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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture - History

Postgraduate Course: C.R. Mackintosh: Architecture, Art and Design c.1900 (ARHI11007)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will utilise visual analyses of designs and buildings, and primary documentary sources with a view to identifying the competing strands that contributed to Mackintosh's development and approach to architecture. Recent research has disclosed some unexpectedly traditional approaches in Mackintosh's work which will lead us to consider the role various historiographies, past and current, play on how we interpret his work and reputation. For example, it has been suggested that Mackintosh was a key contributor to the Viennese Secession, and that Margaret Macdonald was responsible for the radicalism of his art and design c.1900 but are these views the result of overzealous feminist critiques or a tendency to overrate Mackintosh's international reputation?
Course description This course will aim to place Mackintosh in the Scottish context examining the relationship between historicism, the Arts and Crafts movement and the Art Nouveau in his work. There were many interesting overlapping and competing strands in architecture in Scotland in this period: Mackintosh's own Glasgow contemporaries Gillespie and Salmond in Glasgow with sound city-based practices, Geddes and the Celtic Revival in Edinburgh, Lorimer very strongly impacting in Edinburgh and was the leading country house architect, but others such as Leiper designing for the wealthier bourgeoisie in the Borders and the west coast from Ayrshire to Argyll, and the more radical Weir Schulz for the Marquis of Bute at Mount Stuart. What is also striking in this period is the very high quality of design taking place beyond the major cities, for example, James MacLaren's work in Stirling.
Mackintosh did little outside Glasgow but more recent research discloses a wider set of involvements such as the somewhat unexpectedly restrained classicism (for an avant-garde architect) of his additions to Broughton House in 1907, and his attendance at meetings of Rowand Anderson's Scottish National Monuments Survey at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1913. So, to what extent was Mackintosh prepared to be pragmatic in order to stay in practice after the shock waves of reaction to the Glasgow School of Art died down?
The course will also examine Mackintosh's reputation. To what extent have the 1968 Mackintosh exhibition and Thomas Howarth's and Pevsner's ground breaking studies of Mackintosh as a Modernist created a reputation, and a set of expectations that overlook the more mundane aspects of his practice? In recent years there has been a tendency to suggest that Margaret Macdonald was responsible for the radicalism of his art and design c.1900 but is that sustainable from the evidence or could it be the result of overzealous feminist critiques?

The course will be delivered in illustrated lectures, and there will be at least one site visit. A full schedule of lectures and tutorials will be available in the course handbook.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Architectural History 1 (ARHI08005) OR ( Architectural History 1A: From Antiquity to Enlightenment (ARHI08001) AND Architectural History 1B: Revivalism to Modernism (ARHI08004)) OR ( Architectural History: Introduction to World Architecture (ARCH08003) AND Architectural History: Revivalism to Modernism (ARCH08005)) AND ( Architectural History 2a: Order & the City (ARHI08006) OR Architectural History 2b: Culture & the City (ARHI08007))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements If students do not have the required number of courses for entry, concession for entry may be granted through consultation with the Course Organiser.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an extensive knowledge of Scottish architecture and Mackintosh's work c.1900.
  2. Demonstrate sophisticated skills in the location, analysis and use of a range of different forms of evidence, including textual documents and architectural drawings.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to construct a sophisticated art and architectural-historical argument, informed by analysis of primary sources and corrected by critical awareness with regard to secondary texts.
Reading List
Indicative bibliography; a full bibliography will be available in the course handbook.

Buchanan, William (1989) Mackintosh's masterwork : the Glasgow School of Art. Glasgow, Richard Drew
Crawford, Alan(c1995)Charles Rennie Mackintosh, London : Thames and Hudson
Howarth, Thomas (1977) Charles Rennie Macintosh and the Modern Movement, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul
Pevsner, Nikolaus (2011 rev. and extended ed.), Pioneers of modern design, from William Morris to Walter Gropius, Bath : Palazzo
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills At the end of this course the student will be able, through tutorial discussions and coursework, demonstrate:
- enhanced abilities in research, critical thinking, weighing up of arguments and evidence
- understanding of complex issues and how to draw valid conclusions from the past
- production of innovative research pieces that adhere to bibliographical convention
- enhanced writing skills
Course organiserMs Margaret Stewart
Tel: (0131 6)51 5788
Course secretaryMiss Amanda Fleet
Tel: (0131 6)50 2328
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