slavish imitation of old work” and to “shake off all the props – the props tradition and authority offer you – and go alone.” [ 75 ] Looking at the architecture and interiors that Mackintosh and Hoffmann created, each wished to create interiors in which every element it contained was a work of art. This is notable in Hoffinann’s creation of the Wiener Werkstätte and in Mackintosh’s collaboration with the Glasgow Four, as both men shared similar artistic visions of working to create interiors as a whole.

Fig 7. Purkersdorf Side Chair

Fig 7. Purkersdorf Side Chair.

The Purkersdorf Sanatorium, created in 1904, was the first Wiener Werkstätte architectural commission, and it is one Hoffmann’s finest architectural achievements. It is a perfect accumulation of both the design principles Hoffmann garnered from the work of Mackintosh, and also his own distinctly Viennese style of design. This Sanatorium was designed to be a quiet and luxurious retreat for wealthy individuals suffering from nervous disorders. [ 76 ] The color scheme for the entire building, both inside and out, is white. The exterior is free from almost all decorative elements, save a black and white checked tiles mosaic running along the length of the windows and door. This exterior showed the shift in Hoffmann now leaning towards a “simplification and tightening of the formal treatment” of his façades. [ 77 ] Within the interiors, austerity and geometry reign supreme. The Sanatorium contains an open floor plan, high ceilings, half-wall windows creating abundant natural light, and a near complete absence of any decoration or decorative elements. The furniture of this building consists almost exclusively of geometric white-painted wood furniture. The only exception to this archetype is the use of dark stained wood chairs (Fig. 7) employed in the dining room, which have curved, bentwood backs with back spats containing incised circles. [ 78 ] These chairs were used around the dining room table, but they were also placed up against the walls of the dining room, highlighting the wide expanse of continuous white, flowing from the walls to the frosted glass windows above the chairs. The contrast between the masculine hardness of the white painted furniture with the subtle bends and circles of the dark wood chairs is deeply reminiscent of the same contrasts in the Glasgow Four’s tea room created for the Vienna Secession exhibit. Additionally, the Wiener Werkstätte created everything (not needed in bulk) within the Sanatorium, from the desk lamps to the plant holders, which formed a total and healing work of art for the guests convalescing. [ 79 ] The placement of furniture, the use of an all white color scheme, and this idea of interiors as complete works of art all show how much the Glasgow Four and Mackintosh inspired Hoffmann to add new elements to his design repertoire.

Mackintosh’s Viennese Inspiration
In 1903, Mackintosh’s furniture and interiors were also starting to show significant changes in design vernacular. Mackintosh began to move away from the whimsical curves, all white color scheme, and colorful stained glass accents he had earlier employed to such acclaim in interiors like the Ingram Tea Rooms and his own Main Street apartments. His designs and architecture began to show a move towards “succinct rationalization” with the employment of strict geometric shapes. [ 80 ] Mackintosh’s Willow Tea Room interiors (Fig.8) ( created in 1903 for the famed tearoom business woman Miss Cranston ), are far more “subtle and quiet” in terms of color palette and design, even when compared to the Ingram Street Tea Rooms Mackintosh designed only three years earlier in 1900 for Miss Cranston. [ 81 ]

Fig 8. Glasgow: Willow Tea Rooms - Room De Luxe

Fig 8. Glasgow: Willow Tea Rooms – Room De Luxe.

Regarding the furniture of the Willow Tea Rooms, there was an introduction of elements including a lattice pattern, a move to a richer and deeper color scheme, and a visible preference for ebony stained wood and silver painted wood furniture, instead of white painted wood furniture.

