A project begun in 2015 with the purchase at auction of a ceramic washbowl has been completed almost four years later. When Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed the Guest Bedroom of 78 Derngate a washstand for the use of guests was included in the scheme.
W.J Bassett-Lowke’s photographs of the room which were published in ‘The Ideal Home’ in 1920 show that the washstand was replete with distinctive ceramic ware in a secessionist style. Research has shown that Joseph Maria Olbrich, indeed the very designer of the Secessionsgebäude (Secession Building) in Vienna is the designer of the washbowl. Mackintosh and Olbrich met on several occasions and his sympathies with the Secession and Wiener Werkstätte are reflected in the design of the Guest Bedroom - a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ and the other Mackintosh work at 78 Derngate.
The beautiful washstand made by Professor Jake Kaner from Nottingham Trent University was completed with the addition of the final component, the oak, glass and silk splashback panel just before Christmas. Funded by The Friends of 78 Derngate it’s a splendid recreation that can be enjoyed by visitors to the house this coming 2019 season and beyond.
As you may already be aware, a grant of up to £200,000 has been pledged to us by Northampton Borough Council to enhance the visitor experience here at The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House & Galleries. We plan to enlarge the existing atrium to facilitate an increased shopping area, a new reception area and tearoom and provide a new exhibition/performance space at mezzanine level. At the same time it will provide better permanent disabled access. The increased storage will free up rooms in 78 Derngate, enabling them to be open to the public for the first time. The opportunity also exists to reduce our carbon footprint by lowering heating costs.
As a self-funded charity, we depend on trading in order to survive and believe that this plan will produce greater income and lower costs, making the venue much more sustainable. An architect’s illustration of how it may look (subject to planning approval) is available to see here.
Our aim is to match fund the £200k by the summer and so we are asking Friends and supporters to donate in units of £100. For each unit of £100 the donors’ names will be recognised on engraved glass panelling located in the new atrium. So, if you wish to add 2 names, this will cost £200 and so on. We do of course welcome donations of any amount and individual groups could potentially donate money through their own fund-raising activities.
To donate, click on the “mydonate” link below, which automatically takes you to our secure fund-raising page. All donations are commission-free so the whole amount comes to the Trust.
The Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed Guest Bedroom at 78 Derngate has a further and beautiful new addition that can be seen by visitors to the house this Autumn.
Thanks to the generosity of The Friends of 78 Derngate, we've been able to commission Professor Jake Kaner from Nottingham Trent University to make a replica of the second component of the Mackintosh-designed washstand which originally stood in the corner of the room. This joins the base cabinet and washbowl which both arrived in 2015. The washstand is made of oak veneered ply with an adjustable tilting mirror and locking vanity side cupboards. A blue and black stencilled checkerwork detail frames the mirror. The design matches the other furniture in the room and shows Mackintosh's use of the square in both a decorative and structural manner. The original washstand is on display at The Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow [ online catalogue information ] where a replica room setting of the Guest Bedroom has been created. The third and final part of the washstand set, a silk and glass splashback is planned for installation before the end of 2018.
Jake has made all of the replica Mackintosh furniture at 78 Derngate and has worked with us from the start of the restoration and we're delighted that he has been able to create another piece of exceptional quality for our visitors to enjoy. The re-creation of this piece further completes Mackintosh's strikingly modern vision for this unique interior and gives a sense of the experience enjoyed by the guests who stayed in this room 100 years ago.
Visitors to 78 Derngate are now able to view the new washstand on display.
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.
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.
A 27metre-long mural detailing the history and culture of Northampton and Northamptonshire has been installed at Northampton’s new railway station.
The mural shows a timeline of events from ancient times to the 21st century and includes a section devoted to the town’s Cultural Quarter. Photographs of 78 Derngate, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Mr and Mrs Bassett-Lowke feature alongside information about The Royal Theatre and Bassett-Lowke’s model engineering fame. Even more prominent will be Bassett-Lowke’s appearance on one of 10 new banners, each of which is dedicated to a figure who has helped shape the identity of the County of Northamptonshire. Mr Bassett-Lowke keeps company with, amongst others, Francis Crick, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Walter Tull, John Clare, Elizabeth Woodville and King John.
Today, The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House - 78 Derngate, Northampton has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, “78 Derngate: WW1 icon”, in Northampton. Supported by volunteers from the local community, the project focuses on the late career of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Britain during and after The First World War period. A special exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mackintosh's work in Northampton will open in February 2017.
The project will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the remodelling, during WW1, of 78 Derngate, Northampton by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his client, renowned model engineer, W.J Bassett-Lowke. A special three month exhibition – scheduled to open in February 2017 and produced in conjunction with a team of local volunteers will tell the story of Mackintosh's late career in Britain. This will be an opportunity for 78 Derngate staff and volunteers to share with the local community and beyond, the fascinating story surrounding Mackintosh's work in Northampton where he was to design the only house in England in his distinctive style. The project team will carry out research, organise events and produce publications to complement the exhibition; there will be opportunities for new skills and new insights for everyone involved – both visitors to the exhibition and those who produce it.
