Posted by: christinelaennec | September 25, 2014

House for an Art Lover

Way back at the beginning of June, the Dafter and I met some friends at Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s House for an Art Lover.  It was the very first outing that the Dafter made without the wheelchair, and that is my keenest memory of it.  I spent a lot of the time on the lookout for signs of collapse, and for places where she could sit down on very short notice!

This house is very interesting to me.  Not only because I like Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s design aesthetic, but because it was built long after his lifetime.  The house was designed by Mackintosh, with interiors designed by his wife Margaret MacDonald, for a Viennese competition in 1900.  The design was never realised, until in 1989 a group of determined individuals decided to build the house. I think it took them nearly a decade to do so.  You can read more about it on the House for an Art Lover website.

House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.  Summer 2014.

House for an Art Lover, Glasgow. Summer 2014.

The house is situated in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park.  Downstairs there is a spacious Music Room with French doors onto the veranda:

House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

Music Room, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

And a most extraordinary piano:

House for an Art Lover:  piano, with Dafter and friend.

House for an Art Lover: piano, with Dafter and friend.

I’m not altogether keen on the piano, I have to say!  It looks a bit scary to me.

House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

Music Room, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

Throughout the house, as with so many of Mackintosh’s designs, you will see what is known as “the Glasgow Rose”:

House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

Stained glass panel, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

Creating the house involved the work of many talented contemporary craftspeople and artisans, as you can see:

Fireplace, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

Fireplace, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

The Oval Room, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

The Dafter did so well that day.  She found a lovely place to sit and rest:

House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

The Dafter in a window seat, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

We went for a coffee and snack in the cafe, which at that point was an accomplishment because she was still acutely sensitive to noise, and any crashing cutlery would startle the life out of her.  But then she had the strength to go see the gardens:

House for an Art Lover entrance - with the Dafter looking in and taking a photo of me taking a photo of her!

Inside House for an Art Lover’s garden entrance – with the Dafter looking in and taking a photo of me taking a photo of her!

The gardens were being readied for their summer show, with the beds in the centre awaiting planting.  The beds around the sides had some beautiful mature plants in them, but I don’t have a good photo to show you.  I found the topiary very amusing!

House for an Art Lover garden, early summer 2014.

House for an Art Lover garden, early summer 2014.

There was a wee room built into the perimeter wall of the garden, with a fireplace and a door to the outside of the garden.  I think this must have been a place for the gardeners to warm up on chilly days.  I really liked the iron grate covering the window.  A fantastically creative take on the need for security!  The fronds in the centre are framed by the names of Scottish wildflowers:

Ironwork on a window of a garden outhouse, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

Ironwork on a window of a garden outhouse, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.

It was a memorable day, and a beautiful place.  I must go back!  If you like Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald’s work, I’ve written posts about The Willow Tea Rooms on Buchanan Street, the Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street and almost exactly four years ago now, a post that includes a couple of photos from our visit to The Hill House in Helensburgh.

I hope you’re all having a good week.  It’s officially autumn now!

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Responses

  1. What a lovely tour, most enjoyable. A place I haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting, maybe one day…

  2. Wauw! I do like your blog a lot, and I like the art of MC Intosh. Everytime when you send the blog to my Email I enjoy it with some enthusiastic. I would to thank you for it! Many greetings from the Netherlands, Hendrika

    • Thank you Hendrika, and welcome to my blog! Glad you’re enjoying it.

  3. What fabulous photographs you’ve taken. I’ve only been once to the house and gardens and it really is lovely as is the Hill House in Helensburgh. They make for fun days out and it was nice to see Dafter looking so well too. 😀 My first thought when I saw the piano was of Liberace! I imagined he would have fitted in with it all very nicely lol. x

  4. Thanks for bringing this place to my attention, Christine. It looks like a wonderful place to visit.

  5. What a wonderful place to be !

  6. Oh my, my, my. One more place on my Scotland list. It looks stupendous!

  7. This looks just beautiful. My sister and I recently visited the house Mackintosh designed in Derngate in Northampton, and that was very interesting. But it felt a little cramped – it’s got a small footprint – and we felt some of the decoration was a bit ‘busy’. The House for an Art Lover looks more spacious and really serene.

  8. Thanks everyone! marksgran, you’re so right about Liberace – I’ll never quite see that piano the same way again. Flora, I didn’t know about the house in Northampton. I’ve never seen a CRM space which wasn’t rather huge – if you don’t count the loos at the Willow Tea Rooms. Perhaps the grand proportions are one of the things that make that kind of design work?

  9. such a great post! thanks for sharing your day with us. big fan of Mackintosh right here …. need to get back to Glasgow for some sightseeing. I can’t believe I’ve never been to the Willow Tea Rooms.

  10. […] Rennie Mackintosh has come to mind a couple of times today.  Once when I read the blog of a friend on her visit to House for an Art Lover and again just now when I noticed that there is […]

  11. What a fascinating place, and a wonderful story too. Amazing that the design was finally realised after so long!


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