The source and sudden appearance of the lattice pattern in the designs of Mackintosh is noteworthy, because Hoffmann frequently used this type of pattern in his own designs. Although it is impossible to tell if Hoffmann was the source for this pattern, there is evidence that suggests that the influence came from Vienna. The first recorded use of this pattern is located in a pencil, watercolor, and India ink drawing of a bed Mackintosh designed that has a lattice four-poster top. [ 82 ] While the date on the piece indicates that it may have been created in January 1900, the number on the last line of the date is difficult to make out (as it is written in light pencil) and looks like it could be either a zero or a three. [ 83 ] Roger Billcliffe initially argued in 1973 that the 1900 date was a mistake, because this drawing is far more in line with Mackintosh’s designs from the 1903-04 period. [ 84 ] However, he later rescinded that argument in his own book from 1980, titled Charles Rennie Mackintosh’: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs, perhaps realizing that it made a case for Mackintosh garnering inspiration from Vienna. Billcliffe instead believes that the bed design was an earlier rejected sketch Mackintosh drew for his own Main Street Apartment bedroom. [ 85 ] In spite of Billcliffe’s later argument, I believe that this drawing corresponds to the 1903-04 period of design. This drawing is marked by sharp, geometric lines for the headboard and footboard, which are not seen in any of Mackintosh’s designs from 1900. Furthermore, his bed design does not harmonize with the rest of the furniture in Mackintosh’s bedroom. [ 86 ] The furniture within the bedroom is marked by the use of imaginative pink and purple stained glass accents, and voluptuous curves on the mirror, cabinets, and bed. There are few straight lines present within this interior, and they are overtaken by the overwhelming amount of serpentine shapes.  [ 87 ] The stark and severe lattice bed looks completely out of place when compared with the rest of the furniture in the bedroom. Moreover, Mackintosh’s lattice bed fits in more with the designs of Hoffmann, particularly with anyone of the bedrooms within the Biach apartment. Both beds share squares as the only defining decorative element, and both have a similar simple white and black bedspread, with thinly outlined geometric shapes. [ 88 ]

Fig 9 Vase

Fig 9. Vase.

Hoffmann used this lattice pattern extensively in his silverworks for vases (Fig.9) he designed for the Wiener Werkstätte. Hoffmann’s silverworks predate the sculptures of Sol Lewitt in their stunning simplicity. [ 89 ] In the afore quoted extract from Mackintosh within the letter from Waerndorfer to Hoffmann, Waerndorfer mentions how Mackintosh was giving advice for the Wiener Werkstätte’s metalwork shop. [ 90]  It is not difficult to imagine Mackintosh would have been sent a Wiener Werkstätte silverworks catalog from Hoffmann or Waerndorfer, to see the finished results of his advice. In addition to the introduction of the lattice pattern in the Willow Tea Room, Mackintosh also began a move away from figurative stained glass works and wall designs. Before 1903, Mackintosh stuck to a theme of creating stylized women and flowers in the accents of his furniture. For example, looking at his designs on a cabinet with inlayed stained glass panels within the doors he created for 14 Kingsbourgh Gardens, this cabinet depicts two women in white turbans holding stylized roses. [ 91 ] While the forms of these figures are somewhat simplified, in their Art Nouveau reminiscent curling forms, it is clear that they are women holding roses. [ 92 ] In contrast, in the Front Saloon of the tearoom, the stained glass accents (Fig. 10) contain only designs of abstract geometric shapes. [ 93 ] These windows are a clear break in the figural style that Mackintosh was so firmly grounded in up until 1903. They show the introduction of abstraction, and these windows resemble the abstractly designed jewelry of the Wiener Werkstatte. [ 94 ] In the Salon De Luxe, the jewel-toned, “glittering treasure box of luxury” of the Willow Tea Room, curving lines are present in the stained glass windows, but they are mixed with straight lines and rectangular and circular shapes. [ 95 ] What is uncanny about these newly introduced shapes and patterns in these stained glass windows is their resemblance to the silverwork jewelry designs of Josef Hoffmann. The jewelry designs of Josef Hoffmann are comprised mainly of square and rectangular brooches, with a mix of circular and rectangular shapes framed by silver lines, which created what strongly resembled miniature stained glass windows. [ 96 ] The door windows for the Salon De Luxe employ similar design arrangement, with rectangular open space coupled with what appears to be milky, jewel-like rounds of stained glass sprinkled through out the window. [ 97 ] The similarity between the Salon De Luxe doors and Hoffmann’s brooches is so striking, that a woman wearing a Josef Hoffmann – designed Wiener Werkstatte dress and jewelry would blend completely into the decor of the Willow Tea Rooms. That one could mix the furniture and fashion of both Hoffmann and Mackintosh demonstrates how closely intermeshed Mackintosh and Hoffmann’s design language was, when elements from either designer fit perfectly within the rooms of each other.

