Competition design for Glasgow Art Galleries (Ionic)

M056 Competition design for Glasgow Art Galleries (Ionic)

Address: Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow
Date: 1891–2
Client: Association for the Promotion of Art and Music in Glasgow
Authorship: Authorship category 3 (Office with Mackintosh) (Office with Mackintosh)

Colour photograph of perspective, 'Builder', 26 June 1892, pp. 515–6

John Honeyman & Keppie produced three competition designs for a new art gallery and museum building in Kelvingrove Park. One design was in a severe Ionic classical style; the second was French Renaissance-inspired, with four towers and a busy roofline; the third was also French Renaissance, with a large dome. It has previously been said that the Ionic and domed designs were submitted in the preliminary round of the competition, while the second design with the towers was produced for the final round. However, contemporary reports and the organising committee's minutes show that all three designs were submitted in the preliminary round. The Ionic and towered designs were among six short-listed, and they advanced unchanged to the final adjudication.

Authorship: The classical design was probably John Honeyman's; it recalls his earlier, more modest, design for Paisley Free Library and Museum. Reports on the competition believed this design to be Honeyman's work, and in the publication Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909, one of the firm's two shortlisted designs was attributed to Honeyman. 1 The draughtsmanship and style of the sculptural details is thought suggestive of Mackintosh's work. 2

Status: Unbuilt


1: Builder, 62, 25 June 1892, p. 502; pp. 513–16; George Eyre-Todd, Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909, Glasgow: Gray & Gowans Ltd, 1909, p. 91.

2: David Walker, 'The Early Works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh', in Nikolaus Pevsner and J. M. Richards, eds, The Anti-Rationalists, London: Architectural Press, 1973, pp. 117–18.