Scaffolding Hoarding Decorations
As part of Opening up the Soane, Number 12, the house to the left of the Museum itself, will be shrouded in scaffolding for the next couple of years. The lower part of the scaffolding is boarded in with large plain flat sheets of marine ply. This has been painted a stone colour but was rather dull and unsightly. To make it more interesting and eye-catching, we decided to decorate it with large blow-ups of casts and reliefs from the Museum’s collection. These are actually bigger than life size as they are intended to be seen from the pavement as you approach the Museum or from Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the large square in which the Museum stands. They are arranged to evoke the way Soane himself positioned casts and reliefs with the kind of impressive density of arrangement he liked, which makes visiting the Museum such an extraordinary experience. Particularly striking is the image of the Bocca della Verità which may remind people of the scene in Roman Holiday, with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. In fact ours is likely to be from a Roman fountain or vapour bath. The covered area which encloses the pavement – invaluable for the queue on a rainy day – is decorated to evoke the Museum’s Picture Room, with images, in their frames, of some of the masterpieces from the collection, including pictures by Hogarth, Canaletto and Turner. Children may be amused to see Mrs Soane’s dog, Fanny, patiently waiting to be let through the door!