Day 7 – Glasgow – The House for an Art Lover

The weather’s turned nasty again – overcast all around. “Discouraging” is the right word, I think. It’s not bright or dark, not raining but also not not raining. I think the sunny afternoons have been an exception. R. took the morning off so we could see Mackintosh’s House for an Art Lover which lies outside the city and was closed during our Saturday Day of Mackintosh.

The House was stunning. It was built in the 1990’s based on drawings Mackintosh submitted to a design competition in 1900. In itself, that’s impressive, both of Mackintosh for rendering such a complete design (without resorting to actual architectural diagrams) and for the architect who decided it needed to be built 90 years later and was able to construct a real structure from non-architectural diagrams. The house is a complete experience – Mackintosh surrounds you in every detail. Mackintosh and his under-attributed wife Margaret Macdonald designed wall insets in pewter, fireplaces, the glass in the patio doors, wall hangings, the piano in the music room, wall tiling, chandeliers, light fixtures, carpeting and every other little thing. The rooms in the house, as at his own (see Saturday’s blog), are either entirely dark or entirely light, heavy paneling and dark brown furniture or cream paint and white furniture. It’s odd and surprising that the dark rooms aren’t in the end oppressive – you’d expect them to close in you. My personal favorite were the grasso panels in the dining room. The process is extremely cool: layers of plaster-like grasso create the background material, the drawing is traced on, covered with icing-like lines of more grasso into which are set semi-precious stones while it’s still wet. Then colors are washed onto this 3-D panel, to fill in the drawings, and it’s burnished with an agate stone to shine it up. How do people come up with this stuff? Apparently, the Egyptians thought of it. You’ve got to think that they had some time on their hands.


Categories: Scotland / UK


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