Volltext: Alte und Moderne Kunst XXVI (1981 / Heft 177)

tion of the window; thus, there would have been 
room for at most two panels on this wall. Like- 
wise, on the opbosite wall, the space above the 
entrance to the dining room was invaded by a 
complex decorative motif (fig. 9), apparently of 
curved wood, which makes it unlikeiy that any 
panels could have been mounted on this wall. 
Moreover, although of reiativeiy poor quaiity, the 
extant photographs show cieariy that, whereas 
the walls above the fireplace and above the piano 
were divided into three equai spaces by a klnd of 
(7 wooden) framing, there were no such frames on 
the other two walis. 
In the light of this evidence, it seems reasonable 
to suggest that there would only ever have been 
six gesso panels inslalled in the Waerndorfer mu- 
sic room, three on the wall above the fireplace and 
three on the opposite wall, above the piano. The 
effect of the piacing of these panels, facing each 
other, and taking up the space between plcture 
raii and ceiiing, would thus have been very slmllar 
10 that produced by The May Queen and The Was- 
sail at the eighth Secession exhlbition. All thls 
makes it at least worth considering Howarth's 
Suggestion that, while half the paneis were un- 
douptedly by Margaret, the other half (i.e. the mis- 
sing lhree paneis) were by Mackintosh himself - 
especiaiiy sinne Waerndorfer, in his ietter to Bahr 
quoted above, mentions only one wall by Margaret 
(though he makes no reference to any other de- 
signs by Mackintosh), and speclfies that it was 6 
metres, which would indeed have been about the 
length of one long wall of the room. Against this, it 
must be said that all contemporary descriptlons, 
whether referring to the wall decorations as tapes- 
tries, or embroideries, or paneis, name Margaret 
as the author, and make no mention of any slmilar 
decorations by Mackintosh. There is also a puz- 
zling drawing, on brown tracing paper, by Marga- 
ret, in Glasgow University coilection, hitherto cal- 
ied Kysterlon's Garden (fig. 14), whose subject is 
cieariy related to the commission for the Waern- 
dorfer music room, since it shows once agaln the 
prince and the seven princesses." However, the 
style of the drawlng is rather more angular an 
appearance than the photograph of the lhree 
gesso paneis would suggest, and it is possible 
that, like Margarefs painting The Opera of the 
Sea," Kysterion's Garden is a iater reworking of a 
theme originaiiy associated with the commlsslon 
for the Waerndorfer music saion. The format of 
the drawing, 2B x 83 cm, ls unusual, suggesting a 
design for a frieze or some other architectural set- 
ting; on the other hand, the proportions do not 
seem to correspond quite as they shouid to those 
of the avaiiabie wall space of the music room, 
though the drawing does look as if it mighl have 
been trimmed at the edges, stopping abruptly al 
13 Margaret Macdonald, Entwurf nach Maeterllncks "Die 
Sieben Prinzessinnen". Bleistift und Aquarell auf 
braunem Pauspapier, 28x83 cm. Datum unbekannt. 
Hunte)rlan Museum, Universlty of Glasgow (Foto: Mu- 
Anmerkungen 26-41 (Anm. 26-35 s. Text S. 36, 37) 
1' Charles Rannle Mackintosh (1868- 1928). Archllaelure, Design 
and Palnllrrg. An EXhlhlllOn sponsored try the Ediburgh Festival 
Society and arrangsd by the Scottish Art: Council. Introduction. 
notes and catalogue by Andrew McLaren Young, Edinburgh, 
1968. 19.66. 
1' Malmbarg, op. cit., S. 104. 
1' Waerndorler lo Buhr, 12 Decamber 1903. Waerndorler was evi- 
dently much taken with Margaret Macdonald: in a ietter dated 3. 
June 1924 io E..l. Wimmer, ha wrote: "ich habe EINE vornehme 
Frau in meinem ganzen Leben kennengelernt: Mra. Mackintosh" 
(eoliection Glno Wimmer. Vlenna). 
1' "Haus Warndorlsr". S. 222. 
1' "Ein moderner Nachmittag" S. 114. 
1' Maimberg, w. cIL, s. 104. 
u Eiilciille and Vargo, loc. c . 740 and n. I2. 
