Salon de Luxe, Willow Tea Rooms, Dekorative Kunst, April 1905, courtesy of The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, 2017.

The Matron and the Modern: The Story of Mackintosh, Miss Cranston and the Glasgow Tea Room

Catherine Cranston was arguably the most important patron of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Over a period of almost 15 years Mackintosh created a series of outstanding interiors for her suites of Glasgow tea rooms. Of these the most ambitious was the Willow in Sauchiehall Street. This richly illustrated lecture by Pamela Robertson, Emerita Professor of Mackintosh Studies at the University of Glasgow, will chart the emergence of the tea room movement and the relationship between the ‘Matron’ and the ‘Modern’. Particular focus will be given to the Willow – described at its opening as ‘the acme of originality’ – and the current ambitious project, led by the Willow Tea Rooms Trust, to restore the tea rooms to their full glory.