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In Focus is a series of lunchtime talks with Sir John Soane’s Museum curators and conservators in which they select an item from Soane’s vast and eclectic collection for an in-depth investigation. You will hear about the history and provenance of objects collected by Soane and have an opportunity to examine at close hand works from the collection not normally on display.
In this illustrated talk, Helen Dorey, MBE, Deputy Director and Inspectress of Sir John Soane’s Museum, will introduce one of the little-known treasures of the Soane, the ‘Pupils Sketches Album’, a volume full of small-scale watercolours by Charles James Richardson and Joseph Michael Gandy recording John Soane’s house and museum in around the year 1825. Perhaps in response to the preparations being made by John Britton for a publication on the building (his men drew in the house in 1824 for a publication that eventually came out in 1827) Soane commissioned this first set of images of his magical interiors, preserving for us their appearance 12 years before his death. Most of his arrangements were dramatically modified later and so these small jewel-like images are vital evidence for the evolution of the presentation of his collections and interiors. A number have provided the vital, key evidence for the restoration of ‘lost’ Soane interiors over the last ten years, including the Private Apartments.
About the speaker
Regarded as one of the leading scholars of Sir John Soane, Helen Dorey joined the Museum in 1986 and has been its Inspectress since 1995. She has published extensively on the Museum and its collections and has led numerous restoration projects within the Museum over 30 years, including the restoration of Soane’s private apartments. She is Chairman of the Scholarship Committee of the Attingham Trust and a member of its Council, a member of the National Trust’s Collections and Interpretation Panel, a Trustee of the Moggerhanger House Preservation Trust and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. She was awarded an MBE in 2017 for services to heritage.
About the event
Please note that this event takes place in the Museum's Seminar Room at Number 14 Lincoln's Inn Fields. No food or drink is permitted in the room.
No. 14, Lincoln's Inn Fields