Today we were very excited and arranged a taxi to pick us up to take us into Glasgow. We wanted to get onto the 10am tour of The Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Art Gallery. But first we had to find it! We were dropped off at the Hunterian Museum – wonderful building with fantastic gates. The gates bear the names of thirty distinguished figures associated with the University.
Eventually we found the correct building not too far away…
Incorporated into the building is an exact copy of the Mackintosh’s house at 6 Florentine Terrace in Glasgow.
Mackintosh made significant alterations to his 1860s terraced house when he and his wife, Margaret Macdonald bought it in 1906. He added new windows and a new front door, and carried out extensive structural changes which transformed the major interior spaces. When they sold the house in 1920 to friends, the Davidsons, they also left all the furnishings. When William Davidson and his wife died in 1945, their children sold the house and gifted the interior fittings and furniture to the University of Glasgow in honour of Mackintosh. In 1973 the building of the Hunterian Art Gallery started, to include a reconstruction of the house, together with its contents. The house opened in 1981.
We couldn’t take photographs and security was tight. The guide knew his stuff and behind him was another guide who locked the doors as we left each room. We weren’t allowed to sit on anything of course and we were only allowed to actually touch the banister rails although they were the originals. It’s incredible to think that the room in the header and the rooms below were actually designed and built in Edwardian times! I think he was definitely ahead of his time.
The tour of the Mackintosh House cost us just £3 each and the Art Gallery itself was free to visit so a very good deal. Typical of Scotland we have found.
We had a good look around the art gallery where they had many paintings by Whistler. I discovered he was rubbish at hands but wonderful at faces!
One of my favourites was this 1909 oil by John Duncan Ferguson entitled Le Voile Persan.
From the Hunterian we walked to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Fabulous front door and ground floor light fittings and organ in the main hall:
When we last visited two years ago we were chucked out on closing time before we’d had a chance to look at the Mackintosh collection there.
We had some light refreshment and then made a beeline for it. Some photographs (no restrictions there!):
Margaret Macdonald was a wonderful silversmith and a designer herself.
Having also viewed the Glasgow Boys collection of paintings we exited the main doors but the weather forecast was correct and the rain was coming down in torrents. We decided to wait a while!
We had decided to use the excellent Subway to get to Buchanan Street and the Willow Tea Rooms:
But first a visit to The Lighthouse where there was further Mackintosh information – and free!
The main Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow is in Sauchiehall Street but that is undergoing a two year improvement plan, so we had decided to visit one of Miss Cranston’s other establishments in Buchanan Street. The upper room has been decorated to replicate the Chinese room in the original Ingram Street cafe. Mackintosh designed all her tea rooms.
We had an excellent afternoon tea and then we had to pay the price by walking quite a way to the nearest bus stop. On the way, who could resist the appeal of this dog with his master’s cap in his mouth. You could resist the guitar playing but not the dog!
A lovely day but an exhausting one.