Exhibition visitors will have the opportunity to see stunning, little known designs by Mackintosh and be able to discover more about his work during WW1, the circumstances in which he worked and to learn more about how The Great War affected him. A linked programme of events will give opportunities for deeper involvement and a website will give access to an exhibition archive for years to come.
Commenting on the award, David Walsh, project Curator said: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. We're all looking forward to an unforgettable celebration of Mackintosh's great gift to Northampton, 78 Derngate. People often describe the house as a 'hidden treasure' – it's far too fantastic to be hidden, everyone needs to see it and we hope that this celebratory exhibition will help attract more visitors than ever before. If you think you know Mackintosh's work – this exhibition may hold some surprises for you!"
78 Derngate is dressed for the Season. Visitors to the house this month can enjoy a glimpse of an Edwardian Christmas with the interior of the Mackintosh house decked out in style with Christmas tree, cards and all the trimmings. A visit at dusk is especially magical with the glow from Mackintosh’s lighting creating added sparkle and drama.
In our shop we’ve a full selection of fabulous and unusual gifts for everyone; many now also available online too - so even if you can’t make it to Northampton this Christmas, you can still enjoy a little Mackintosh magic by post.
We’re open up to and including 20th December and, until then, we’ve a super Christmas offer for all purchases from our shop and online.
Jeeves and Wooster - who were appearing earlier this month at Royal & Derngate - were at 78 Derngate bringing their unique brand of perfect nonsense, dry wit and general confusion. Bertie ended up in the bath, fully dressed - Jeeves was not amused. For further photos head over to our Facebook. [ Pictured: actors Joseph Chance and Matthew Carter ]
We're delighted to have passed 5000 Twitter followers. This, and our Facebook audience places 78 Derngate amongst the leading group of social media sources for interest in and information about Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It is testament to the tremendous support we receive from visitors to and wider fans of 78 Derngate and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. If you don't currently follow us on Twitter, we invite you to do so - breaking news from the Mackintosh world, art and design, history and future trends - it's all there, and a little different to our Facebook feed.
Thankyou to all our lovely supporters both on Twitter and Facebook. We appreciate your continued support for 78 Derngate. Good things lie ahead!
We were glad, recently, to welcome Roger Billcliffe to 78 Derngate. Roger is the world's leading authority on Charles Rennie Mackintosh's furniture and the author of the definitive work on the subject. We were honoured in 2012 when he declared that 78 Derngate "sets the bar high for other owners of Mackintosh buildings" and commended the restoration of the house. We stock Roger's latest Mackintosh title, 'Visiting Charles Rennie Mackintosh' - which is a super guide to all major Mackintosh sites for visitors. It can also be purchased online from his website.
The Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed designed Guest Bedroom at 78 Derngate has an exciting new addition.
Following our recent appeal, and thanks to the generosity of The Friends of 78 Derngate, we've been able to commission Jake Kaner from Buckinghamshire New University in High Wycombe to make a replica of the washstand which originally stood in the corner of the room. The washstand is made of oak with a blue and black chequer decoration on the edges. The design matches the other furniture in the room and shows Mackintosh's use of the square in both a decorative and structural manner. The original washstand is on display at The Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow where a replica room setting of the Guest Bedroom has been created.
Jake has made all the replica Mackintosh furniture at 78 Derngate and has worked with us from the start of the restoration. We were delighted that he was able to create another piece of exceptional quality for the house. In Mr Bassett-Lowke’s time a Joseph Maria Olbrich - designed bowl stood on the washstand. Pictured on our new washstand is an identical bowl acquired at auction in Edinburgh last year.
Visitors to 78 Derngate are now able to view the new washstand on display.
The Friends of 78 Derngate have always been keen to add new objects and artefacts into 78 Derngate. In recent years we have purchased original Bassett-Lowke designed pieces for the main bedroom and dining room and replica furniture for the kitchen. Now we are looking to commission a replica of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s washstand for The Guest Bedroom. The original Mackintosh furniture for this bedroom survives and is on display at The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow. The washstand, in keeping with the rest of the suite for this room, is made of oak with a blue and black chequer decoration on the edges.
The Trustees and Friends have commissioned Jake Kaner from Buckinghamshire New University to make the replica pieces for the Mackintosh designed Guest Bedroom. Jake has previously made the other Mackintosh replica furniture on display at 78 Derngate.
To pay for this we have now launched an appeal and donations can be sent to us at 82 Derngate, Northampton. NN1 1UH. Thankyou.