Fig 10. Glasgow: Willow Tea Rooms: Room De Luxe: wall panels and mirrors.

Fig 10. Glasgow: Willow Tea Rooms: Room De Luxe: wall panels and mirrors.

In 1902, Mackintosh was asked by publisher Walter Blackie of Blackie and Sons Limited to design a mansion for him and his family, known as the Hill House. [ 98 ] Because there are so few buildings in which Mackintosh designed both the interior and the exterior, Hill House is an excellent example of Mackintosh’s skill in designing a total work of art and it also acts as halfway point in terms of his design vernacular. It is a combination of both the “hard shell, characterized by words like strong, sober, empiricist, objective” and “white interiors … (which) attract adjectives like soft, decorated, idealist, fantastic.” [ 99 ] This house contains rooms of traditionally Mackintosh white furniture and designs, but with the usual curves replaced by straight lines. The house also contains dark, symmetrical interiors with the inclusion of primary colored glass and wood accents.

Fig 11. Hill House Entrance. 

Fig 11. Hill House Entrance.

Two of the most masculine interiors within Hill House are the library and the hallway (Fig. 11). The hallway has a “strong visual impact” because of its cut out squares within the furniture and beams, and the use of a dark, ebony stain. [ 100 ] When entering the hallway, a visitor would walk up from the vestibule to the main floor of the hallway, and would be greeted by a well-lit interior of dark, veridical shapes. [ 101 ] In the vestibule, the pillars have incised circles, an element not before seen in the interiors of Mackintosh. This use of incised circles is similar to the before mentioned mahogany stained beech wood back spats of the chairs of the Purkersdorf Sanatorium. [ 102 ] As opposed to the white painted wood furniture of the Hill House bedroom, the furniture in this room is of “sturdy utility” with “little to no reference to organic forms.” [ 103 ] Even Billcliffe, a vehement critic of the idea that Mackintosh took any sort of inspiration from Vienna or Hoffmann, admits that the geometric furniture of Hill House shows a “linear precision of a more Germanic or Austrian nature” and that in his Hill House interiors, it was “the geometrical that intrigued Mackintosh” and not the whimsicality. [ 104 ]

The hallway is an example of a move away from the sterile interiors of Mackintosh’s Main Street Apartments, towards more functional, liveable, and intimate interiors. However, this could have been the influence of his staunchly middle-class client Blackie. Blackie and his wife Ruth had four children and perhaps wanted a house that matched their “Edwardian values” of family and the private and sacred sphere of the home. [ 105 ] Blackie also stated to Mackintosh that he could not afford to have all new furnishing, therefore the interiors would have to incorporate the Blackie’s more traditional Victorian furniture. However, despite having to work around the budget and needs of a middle-class family, Blackie mentioned with a sense of wonder that “every detail received (Mackintosh’s) careful – I might say loving – attention.” [ 106 ]

The exterior of Hill House contains almost no decorative elements, with the primary ornamental elements being the strong geometric lines and white concrete used to cover the exterior. [ 107 ] Additionally, the windows are composed of a white, thick lattice pattern, identical to the windows of the Sanatorium. [ 108 ] While this could have been an architectural vernacular coincidence, Mackintosh moreover employs a design that Hoffmann used as one of the only decorative elements on the exterior of the Sanatorium: a black and white checkered block pattern running around the length of the porch. For Hill House, Mackintosh created a ” stencilled chequerboard pattern” which is repeated across the outside porch of Hill House. [ 109 ] This pattern is echoed throughout Hill House in the use of incised squares in much of the ebony stained furniture of Hill House, from the ladder back chairs of the bedroom to the geometric tables of the hallway. [ 110 ] These elements show Mackintosh moving towards a “more emphatic impact of the square” in his furniture, a design element that would overtake the majority of his furniture designs in the years following the making of Hill House. [ 111 ]

