Conservation

Preserving the house and collections of Sir John Soane for generations to come.

Sir John Soane’s Museum is a remarkable survival of a Regency-period architect’s house, office and collection left to the nation by an Act of Parliament by Sir John Soane in 1833. Although Soane intended his house to be preserved exactly as he left it on his death in 1837, over the course of the nineteenth century changes were made resulting in the loss of certain historical interiors and in the displacement of certain works of art. Initially only No 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields was covered by the act. Today, two adjoining Soane town houses – Nos. 12 and 14 Lincoln’s Inn Field’s – also form part of the Museum. All three houses are rare survivals of Sir John Soane’s domestic architecture. Over a number of phases, beginning in 1971, a process of restoring these houses, with their unique Soaneian interiors and external architecture, has been undertaken. Currently, the Museum is undergoing the final phases of this restoration process with the creation of a new visitor reception, exhibition gallery and conservation studio in No 12 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and the restoration of some of the ‘lost’ historical elements and interiors in No. 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields – such as the Catacombs, Tivoli Recess, Private Apartments and Model Room. All this will be done without altering the Museum's highly original atmosphere and beauty.

As part of this, the Museum is also conserving many of the works of art – paintings, furniture, sculptures, casts and drawings – which once decorated these ‘lost’ spaces. Having been displaced mainly in the nineteenth century these objects will once more return to the incomparable settings designed by Soane for their display.

hlfOur Conservation pages record the on-going process of the final phases of restoration, begun in 2010 and due to be finally completed in 2014, and the day to day care of the historic buildings and the collections within them.

Building Restoration

Protection from the Sun - Read how Soane's collection and the historic interiors are protected from the sun's ultra violet rays  more >>

Care of Collections

Welcoming our volunteers - A behind-the-scenes look at some of the work our wonderful conservation volunteers have been helping us with in the past few months more >>

Museum Trail

Cover of the Conservation Housekeeping trail Follow this trail for a fascinating glimpse into the work that is undertaken by our team of conservators, warders and curators to ensure that Soane’s building and collection is preserved and protected - more>>

Studio Open Day

Conservator applying gold to a frame with a gilding brushVisiting the Conservation Studios - Periodically we run open day tours of the Conservation Studios, which will be advertised here.  Please keep an eye on this space for more details.