A project to restore Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic tea room in the V&A Dundee has received a funding boost.
Plans to conserve, restore and display a complete tearoom interior by the Glasgow designer has been awarded a total of £300,00 from Art Fund and the Scottish Government.
V&A and Dundee City Council are working on the project with Glasgow Museums, which rescued the Oak Room interior from destruction in 1971 and took the disassembled interior into its museum collections.
Support of £200,000 from the Art Fund and £100,000 from the government has been added to the pot for the £1.3 million project, which has also seen previous input from the National Lottery.
An original donation of £400,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund allowed the initial work and planning to take place.
Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said the tearoom will be one of the key attractions at the museum.
“The project 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 the V&A, 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.”
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 and enjoyed by visitors from across Scotland and beyond.”
The Oak Room was the largest Mackintosh interior for Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street Tearooms in Glasgow. The 13.5 metre-long, double-height room, designed by Mackintosh in 1907 and completed in 1908, is acknowledged as one of his key works. It influenced his design for the Glasgow School of Art Library, completed a year later in 1909.
The Oak Room will be displayed at the heart of V&A Dundee’s Scottish Design Galleries, a permanent display which will showcase the significance and relevance of design with a particular focus on Scottish achievement.