Record visitor numbers to Mackintosh venues for 150th anniversary

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

A record 1.1 million people visited Charles Rennie Mackintosh venues across Glasgow in 2018. A series of events to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the renowned architect attracted a surge in visitors. The success of the celebrations were tempered by the June fire that raged through the Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art. However, there was also the reopening of Mackintosh’s Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street and the unveiling of a new mural beside the Clutha Bar.

David McDonald, deputy leader of the city council, said: “The incredible legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh is part of the fabric of Glasgow and his buildings, art and design are of international significance so it was only right that we marked the 150th anniversary of his birth and his place in our shared history with something very special.

Mackintosh House Drawing Room


“The overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had to Mackintosh 150 over the past year, backed by a record number of visitors to Mackintosh venues and events in Glasgow and beyond, confirms the huge interest and affection there is for him both at home and globally.”

“The tragedy and impact of the fire at our beloved Glasgow School of Art earlier this year and the shock and sadness felt here and around the world was a painful reminder of the fragility and importance of Mackintosh’s work.”

More than a million people visited Mackintosh venues in and around Glasgow – including Scotland Street School Museum, House for an Art Lover and Mackintosh House at The Hunterian.

Glasgow Life said the anniversary programme has been the springboard for the implementation of the city’s new 10-year Mackintosh plan, which seeks to promote Mackintosh as Scotland’s national architect and safeguard his legacy for the future.

Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland’s regional leadership director, said: “Mackintosh designs have been everywhere this year, from a Vogue fashion shoot to the centrepiece of the Scottish Design Galleries at V&A Dundee. He is a national icon with a global influence that is a major asset in attracting visitors to Scotland, as shown by this range of successes.”