Glasgow’s Mackintosh Ingram Street tearoom will feature in new Dundee museum
I haven’t paid much attention to the new museum being built in Dundee (since I’m not likely to visit it), but I did take notice when I saw a headline mention one of Catherine (Kate or Miss) Cranston’s tearooms, designed by Mackintosh and located in Glasgow’s Ingram Street. He designed the Oak Room around 1907, and it is said to have influenced his work in the library of the Glasgow School of Art, in 1909.
The Oak Room was saved by Glasgow Corporation when the building it was in became a hotel in the 1970s. Since then, the parts have never been together as a complete room, with only parts being seen in Kelvingrove Museum:
The restored interior Charles Rennie Mackintosh tearoom in Glasgow is to form a central exhibit at the V&A Dundee when it opens in 2018.
The Dundee team have joined forces with Glasgow Museums to reassemble the Oak Room from the Ingram Street Tearooms.
A total of 600 pieces of the interior were salvaged by Glasgow City Council when the city tearoom was redeveloped as a hotel in the 1970s.
Only a small part of the room has ever been on display in Glasgow.
Mackintosh designed the Oak Room of the Ingram Street tearoom in 1907, and it is widely acknowledged as an important interior which informed his design for the Glasgow School of Art library, completed two years later.
The interior, which was fitted into a former Victorian warehouse for entrepreneur Catherine Cranston, last functioned as a tearoom in the 1950s.
When it was dismantled, each room was numbered, each wall given a reference, and each piece of panelling a code, which was all recorded in plans and elevations to aid reassembly.
The complex restoration project has been funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a loan from Glasgow Life.
The Ingram Street Tea Rooms were some of the first dining establishments created by Catherine Cranston at the end of the nineteenth century in Glasgow. Unlike previous eateries, clubs, or public houses that catered exclusively to certain groups of men, tea rooms catered to a wider clientele and were the first dining establishments to allow unaccompanied women. Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh was first involved with the tea rooms in 1895 when Cranston commissioned the design of several murals for the Ingram Street Tea Rooms. From 1900 to 1912, Mackintosh designed several tea rooms in Glasgow for Cranston, including the complete redesign of the Ingram Street Tea Rooms from 1900, were he became the sole designer, working together with his wife, Margaret MacDonald. The colour scheme, layout, decorative and furniture design varied according to each room’s unique theme.
Created in 1886, Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street Tea Rooms continued in the food catering tradition for over sixty years. In 1950, Glasgow Corporation acquired the Ingram Street building, and the tea rooms were used for storage. Before the building was demolished in 1971, the rooms were thoroughly documented and catalogued. The interiors were dismantled and moved to a storage space until they were transferred to Glasgow Museums in 1978, where they remained in storage for the next fifteen years.
The World Monument Fund has helped pay for the restoration of two panels from the tearoom in 1995, and these were part of an exhibition of Mackintosh’s work mounted by Glasgow Museums, which toured the United States in 1997:
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