Dining room for Hugo Bruckmann, Munich

Dining room for Hugo Bruckmann, Munich

Address: Nymphenburgerstrasse 86, Munich
Date: 1898
Client: Hugo Bruckmann
Authorship: Authorship category 1 (Mackintosh) (Mackintosh)

B/W photograph of doors and free-standing cabinet, 'Dekorative Kunst', 2, 1898, p. 78

Mackintosh designed dark-stained, fitted cabinets with leaded and stained glass doors, a free-standing cabinet, two-leaf entrance door with leaded and stained glazing, and a stencilled frieze for the dining room of Hugo Bruckmann and his wife, Elsa (nťe Princess CantacuzŤne). The dining table and chairs were designed by Karl Bertsch of Munich. 1 It seems likely that the work was carried out in connection with the couple's marriage on 24 November 1898. The project must have been a private commission for there is no record of the work in the John Honeyman & Keppie job books or cash book.

The Bruckmanns' flat was located within the new premises of the family publishing house, F. Bruckmann A.G., at Nymphenburgerstrasse 86, Munich, designed by Belgian architect and designer, Henry van de Velde (1863–1957) and completed in 1899. By 1898, Bruckmann was a director of the firm founded by his father, which published Dekorative Kunst from 1897, among other arts titles. Elsa Bruckmann was also involved in the production of this journal. 2

Bruckmann was evidently taken with the work of Mackintosh and fellow Glasgow artists and designers. Dekorative Kunst had already featured photographs of furniture by Mackintosh – some designed for J. & W. Guthrie – and of work by Margaret Macdonald, Frances Macdonald, James Herbert McNair and Talwin Morris, accompanied by an article, in October 1898. 3

In 1908–9, Hugo and Elsa Bruckmann moved to a new flat at Karolinenplatz 5, one of Munich's most prestigious addresses. 4 It is not known what became of the Mackintosh furniture (the cabinet was previously in the collection of Kenneth Barlow, Munich, but is currently untraced).

The Bruckmanns were known for their keen interest in and support of the arts and culture. Elsa Bruckmann's 'salon' in Nymphenburgerstrasse and particularly at Karolinenplatz was one of Munich's most significant, hosting prominent and avant-garde artists and designers, writers, scientists, philosophers, and economic and political theorists. The Bruckmanns' beliefs led in the 1920s and 1930s to close involvement in National Socialist politics and cultural matters, and in the inner circles of its leading proponents. The couple's Party membership numbers were among the first 100. 5

Authorship: The dining room furniture is known from photographs published under Mackintosh's name in Dekorative Kunst in April 1899 and from drawings by Mackintosh for the untraced free-standing cabinet. 6

Status: Standing building; whereabouts of furniture and fitments unknown

Notes:

1: Dekorative Kunst, 2 April 1899, p. 79.

2: Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs, Moffat, Dumfriesshire: Cameron & Hollis, 4th edn, 2009, pp. 47–50; Alan Crawford, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, London: Thames & Hudson, 1995, pp. 48–9; Dekorative Kunst, 2, April 1899, pp. 78–9; Wolfgang Martynkewicz, Salon Deutschland: Geist und Macht 1900–1945, Berlin: Augbau Verlag, 2009, pp.37, 46–7, 51–3, 63, 79–83.

3: 'Die schottischen KŁnstler', Dekorative Kunst, 2, October 1898, pp. 48–9, 68–75.

4: Wolfgang Martynkewicz, Salon Deutschland: Geist und Macht 1900–1945, Berlin: Augbau Verlag, 2009, p. 64.

5: Wolfgang Martynkewicz, Salon Deutschland: Geist und Macht 1900–1945, Berlin: Augbau Verlag, 2009, pp. 63–7; 452; see also for instance pp. 376–86, 401ff.

6: Dekorative Kunst, 2 April 1899, pp. 78–9; The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: GLAHA 41799; GLAHA 41800; GLAHA 41801.