House for an art lover
In 1901 Charles Rennie Mackintosh entered a competition to design a “Haus Eines Kunstfreundes” or “Art Lovers House” set by German design magazine “Zeitschrift Fur Innendekoration”.
Mackintosh had to adhere the strict rules of the competition, but unfortunately his entry was disqualified for some technical breaches as he was late in submitting various internal views of the house. Mackintosh did receive high praise for his competition entry as ‘one of outstanding original design’.
For more than 80 years Mackintosh’s design was locked away in storage until, in 1989, Graham Roxburgh had the idea to build the House for an Art Lover. It took several years to get to the furnishing stage of the construction, but in 1995 Bruce Hamilton Furniture Makers was commissioned to manufacture the Dining Room Furniture for the House for an Art Lover.
With the limited information available in the Mackintosh Art Lovers House Portfolio, and with the guidance from various Mackintosh scholars, Bruce carried out research on other works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s furniture. Based on the information he gathered and with reference to the Mackintosh portfolio, Bruce drew scaled workshop drawings of the dining suite, his interpretation of Mackintosh’s watercolour drawings. After approval of his drawings, Bruce proceeded to make the first Dining Room Furniture for the House for an Art Lover, as original pieces of Mackintosh furniture, albeit manufactured 67 years after Mackintosh’s death.
Since producing the first Art Lover’s Dining Suite, Bruce has completed several replica suites and individual chairs using the same templates and jigs as the original House for an Art Lover furniture. To date, Bruce still works with Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw of Landsdowne House of Stencils when it comes to decorating the back of the Art Lovers Chairs.
The House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow is now a very successful top rated corporate event location, a much revered wedding venue and a very popular Heritage Centre for Mackintosh enthusiasts and visitors to Glasgow, Bruce will always be proud to have his work on display in the House for an Art Lover.
You recently made me an Ingram high back chair which was for my wife’s 60th birthday. I would just like to say how pleased I am with it. Not only are we pleased with the chair, but we are both impressed with your skills as a craftsman. Once again thanks for a great job, and thanks for making her birthday so special.