Yellow Room

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Yellow Room

This light and airy room was originally Annie’s bedroom. Inspired by her passion for natural history, the coving decoration features delicate depictions of British flora and fauna. Like the Red Room, it was extensively remodelled after Annie and Merton’s deaths in preparation for the opening of the house as a museum. The fretwork screens and fireplaces were removed and the bedroom furniture and personal effects were passed to the Russell-Cotes family. We have no photographic record of what the rooms would have looked like, so have used photographs of their suite in the Royal Bath Hotel as the inspiration for the reimagining of these rooms. The wallpaper in this room is a handmade replica based on remnants of the original wallpaper. Restoration in the 1990s revealed the room’s decorator, Tom Scullard, had signed his name on the bare plaster walls. The bright fresh colours used in this room are in stark contrast to the dark sombre tones of Merton’s bedroom. This room features objects and paintings from our world cultures collection, in homage to Annie and Merton’s love of travel. Annie was interested in world cultures and natural history and acquired collections of ‘curios’ during her world travels. She was fascinated by indigenous cultures, particularly the traditions of the Aboriginal Australians and Māori, showing empathy and respect for their culture. She was affectionately known as ‘the good fairy of Bournemouth’ and was a benefactor in her own right. She donated land and money to fund the building of the Russell-Cotes Children’s Home and the Russell-Cotes Nautical School. Situated in Parkstone, both institutions provided support to orphaned, destitute or sick children. She was an accomplished writer and wrote two books about her travels – Westward from the Golden Gate and Letters from Russia – which feature personal observations of places, cultures and people she met. She was the second woman elected as a fellow to the Royal Society of Literature and one of the founding members of the Japan Society.

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