The SOANE Magazine
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Soane moving into his house at No.13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields in 1813, we are delighted to launch our first ever edition of The SOANE Magazine! The SOANE Magazine is a publication compiled especially for members of the Soane Supporters’ Circle and friends of Sir John Soane’s Museum. The magazine, which is being co-ordinated and edited by Claudia Bertel, will go out to our members twice a year and will feature articles by external contributors as well our own curators and the usual roundup of the latest news from the Museum. We aim to work with a wide range of contributors from the architectural, design, art, history and literary worlds who explore topics that both draw inspiration from Soane’s house, collections and architecture and demonstrate Soane’s continuing influence on artists, architects and designers today.
IN THIS EDITION OF The SOANE Magazine (Issue No.1, spring 2013):
‘The Cult of the Ruin’
Soane’s extraordinary futurist vision of his own house as a ruin, being explored and described by an Antiquary, written whilst the house was in that ambiguous ‘is it ruined, is it half-built?’ state during its construction, remains an extraordinary insight into his ideas about his legacy but also about the emotional and expressive significance of ruins. The theme runs throughout his Museum, from the use of genuine ‘ruins’ from the Palace of Westminster to create the supposed ruins of an abbey in the ‘Monk’s Yard’ to his evocative arrangements of fragments from the great ruined buildings of ancient Rome.
For this first issue of the magazine we look at the ‘cult of the ruin’ in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with articles by Acting Director Helen Dorey and Drawings Curator Stephen Astley but also at how Soane’s visions of his buildings as future ruins rivalling those of Rome can inspire a leading architect of our own day to look at the future of one of his own buildings. We are extremely grateful to Sir Norman Foster for contributing his piece about 30 St Mary Axe, imagining its distant future. Along the way our peregrination takes us to the great Doric temples of Paestum and the ruins of ancient Greece with Dr Ian Jenkins and with Dr Caroline Shenton to a spectacular ruin which was created before the eyes of Georgian Londoners as the Palace of Westminster burnt one night in 1834.