ß "Ein moderner Nachmittag", S. 174- 5. 
" Thls photograph, by Bedlord Lemere. was taken in 1906, the da- 
ta which appoars apalnai Margaret Macdonalds algnature on 
one ol the paneia. i am gratelui to Roger Billciille who made this 
photograph avaliabia to me belore the publication ol his cata- 
logue ol Mackintosh! lurnlture. where lt now appears on p.123. 
The data ol the photograph, and ol Margarefs signature, corre- 
sponds to Llly Waerndorfefs recuilectien that the room was 
comnieted in 1906-7; aea Thomas Howarth, Charles Rennle 
Maeklnlash and ms Modern Movemenl. Znd edn London 1977, 
p. 157. The long Intarvai between the Installation ol the lurniture 
in 1902-3 and the completion ol tha panelaln1wß- 7 heips to 
expialn why the upper wall surfacas appear blank in surviving 
photographs ol the room, which were evidentiy all taken prior to 
1' Howarth, P- 155. 
" I am gratalul to Floqer Bliicllllu lor helping to reiate thie drawing 
to the Waerndorler commission. 
1' For a colour reproductlon of The opm o! m s", sae Christian 
M. Nebehay, Guuav Kllml - Dokumentation, Vlennl was, 
S. 233, flq. 329. The detlng 01 lhls later panel ls uncertain, but lt 
Is Drobably not eariler than e. 1916. 
u S96 Peter VBIQO, "Josef Hüflmlnh Lind Fritz Waerndorler", Ion. 
clt., lor an account ol the naqotlatlona ever the saie ol the con- 
tents oi the Waerndorler house. 
" Howarth. D. 156. 
w lhld. 
" Blilclllle1979. D. 125. 
each end in a way uncharacteristic of Marge 
deslgns. lt remains possibie that this drawi 
the only surviving record of what the se 
group of three paneis for the Waerndorfer n 
room would have looked like, aibeit now trunt 
in appearance; aitarnativeiy, it may be a reit 
design for the first group of three, of which 
ford Lemere's photograph shows the final ver 
or the drawing may have nothing to do witi 
Waerndorfer commission, save for the con 
subject matter drawn from Maeteriinck. in 1h 
sence of any other evidence, it is difficuit t: 
which of these possibilities is lo be preferre 
The fate of the Waerndorfer music room ren 
something of a mystery. Waerndorfer hin 
bankrupted by the financiai misfortunes v 
had dogged the Wiener Werkstätte almost 
its inception, ieft Vienna for America in May 
His wife Liiy at flrst attempted to seil the h 
and Its furnlshings separateiy, apparently wil 
success. The contents of the Mackintosh rooi 
cluding the Maeteriinck paneis, were offen 
the Austrian Museum for Art and industry ii 
summer of 1916, but the museum was not th 
a position to acquire them." The only furthl 
cord of events ls that that the Waerndorfer ht 
presumably still compiete with its decorat 
was finaliy bought some time in 1916 by aWii 
and Martha Freund. The rest is pure surmise 
warth retaiis an anecdote according to whici 
Mackintosh furniture was chopped up by a 
giri of dublous taste," and indeed, littie giri c 
this may weil have been the sorry fate 0' 
furnlshings of the music room. Howarth als: 
tes that "a certain Herr Wimmer" - by whc 
meant, presumably, Professor Eduard Josef l 
mer - was able to save the Maeterlinck pa 
from destruction, and that they were subseql 
iy exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Crai 
Vienna." There is, however, not a shred 0' 
dence to support this assertion. There is no re 
of any such exhibitlon having taken piace, ar 
mention of Wimmer's Intervention in the extei 
post-war correspondence between him 
Waerndorfer. Howarth, however, by his owr 
misslon regards the paneis as "reiativeiy unin 
tant", and indeed, rearding the fate of the n 
room as a whole, merely remarks rather blz 
that "the ultimate destiny of Mackintosws 
usuaily provides an interesting story, and tt 
no exception." On the basis ol the surviving v 
evidence, and given that this was Mackintt 
only significant continental commission, 
easier to share Roger Biliciiffe's sentiments 
the destructlon of the Waerndorfer music roc 
"without doubt the most serlous of the many 
of vandaiism which seem to have pursued li 
int0sh's work.""


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