In Hill House, the color scheme shows a definitive move away from the bright colored accents that marked Mackintosh’s earlier designs. There is a move towards deep, rich plum and red tones, with the exception of the drawing room having understated feminine hints of pink and lavender. [ 112 ] Despite these pastel colors, the stained glass windows in Hill House show an even more simplified outline of shapes and lines than the windows of the Willow Tea rooms. For instance, the stained glass windows of the stairwell contain only a rich plum triangle with straight lines, revealing Mackintosh’s move towards a minimal Viennese design style that continued to grow from 1900 to 1920.

The Willow Tearoom and Hill House both provide good examples of Mackintosh shift to a restrained and Viennese inspiration. However, I argue that the strongest, example of the undeniable extent of Viennese influence on Mackintosh is clearly visible in his interiors created in 1917 for the Bassett-Lowke family at 78 Derngate. In this home, Mackintosh designed the dining room, the living room, the hall, the kitchen, and one upstairs bedroom. Derngate’s interiors are a compete change from Mackintosh’s earlier interiors, in the strict adherence to geometric lines, the use of deep primary colors and dark woods, and the overwhelming preference for the triangle as a decorative element. While all of the interiors of Derngate show the heavy inspiration from both Hoffmann and the Wiener Werkstatte, unquestionably the room that most clearly shows this Viennese influence is the hall. This room contains many of the elements typical of Hoffmann’s designs, including geometric wallpaper, lattice patterning, and the use of a focal white fireplace using stacked squares creating an “H” shape. [ 113 ] The floor is composed of a black and white checkerboard pattern, and the walls are made of either ebonized wood lattice panels, or covered in wallpaper. The fireplace in white pops out against the dark walls, and the sitting nook is also painted white, which creates the illusion that the tiny room is far larger then its actual size. Also adding to the room’s façade of largeness is the employment of mirrored cabinets and a mirrored built-in half-sized grandfather clock. Much of the storage of this room is built-in to conserve space, including the bookcases and shelves that encase the fireplace. Mackintosh never used built-in furniture prior to Derngate, and these built-ins are reminiscent of the ones Hoffmann employed in the Biach residence in their style and functionality. [ 114 ] The chandelier in the hall is a total change from the usual box-shaped light fixtures Mackintosh normally favored, in that it is composed of an alternating yellow, blue and black chevron pattern painted on a round cutout circle. The chandelier has a large white bulb covered in a copper hood hanging in the center of the crown to provide electric light, and there are also candlestick-shaped lights on the top, creating a light fixture resembling a Saint Lucia Crown. It is attached to the ceiling by triangles, made of a thin copper wire. The medallion on the ceiling is breathtaking, and is a work of art in itself: it consists of an all white molding, creating a pattern that appears almost like basket weaving from the squares both flat and raised. Around the basketwork pattern, the molding is framed by a rounded, raised edge pattern acting as a frame for the beauty of this light fixture. In Derngate, there is a sudden use of heavily patterned stencilled geometric wallpaper. Mackintosh rarely used wallpaper in his interior before Derngate; instead, he relied on the use of large decorative patterned stencils. He used these stencils often on the walls of his interiors, a notably example being the graceful rose carrying women in a grey landscape created for his Buchanan Street Tea Room. [ 115 ] The difference between Mackintosh’s earlier stencils and his Derngate wallpaper is that the latter’s is two-dimensional and does not allow the viewer to linger within a landscape, and while it is stencilled, it is of a repeating pattern. The eye stays directly on the surface of this wallpaper, leading to a conception of the interior of the room as a whole instead of the sum of its individual parts. [ 116 ] Additionally, this wallpaper bears a near identical resemblance to the wallpaper that Hoffmann created for a 1907 Wiener Werkstatte exhibition in Mannheim, the only difference being the direction in which the triangles point. [ 117 ] Mackintosh’s wallpaper for Derngate also strongly resembles the light and dark blue triangular wallpaper that Hoffmann created for the living room of Mäda Primavesi within the Primavesi Country House in 1907. [ 118 ] The Derngate stencilled wallpaper in the hall contained in the upper portion a pattern of golden triangles facing downward, with accents of smaller triangles in vivid, alternating colors of green, red, blue, orange, and purple, while the bottom portion of the wallpaper was black. [ 119 ] Starting from the top of the wallpaper to the bottom ran a strip of black and white checkerboard pattern, similar in the size of squares to the pattern employed in Hill House. [ 120 ] In the hall of Derngate, there is little natural light save the sitting nook window, which could have lead to the issue of a darkly lit interior. Perhaps to remedy this problem, Mackintosh brilliantly created a staircase screen consisting of panels of leaded glass and ebonized wood. The leaded glass panels were in warm shades of yellow and gold, lighting the dark interior and making it appear well lit. [ 121 ] The panels blended with the stencilled wallpaper, but did not mirror it exactly: instead, it complimented the triangular patterns of the wallpaper.

