After four years of asking visitors to 'keep a lookout' and scouring auction house listings David from our team recently spotted details of a washjug designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich on Ebay. Apparently identical to the jug which W.J. Bassett-Lowke had purchased for the Guest Bedroom at 78 Derngate around 1917 - this was an exciting moment. These jugs don't come to the market very often. Some swift action by Barbara on behalf of The Friends of 78 Derngate and the jug was purchased and on its way from Germany. It is now displayed in the Guest Bedroom and can be viewed by visitors to the house. The fate of the original jug is known from family memories, it was broken many years ago. Having its replacement here further completes the stylish ensemble of Mackintosh - designed furniture and Olbrich ceramics in one of Britain’s most unusual and avant-garde interiors for the period. Staying as a guest at 78 Derngate would certainly have been a memorable experience. Further details of the jug can be found in our online archive.
Volunteers' Week was established in 1984 by Volunteering England. They merged with NCVO in 2013 which now leads this UK-wide campaign. During this particular week in June many organisations across the UK take extra time to acknowledge and thank their priceless volunteers. It is a chance to celebrate all of the fantastic work and commitment they give throughout the year. Here at 78 Derngate we would not be able to survive without our 50-strong team of wonderful volunteers. All of them are passionate about keeping The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House open to the public and raising awareness of this award-winning attraction in Northampton.
We’re delighted to announce that 78 Derngate was the winner of a recent award as ‘Hidden Gem’ at the prestigious UK Heritage Awards 2019. The awards were handed out at an exclusive ceremony celebrating the best heritage experiences and places to stay in the UK in London on 25th March.
The Awards are arranged by the UK’s leading heritage, tourism and destination marketing company, Visit Heritage, publisher of heritage guide Hudson’s and hotel guide, Signpost.
The winners of the UK Heritage Awards 2019 were crowned across twelve categories, which were adjudicated by a panel of judges formed of leading figures and experts on UK Heritage.
Update July: The appeal is going well – we are now at £75,000 – but, we still need more. We've now launched our exciting Summer Raffle with many spectacular prizes and tickets can be bought from Reception and if you wish to sell tickets on our behalf, please contact Liz.
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 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.
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.