Giving our Past a Future: The Work of The World Monuments Fund, Britain
26 October 2012 - 26 January 2013
Soane Office, Design for the Gothic Library, Interior Perspective, Stowe, dated: Jan 28 1805, Sir John Soane's Museum, Vol. 59/ 121
World Monuments Fund is the leading non-governmental organisation for the protection of international cultural heritage. Founded in 1965, and based in New York, the Fund has affiliate offices across the globe. World Monuments Fund Britain Limited is a UK registered charity (charity no 1126578)and is the largest office outside New York. The Fund secures the future of exceptional, endangered works of architecture through fundraising, conservation management, education, advocacy and partnership building.
In the UK World Monuments Fund Britain has undertaken such varied projects as Edinburgh’s Graveyards, St George's Hall, Liverpool and Browne Clayton Column, Ireland. The exhibition at Sir John Soane’s Museum will celebrate the Fund’s activities by looking at a selection of completed and ongoing projects including Hampton Court Palace, St George’s Bloomsbury, Strawberry Hill, Coventry Cathedral, and Stowe House. Stowe contains the ‘Gothic Library’ - one of Sir John Soane’s very few essays in this style. The exhibition will display drawings and letters never previously shown which explore the collaboration between Soane and the Marquess of Buckingham over the design of the library and their close relationship which culminated in Soane purchasing valuable manuscripts and gemstones from the Marquess to fend off the latter’s creditors. These gems and manuscripts such as Cardinal Marino Grimani’s Commentary on the Epistle of St Paul to the Romans are not on permanent display at the Museum so the exhibition offers the opportunity to - literally and metaphorically - see some of the jewels of Soane's collection.