A Bedroom in Bath: Sidney Horstmann and Charles Rennie Mackintosh Exhibition 15 June – 1 October 2017
A suite of furniture designed by the world-famous Glasgow-born architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh is coming ‘home’ to Bath 100 years after it first arrived in the city. Designed for the family home of Bath-based businessman and engineer Sidney Horstmann, the bedroom suite, which arrived in the city in 1917, will be recreated in the Museum of Bath at Work. It will be part of an exhibition called A Bedroom In Bath that will run this summer from June to October 2017. The items in the exhibition will be on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Bath is one of only a few known locations for Mackintosh-commissioned work in England. The Scottish architect and designer visited the West Country three times during his formative years in the 1890s travelling to the Cotswolds, Somerset and Dorset.Some of the tall grand windows at Montacute House, near Yeovil, inspired those in the Glasgow School of Art, his masterpiece, and the small country church at Merriott in Somerset influenced Mackintosh’s Queen’s Cross Church in Glasgow. Dr Trevor Turpin, chairman of the museum board, who has curated the exhibition, said: “This is the first time that the people of Bath will be able to see a bedroom designed by Mackintosh for a room in Bath. It may not happen again for another 100 years.
“With the bedroom suite coming back to Bath a new chapter in the story of Mackintosh has been opened. This exhibition is all about travelling back in time to see the furniture and the careful attention to detail that is the hallmark of Mackintosh and has inspired generations of designers and architects.”
Mackintosh designed the interior for the bedroom and also the furniture in a house that Horstmann bought in 1916 and lived in until 1935.His daughter Alison Dunmore was born in one of the beds designed by Mackintosh and had fond memories of growing up in the room, which was her own bedroom. Horstmann had been introduced to Mackintosh’s work via his friend and fellow businessman Wenman Bassett-Lowke. The Northampton-based engineer had commissioned Mackintosh to design the interior and furniture for his home in the town in 1916.
Pamela Robertson, professor emerita of Mackintosh studies at the University of Glasgow, said: “It will be marvellous to see the Horstmann furniture set against a recreation of the original Mackintosh decorative scheme.