In terms of the furnishings Mackintosh created for Derngate, there is a complete lack of curves, white painted surfaces, and any sort of whimsical decorative elements. The furniture in the interiors of Derngate “relies for its effect on its mass … severe outlines and plain surfaces.” [ 122 ] Again, the lattice pattern is employed by Mackintosh in almost every area of furnishings, including cabinets, couches, dining room chairs, and stools. Like much of the furniture created by Hoffmann, the Derngate furniture is simple, but when placed with stencilled wallpaper, they create a total and complete space that has a harmonious controlled flow, down the to last side table lamp. Hoffmann often employed the mixture of plain furniture with bold wallpaper designs in his interiors, most notably in Hoffmann’s own family apartment designed in 1905, and in his interiors including the Biach residence, and the Stonborough residence. In his own home, Hoffmann surprisingly used a large black and white polka dotted pattern, which was coupled with geometrically simple furniture to create a visually compete interior. [ 123 ] Most of the furniture in Derngate is made of ebonized beech wood or oak, but there is also the inclusion of a new material. “Erinoid” was a casein-based plastic and it was marked by its ability to hold bright colors. [ 124 ] Mackintosh used this plastic to create colored triangles to add geometric decoration to the furniture in Derngate. For example, in the ebonized beech smoking cabinet (Fig. 12) Mackintosh designed, the table legs were inlayed with golden colored erinoid triangles and the top of the cabinet contained the same golden colored rectangles. [ 125 ] One of the reasons for the use of this type of plastic was the banning of German plastics during the years of World War I, and the Derngate interior is a good example of the ways in which World War I altered the design elements of Mackintosh.

Fig 12. Smokers Cabinet.

