Stand for Francis Smith, Glasgow International Exhibition 1901

M184 Stand for Francis Smith, Glasgow International Exhibition 1901

Address: Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow
Date: 1900–1
Client: Francis Smith
Authorship: Authorship category 1 (Mackintosh) (Mackintosh)

The 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition was a vast temporary display of art, industry and manufacturing, spread across 73 acres in and around Kelvingrove Park. The successor to an earlier exhibition held on the same site in 1888, it surpassed its predecessor by attracting nearly 11.5 million visitors in its six-month run, from 2 May to 9 November. 1

The main exhibition building was the Industrial Hall. Here, and in the Grand Avenue leading to the Machinery Hall on the S. side of Dumbarton Road over 800 stands vied with each other for attention. In a review of the exhibition, the Studio regretted the 'huddled and unsymmetrical appearance' of the interior, in which the stands were 'crowded together in a manner not conducive to architectural dignity'. 2

Plan of exhibition from 'Glasgow International Exhibition 1901: Official Guide'Plan of Industrail Hall from 'Glasgow International Exhibition 1901: Official Catalogue'

A prospectus published in March 1899 set out the regulations and conditions for exhibitors. The cost of space inside the building was 3s per square foot, with a minimum charge of £5. An 'Application for Space' form accompanied the prospectus and had to be returned to the General Manager by 1 June 1900, accompanied by a 'sketch showing the shape of the space required' and 'an elevation of the stand'. 3

Mackintosh, whose design submitted on behalf of John Honeyman & Keppie had been unsuccessful in the 1898 competition for the design of the Exhibition buildings, was responsible for the design of at least four of the stands (sometimes referred to as 'stalls' or 'cases'). These were for the department store Pettigrew & Stephens, the Glasgow School of Art , the camera manufacturers Messrs Rae and the cabinetmaker Francis Smith.

B/W photograph of exhibition stand for Francis Smith

Francis Smith's stand, number 299, occupied two bays, each 15 feet wide, between the steel stanchions of the Grand Avenue. Unlike the stands for Pettigrew & Stephens and the School of Art, this was not a freestanding structure, and Mackintosh merely framed the two openings in the manner of a shop front. The uprights were curvilinear, perhaps based on plant forms, and the fascia above each bay incorporated a disc with Smith's name and address. A photograph showing the stand before Smith's furniture display was installed was published in Dekorative Kunst. 4

Mackintosh seems to have designed the stand in his capacity as an employee of John Honeyman & Keppie. His drawing, formerly in the collection of Thomas Howarth, was signed 'Chas R. Mackintosh Arch', but it bore the practice address, 140 Bath Street, and the practice cash book shows that Smith paid £7 7s 0d for the stand (though not until 2 April 1903). 5 This was presumably only the design fee: Smith, who carried out many of Mackintosh's furniture designs between 1897 and 1910, probably made the stand himself at his own expense.

According to Howarth, the fascia was still in the possession of Smith's son in 1950. 6



1: Perilla Kinchin and Juliet Kinchin, Glasgow's Great Exhibitions: 1888, 1901, 1911, 1938, 1988, Wendlebury, Oxon: White Cockade Publishing, 1988, pp. 15, 54–93.

2: 'The Glasgow Exhibition', Studio, 23, 1901, pp. 45–8, 165–73, 237–46.

3: Glasgow City Archives Collection: Glasgow International Exhibition 1901, Prospectus, March 1899, D-TC 11/4, box 1.

4: Dekorative Kunst, 5, March 1902, p. 214.

5: Christie's, London, 17 February 1994, 106; The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: John Honeyman & Keppie / Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh / Keppie Henderson cash book, 1889–1917, GLAHA 53079, p. 76.

6: Thomas Howarth, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Modern Movement, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 2nd edn, 1977, p. 174.