Glasgow School of Art’s famed library feared lost in blaze

The world famous Glasgow School of Art has suffered devasting damage after a fire ripped through the listed Charles Rennie Mackintosh building.

Firefighters are still struggling to control the blaze. Eye witnesses feared that the whole west wing of the old building has been lost, including the irreplaceable Mackintosh library and the Hen Run, a famous corridor running along the roof which linked the west and east wing.

The school was completed in 1909 and is considered by many to be Mackintosh’s masterwork. Full story

Photograph: David Barz/PA

You don’t need me to tell you that the Art School fire is a tragedy. Years of work has been lost by some students and many of the fixtures and artefacts inside the Mackintosh building will be lost forever.

It’s some small comfort therefore that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have stated that 90% of the building’s structure remains viable and that 70% of the building’s contents have been preserved [Source].

Exactly what was lost won’t be known until further statements are issued but in light of some of the speculation doing the rounds yesterday, this is encouraging news at very least.

This is the central panel of a gesso wall frieze titled “The Wassail” by Charles Rennie Mackintosh from 1900.  If you look closely enough, you can see the beads, string, and steel pins that embellish it.  Mackintosh was a Scottish painter, architect, and designer of Art Nouveau and is often labeled as the pioneer of the Modernist Movement.

I think I just may have to add some beads to my art….