William J.R. Curtis - 'Materials of the Imagination: The Glasgow School of Art' (Mackintosh Symposium)
Hosted by the Mackintosh School of Architecture

Event Type:


Glasgow Film Theatre


14 Dec 2009
15:45 - 16:45



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Lecture Presentation

William J.R. Curtis - 'Materials of the Imagination: The Glasgow School of Art' (Mackintosh Symposium)

Event info

William J.R. Curtis
'Materials of the Imagination: The Glasgow School of Art' watch video

The Glasgow School of Art refuses to fit the simplistic categories imposed upon it by historians; it is both modern and traditional, local and international, unique and universal. In this talk William J. R. Curtis (author of Modern Architecture Since 1900) will penetrate to the driving ideas and intentions behind Mackintosh's masterpiece and will attempt to unravel some of its many levels of meaning. He will also suggest how the artist transformed diverse sources from history, nature and industry into the stuff of his own vision and imagination. In effect this will be a reflection upon the rôle of architectural images and ideas in the genesis of forms, and their translation into matter, space and light. Curtis maintains that the Glasgow School of Art is one of those rare works of architecture to transcend time : that it provides relevant lessons and  inspiration for the present and the future.

Historian, critic, writer, painter, photographer, Curtis has written extensively on twentieth century architecture. His best-known books are: Modern Architecture Since 1900 and Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms. These have been referred to as 'classics' and have been translated into many languages. He has written texts on subjects as varied as landscape design, the history of everyday objects, historiography, visual education, criticism, Indian architecture, sub-Saharan vernacular architecture photography, and the abstraction of nature in painting. He has lectured on every continent, been Slade Professor in Fine Art, University of Cambridge and Simpson Professor at the University of Edinburgh. He has curated exhibitions and also exhibited and published his own paintings, drawings, reliefs and photographs.

Other Presentations from the 2009 Mackintosh Symposium
The Mackintosh Symposium lectures explored the influence of Charles Rennie Mackintosh as architect, designer, and artist - 100 years after the completion of the Mackintosh Building at The Glasgow School of Art.

Andy MacMillan
The Building as Document
Benedetta Tagliabue Mackintosh and Miralles
Professor Gordon Benson  CRM and the Legacy of Reinvention
Pamela Robertson Mackintosh and Glasgow
The Mackintosh Symposium Panel Discussion - Part 1
The Mackintosh Symposium Panel Discussion - Part 2