Tuesday 21st March 2017 was the 100th anniversary of the marriage of Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke and Florence Jane Jones at Abington Avenue Congregrational Church. After a four day honeymoon in Bournemouth they returned to begin their married life at 78 Derngate, Northampton.
Exactly 100 years later the doors were thrown open to welcome Friends, supporters and visitors from all quarters in celebration of the historic anniversary. We were delighted to offer celebratory drinks, wedding cake, shop discounts and the opportunity to view our Centenary Exhibition, “Charles Rennie Mackintosh & The Great War”. Film footage of the 1917 wedding was rolling and many visitors posed on the famous doorstep of no 78 for commemorative photos which are now included in our special Centenary Day Album.
We were delighted to welcome The Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Christopher Malpas and Lady Mayoress Mrs Lynn Malpas to the opening of our Centenary Exhibition, "Charles Rennie Mackintosh & The Great War" on 31st January.
The Mayor and Mayoress were given a tour of the exhibition by Curator, David Walsh. With its focus on Mackintosh's later career around the period of the First World War, visitors to the exhibition will have a unique opportunity to understand in greater depth the context of 78 Derngate. The three month run will see the largest display of Mackintosh design in England.
We had great pleasure in also showing the Mayoral party around 78 Derngate for their first visit to the house.
Saturday 05 November - category: Friends of 78 Derngate
Chris and Barbara from The Friends of 78 Derngate were at Abington Park Museum, Northampton recently for their Collectors Day event.
Chris's huge collection of Bassett-Lowke catalogues - [ surely one of the largest such collections in the world ] - was of great interest and attracted a steady stream of visitors.
The day was a great success, helped along by many Friends supporters who stopped by, the presence of a great model railway layout from a fellow collector and substantial amounts of chocolate which sadly ran out too soon.
Further images from the day - and the chance to let us know about your own collection - are on our Facebook.
Saturday 01 October - category: Exhibitions | Awards
We’re delighted to welcome Network Arts back to 78 Derngate with their Winter Exhibition.
The show opens on 1st October and features work by amateur and professional artisits from Northamptonshire in a variety of media, paintings in oil, watercolour, acrylics; drawings and sketches. Subjects include local scenes, botanical, landscapes, portraits, wildlife, and architecture.
All work will be for sale, which means the exhibition is an excellent opportunity for those wishing to invest in high-quality art at affordable prices.
Congratulations to Michael Leaman who received the ‘Best in show’ award for his work ‘Coton Manor Woodland’.
You can see this and all the other works until 18th December.
Admission to the exhibition is free.
July 31st is a landmark date in the history of 78 Derngate. It was on this day in 1916, 100 years ago, that W.J. Bassett-Lowke got the keys to his new house and wrote a letter to Mackintosh. According to his niece Janet, this was his first letter to Mackintosh and survives in part at The Hunterian in Glasgow. It is a response to earlier letters and drawings from Mackintosh. It starts,
“Dear Mr Mackintosh,
Many thanks for yours of the 28th inst., and 29th, all the drawings have safely arrived and the work is in hand. I have obtained possession of the house today and my friends are commencing the work…”
The letter is incomplete but discusses width and type of carpet and an interesting issue of a curtain,
‘……I am still in doubts as to whether we are doing right by having a curtain across the hall, I still think it would be better if you design a screen for the floor, say about 3ft long and 7ft high and about 6 (text too faint to read here) back and re hang the door so that it opens back against the wall.”
To mark this historic day we are releasing a never-before published photograph discovered in our archives by Chris Sanderson who was recently doing some research.
The photo is a lovely composition showing W.J Bassett-Lowke in a view of the back garden of 78 Derngate, probably about 1925. It features Wynne and who we assume to be his three nieces, June, Vivian and Janet with their mother.
The Friends of 78 Derngate celebrated this historic occasion on 31/7/16 - here’s a link to an informal live video we shared with our followers.