Charles Rennie Mackintosh interior to go on display at V&A Dundee

Art Fund has supported the project to conserve, restore and redisplay a complete Charles Rennie Mackintosh tearoom interior, which will become a permanent highlight at the new museum.

The Oak Room, designed by Mackintosh in 1907 for Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street tea rooms in Glasgow and last used in the 1950s, will be displayed at the heart of V&A Dundee’s Scottish Design Galleries.

Acknowledged as one of the artist’s key works – informing his design ideas for the Glasgow School of Art Library – the interior has been reassembled from a total of 600 pieces preserved when the tea rooms were redeveloped as a hotel in the 1970s. V&A Dundee and Dundee City Council are working in partnership with Glasgow Museums, which rescued the interior from destruction in 1971 and took the disassembled interior into Glasgow City Council’s museum collections.

Support of £200,000 from Art Fund and £100,000 from the Scottish Government has contributed to the fundraising for the £1.3 million project, which has also been generously supported by the National Lottery in its first research phase and through a range of other individual gifts.

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: 'The project to conserve and restore an entire interior by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, unseen for nearly 50 years, has been one of the most exciting parts of creating V&A Dundee.

'As a designer, architect and artist, Mackintosh is of worldwide significance. He has been an inspiration to very many designers from the moment his work was first seen through to today, including the architect of V&A Dundee, Kengo Kuma.

'When we set about developing galleries for the new museum telling the story of Scotland’s design history, it was vital Mackintosh was represented in a major way. Now, with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund, the Scottish Government and others that has been made possible.'

Stephen Deuchar, director of Art Fund, said: 'While Art Fund has helped in the combined acquisition and conservation of a number of works in our 115-year history, this marks the first instance of us specifically funding a major conservation project in its own right.

'The Oak Room is one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s greatest achievements – his vision is reflected in every piece and detail of this spectacular interior – and Art Fund is thrilled to be able to support its conservation as it is painstakingly reconstructed, ready to go on display for the first time since the 1970s. We are certain it will be the star attraction of the new V&A Dundee and enjoyed by visitors from across Scotland and beyond.'

V&A Dundee opens September 2018.

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