Another sign of World War 1 affecting Derngate was that much of the furniture inside of Derngate was constructed by Germans placed in an all-male Alien Civilian Interment camp. [ 126 ] These prisoners were kept in the Knockaloe Camp on the Isle of Man. Many of the men that made the furniture for Derngate were accomplished craftsman, which may point to the high quality of the Derngate furniture. It could also perhaps account for the closeness in design style to the furniture of the Wiener Werkstatte, as it is plausible that these German craftsmen were more familiar with the Wiener Werkstatte movement than the Glasgow craftsman that previously created Mackintosh’s furniture. In 1914, Mackintosh moved from Glasgow to the tiny town of Walberswick, on the coast of Suffolk. It is speculated that from Suffolk he and Margaret  intended to move to Vienna, but the outbreak of World War I prevented this from occurring. [ 127 ] For a man with so many close friends and ardent admirers hailing from both Germany and Austria, the war must have affected him deeply, as written communication was suspended between the two countries and he could no longer contact his friends. While living in Walberswick, he was suspected of consorting with the enemy. When soldiers were dispatched to search his home, they rather unsurprisingly “discovered some Gennan & Austrian letters.” [ 128 ] Presumably, these letters were confiscated, which accounts for the compete lack of surviving letters Hoffmann, Muthesius, Waerndorfer, and others wrote to Mackintosh. After World War I, Mackintosh found that few could afford to build, and his designs, never quite popular in England, were garnering fewer and fewer commissions. It is unknown if Hoffmann and Mackintosh ever met after 1918, as there are no surviving letters to prove that this occurred, though, both men were deeply touched by the other’s designs. Mackintosh declared that the periods he spent in Vienna to be some of the best times of his life, and both designers visited each other in the years leading up 1914. [ 129 ] More importantly, both men took elements from each other’s designs and employed into their own respective design languages. Nonetheless, the evidence that exists in the form of the Willow Tea Rooms, Hill House, and most importantly of all 78 Derngate shows how Mackintosh later appropriated many recognizable design elements straight from the Viennese design vernacular, to the point of almost exact replicas, whereas Hoffmann contented himself with integrating Mackintosh’s designs into his own design vernacular. What both Hoffmann’s and Mackintosh’s designs show is a striving towards a “purity of design” in the ultimate pursuit of creating a Gesamtkunstwerk. [ 130 ] Both men saw in each other a mutual goal: of incorporating art into life, in creating interiors that every element would be worthy of being art on its own, but together would be an interior of great beauty and calm. For Mackintosh, this meant a move towards purer geometric shapes and primary colors, creating interiors that contained all the visual shock of a dissonant chord by Stravinsky. For Hoffmann this meant adding white to his interiors, experimenting with curves, and thinking about interior space as a whole. These two designers show not only a move away from tired Victorian and Edwardian styles of design, but also a definitive step in the direction of modernism, in their use of minimalist shapes, simple interiors, and stark color schemes. Both men helped to usher in a new style of design in each of their respective cities, and in doing so paved the way for Art Deco, Bauhaus, and contemporary design.


