Visitors to the Charles Rennie Mackintosh House at 78 Derngate this spring can view a contemporary artwork which explores Mackintosh’s lesser-known connection to a WW1 internment camp at Knockaloe on The Isle of Man. This unique story provides further intrigue and interest during the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Tom Krasny is a Glasgow-based artist, working mainly with Sculpture. Her current project, ‘Made In UK’ began in 2016 and has received research assistance from the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, Manx National Heritage, Isle of Man and the team at 78 Derngate. She created a body of work based on an historical event tying together Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Wenman Joseph Bassett Lowke, and German civilian internees at the internment camp, Knockaloe which operated between 1914 and 1919. The completed artworks were first exhibited at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art Degree Show in 2017. We are honoured that 78 Derngate has been chosen for their second public display.
Tom’s work asks to draw visitors’ attention to the fact that pieces of furniture designed by Mackintosh for 78 Derngate and other Northamptonshire properties and ordered by Wenman Joseph Bassett Lowke, were built at Knockaloe camp’s cabinet making workshop by members of the internee community, between 1916-1917. [ Link to external image ].
One of the artworks exhibited, ‘Spy Fever’, is a bronze cast of a wooden stool which was part of the 78 Derngate guest bedroom furniture suite. The original stool was acquired by the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow and is displayed there. Tom was granted both permission and funding from The Manx government, to install the sculpture permanently at Knockaloe Farm, which is the historical site for Knockaloe internment camp. The public sculpture will serve as a memorial for Knockaloe craftsmen, and will be incorporated into the Knockaloe visitor Centre, an ambitious interpretation project led by Alison Jones and the Knockaloe Foundation. The centre is planned to launch in March 2019. The installation of the sculpture is planned for August 2018. These evocative contemporary works and their exhibition at three sites form a moving reflection on an extraordinary period in British history.
Tom Krasny, Made In UK
1 February - 22 April 2018
Further information is available on our website and at the artists webpage.
Tuesday 21st March 2017 was the 100th anniversary of the marriage of Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke and Florence Jane Jones at Abington Avenue Congregrational Church. On that Spring day In 1917, after a four day honeymoon in Bournemouth, they returned to begin their married life at 78 Derngate, Northampton.
Exactly 100 years later the doors were thrown open at 78 Derngate to welcome Friends, supporters and visitors from all quarters in celebration of the historic anniversary. We were delighted to offer celebratory drinks, wedding cake, shop discounts and the opportunity to view our Centenary Exhibition, “Charles Rennie Mackintosh & The Great War”. Film footage of the 1917 wedding was rolling and many visitors posed on the famous doorstep of no 78 for commemorative photos which are now included in our special Centenary Day Album.
We were delighted to welcome The Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Christopher Malpas and Lady Mayoress Mrs Lynn Malpas to the opening of our Centenary Exhibition, "Charles Rennie Mackintosh & The Great War" on 31st January.
The Mayor and Mayoress were given a tour of the exhibition by Curator, David Walsh. With its focus on Mackintosh's later career around the period of the First World War, visitors to the exhibition will have a unique opportunity to understand in greater depth the context of 78 Derngate. The three month run will see the largest display of Mackintosh design in England.
We had great pleasure in also showing the Mayoral party around 78 Derngate for their first visit to the house.