Two decades of House for an Art Lover

Prince Charles being given a tour of House for an Art Lover in Glasgow as part of it's 20th anniversary celebrations
Prince Charles being given a tour of House for an Art Lover in Glasgow as part of it's 20th anniversary celebrations

Bellahouston’s House for an Art Lover has celebrated its 20th anniversary with a host of events to mark the occasion.

Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh as part of a German competition in 1901, construction began in 1989 and was completed in 1996.

In the end, although Mackintosh was lauded for his competition design, his entry was disqualified on the grounds of a technical breach of the rules as he was late in submitting certain interior views of the house. The judges, however, were impressed by Mackintosh’s entry commending it for its distinctive colouring, impressive design and cohesiveness of inner and outer construction.

It wasn’t until 1989, when Graham Roxburgh, the consulting engineer responsible for restoring Mackintosh interiors in nearby Craigie Hall, had the idea to finally build the House for an Art Lover.

Building work began in 1990 but stopped when the recession hit, resuming in 1994 thanks to a collaboration between Glasgow City Council and Glasgow School of Art. The house finally opened to the public in 1996.

The House sits within the 169 acre grounds of Bellahouston, one of Glasgow’s oldest and finest public parks.

The House for an Art Lover, which is also home to the Art Lovers Café, gallery and shop, has since become one of the most popular cultural attractions in Glasgow, attracting 120,000 visitors from all over the world each year.

It is also used for weddings, conferences and other major events. To celebrate, a series of events running over the next couple of months.

As part of the celebrations a gala event took place bringing together people involved in the House since its inception.

Garry Sanderson, CEO, House for an Art Lover, said: “There are many people who have helped make it the success that it is today.

“We’ve made a film to commemorate our 20th, and we will be burying a time capsule in our grounds, to be opened in 2036.

“Through our Airborne scheme we have funded an additional residency for recent art graduate, Elinor Stanley, who is creating a fantastic body of work using the House as her muse, which will be on show in the coming months.

“Over the past 20 years, we’ve won many awards and accolades for our food, weddings and for our ARTPARK which opened in 2014 and includes our Studio Pavilion exhibition space and Heritage Centre.

“We have a fantastic sculptures around the house by prominent Scottish artists and last year we were proud to unveil The Elephant for Glasgow by Kenny Hunter – a legacy of the commonwealth games.

He added: “It’s been a fantastic 20 years – and here’s to the next 20!”