  1. Roger Billcliffe and Peter Vergo “Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Austrian Art Revival” The Burlington Magazine 119, no.896 (November 1977): 743.
  2. Billcliffe and Vergo, “Charles Rennie Mackintosh,” 743.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Wendy Kaplan, “Introduction” in Charles Rennie Mackintosh, ed. Wendy Kaplan (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996), 14.
  5. Crawford, Mackintosh, 81.
  6. Ibid.,79.
  7. JosefHoffmann, Autobiography, ed. and trans. by Peter Noever and Marek Pokorny (Vienna: Hatje Cantz, 2010), 86.
  8. Ibid., 88.
  9. Hoffmann, Autobiography, 88.
  10. Ibid., 89.
  11. Ibid., 82.
  12. Ibid., 20.
  13. Hoffmann, Autobiography, 89.
  14. August Samitz, Josef Hoffmann 1870-1956: In the Realm of Beauty (Berlin: Taschen, 2007), 12.
  15. Sekler, Hoffmann, 25.
  16. Hoffmann, Autobiography, 91.
  17. Sekler, Hoffmann, plate 28.
  18. Carl E. Schorske, Fin-de-siixle Vienna: Politics and Culture (New York: Vintage Books, , , 1981), 215.
  19. Sekler, Hoffmann, 34.
  20. Alan Crawford, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (London: Thames and Hudson, 1995), 9.
  21. Alan Crawford, “Chronology,” in Charles Rennie Mackintosh, ed.Wendy Kaplan (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996), 17.
  22. Charles Mackintosh, “Seemliness,” in The Architectural Papers of Mackintosh, ed. Pamela Robertson (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990), 222.
  23. Evening Times (Glasgow) December 21,1899, as quoted in Mark Giround, “Glasgow School of Art” in Charles Rennie Mackintosh, ed. Wendy Kaplan (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996), 154.
  24. Crawford, Mackintosh, 24.
  25. Janice Helland, “Collaboration Among the Four,” in Charles Rennie Mackintosh, ed. Wendy Kaplan (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996), 90.
  26. Hermann Muthesius, “The English House,” trans. Janet Seligman (New York: Rizzoli, 1979), 51-2.
  27. lbid.
  28. Perilla Knichin, Taking Tea with Mackintosh: The Story of Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms, (San Francisco: Pomegranate Press, 1998), 78.
  29. Elana Shapira, “Modernism and Jewish Identity in Early Twentieth-Century Vienna: Fritz Waerndorfer and His House for an Art Lover,” Studies in the Decorative Arts no. 2 (2006): 54.
  30. Shapira, “Modernism and Jewish Identity,”65.
  31. Fritz Waerndorfer to Josef Hoffmann, 23 December 1902, Estate of Josef Hoffmann, in Josef Hoffmann: The Architectural Work: Monograph and Catalogue of Works, ed. and trans. by Eduard F. Sekler (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985),509.
  32. James Macaulay, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2010), 188.
  33. Janice Staggs, “The Inside: A Female Realm Abandoning the Corset to Express Individual Character” in Josef Hoffmann 1902-1913, ed. Christian Witt-Dorring (Munich: Prestal, 2006), 101.
  34. Decorative Kunst, (September 1901), 72, quoted in Janice Helland, “Collaboration Among the Four,” in Charles Rennie Mackintosh, ed. Wendy Kaplan (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996), plate 63.
  35. Crawford, Mackintosh, 71.
  36. Ibid.
  37. Decorative Kunst (September 1901), 72, quoted in Janice Helland, “Collaboration Among the Four,” in in Charles Rennie Mackintosh, ed. Wendy Kaplan (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996), plates 62-63.
  38. Helland, Collaboration, 10 1.
  39. lbid.
  40. Janice Staggs, “The Inside: A Female Realm Abandoning the Corset to Express Individual Character,” in Josef Hoffmann Interiors 1902-1913, 101.
  41. Helland, Collaboration, 99.
  42. Ibid.
  43. Peter Vergo, Vienna 1990: Scotland, and the European Avant-Garde (Edinburgh: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1983),43.
  44. James Macaulay, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 199.
  45. Juliet Kinchin, “Mackintosh and the City,” in Charles Rennie Mackintosh, ed. Wendy Kaplan (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996),39.
  46. Shapira, “Modernism,” 70.
  47. Ibid., 69.
  48. Sekler, Hoffmann, 65.
  49. Christian Witt-Dorring, “On the Path to Modernism,” in Josef Hoffmann 1902-1913, ed. Christian Witt-Dorring (Munich: Prestal, 2006), figure 5.
  50. Christian Witt-Dorring, “Four Interiors by Josef Hoffinann,” in Josef Hoffmann 1902-1913, ed. Christian Witt-Dorring (Munich: Prestal, 2006), plate no. 9-10.
  51. Crawford, Mackintosh, 69.
  52. Christian Witt-Dorring, Four Interiors, plates 11-12.
  53. Ibid.
  54. Nathaniel Harris, The Life and Works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, (Bath: Lomond Books, 2000),26.
  55. Christian Witt-Diirring, Four Interiors, plate 22.
  56. David Gebhard, Josef Hoffmann: Design Classics (Dallas: Hurst Printing, 1982), 52.
