Campbell Mackie: Designer and Tutor

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Thomas Callander Campbell Mackie was born on 17 June 1886 in Helensburgh, near Glasgow. Articled to architect Alexander Nisbet Paterson between 1902 and 1907, he also worked as assistant to William Leiper during these years. From 1904 he was studying at the Glasgow School of Art under Eugene Bourdon, contributing to the School’s magazine Vista in 1908. At the School he was regarded as ‘most promising of architect students, gifted with outstanding imagination of unusual quality and supreme draughtsmanship’. Deemed unfit for military service, he spent the First World War with the Red Cross. By 1920 he was appointed Head of the School of Design at Glasgow School of Art. By now he was chiefly a painter in oil and pastel and a lithographer. He died in 1952, two years after his retirement from Glasgow School of Art.

GSA Library holds his 1928 treatise Pattern, published by Longmans, Green & Co., which is an instructional manual to educate the amateur artist in pattern construction (whether geometric, linear or striped). The cover design is also by Campbell Mackie. There was a long tradition of GSA tutors publishing instructional treatises: examples held by GSA Library include Baltus’ Technics of Painting (1912), Dunlop’s Anatomical Diagrams (1899), Swanson and Macbeth’s Educational Needlecraft (1911), Peter Wylie Davidson’s Educational Metalcraft (1913), and Delville’s New Mission of Art (1910), and Charles Heath Wilson’s Remarks on Ornamental Art (1857).

We also hold a collection of books from Campbell Mackie’s own library, which give an indication of his varied interests: titles include the Dublin Book of Irish Verse and Synge’s Playboy of the Western World (both 1909).

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