  57. Charlotte Fiell and Peter Fiell, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (London: Taschen, 2004), 20.
  58. Sarnitz, JosefHoffinann 1870-1956, 25.
  59. Christian Witt-Dorring “On the Path,” 57.
  60. Brigite Huck,”Biography” in Josef Hoffmann Designs, ed. Peter Noever (New York: Prestel, 1992),296.
  61. Ibid.,151.
  62. Gabriele Fahr-Becker, Wiener Werkstiitte: 1903-1932, ed. Angelika Taschen, (Koln: Tachen, 2003),12.
  63. Christian Brandstiitter, Wiener Werkstiitte: Designs in Vienna 1903-1932, (New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc. Publishers, 2003), 8.
  64. Hoffinann, Autobiography, 93.
  65. Ibid.
  66. Fritz Waerndorfer to Joseph Hoffmann, 17 March, 1903, Estate of Josef Hoffmann, in Josef Hoffmann: The Architectural Work: Monograph and Catalogue of Works, ed. and trans. by Eduard F. Sekler (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), 65.
  67. Ibid.
  68. Ibid.
  69. Ibid.
  70. James Macaulay, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 199.
  71. Seker, Hoffmann, 66.
  72. Hoffmann, Autobiography, 92.
  73. Samitz, Josef Hoffmann 1870-1956,17.
  74. Ibid., 16.
  75. Mackintosh “Seemliness,” 223.
  76. Sarnitz, Josef Hoffmann 1870-1956, 48.
  77. Sekler, Hoffmann, 52.
  78. Samitz, Josef Hoffmann 1870-1956, 49.
  79. Christian Brandstiitter, Wiener Werkstiitte, 119.
  80. Roger Billcliffe, Mackintosh Furniture, (Scotland: Cameron and Hollis, 1984), 106.
  81. Billcliffe, Mackintosh Furniture, 109.
  82. Roger Billclife, Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs (London: John Murray, 1980), 81.
  83. Ibid.
  84. Ibid.
  85. Ibid.
  86. Crawford, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 70.
  87. Ibid.
  88. Christian Witt-Dorring, Josef Hoffmann Interiors 1902-1913: The Making of an Exhibition, ed. Christian Witt-Dorring (Munich: Prestal, 2006), figure 7.
  89. Gabriele Fahr-Becker, Wiener Werkstiitte, 31.
  90. Waemdorfer to Joseph Hoffinann, 17 March, 1903.
  91. Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, plate 1902.3.
  92. Ibid.
  93. Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, plate 1903.C.
  94. Ibid.
  95. Kinchin, Taking Tea with Mackintosh, 57.
  96. Gabriele Fahr-Becker, Wiener Werkstiitte. 176.
  97. Ibid., 56.
  98. Crawford, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 100.
  99. John McKean, “Hill House,” in Charles Rennie Mackintosh. ed.Wendy Kaplan (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996), 177.
  100. Roger Billclife, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 126.
  101. McKean,”Hili House,” 182.
  102. Gabriele Fahr-Becker, Wiener Werkstiitte, 176.
  103. Crawford, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 130.
  104. Ibid., 125.
  105. McKean, “Hill House,” 181.
  106. Ibid., 194.
  107. Ibid., plate 119.
  108. Ibid.
  109. Crawford, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 123.
  110. Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 126.
  111. Ibid.,129.
  112. McKean, “Hill House,” plate 133.
  113. Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, plate 1916.Ei
  114. Christian Witt-Dorring, Four Interiors, plates 11-12.
  115. Perilla Kinchin, Taking Tea With Mackintosh, plate 9.
  116. Marilyn Oliver Hapsgood, Wallpaper and the Artist: From Durer to Warhol, (New York: Abbeville Publishers, 1992), plate 103.
  117. lbid., plate 112.
  118. Seckler, Jose/Hoffmann, plate 161.
  119. Hapsgood, Wallpaper and the Artist, Plate 104.
  120. lbid.
  121. Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, plate 1916.Ei
  122. Billcliffe, Mackintosh Furniture, 198.
  123. Christian Witt-Dorring, Josef Hoffmann Interiors 1902-19J3. plate 36.
  124. “Erinoid Plastic Samples, “BBC and the British Museum, “A History of the World,” accessed March 20, 2014, http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/ZlmnlY2MT5a9ecOAnfJyKA.
  125. Billcliffe, Mackintosh Furniture, plate 1916.16.
  126. lbid.,267.
  127. Ibid.
  128. Mackintosh to William Davidson, July 21 , 1915, Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, in Gavin Stamp, “The London Years” Charles Rennie Mackintosh, ed. Wendy Kaplan (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996), 201.
  129. Macaulay, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 199.
  130. Ibid, 82.


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Image acknowledgements
Figs 1, 2: Wikimedia.
Fig 3: Hunterian Art Gallery.
Fig 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11: ArtStor Slide Gallery. http://www.artstor.org
Fig 8: The Willow Tea Rooms Trust.
Figs 4, 12 : The Victoria & Albert Museum.

This article was first published in 2014 at http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/history_honproj/51 and is reproduced here by kind permission of the author Elizabeth Muir. ©Elizabeth Muir 2014.