The Soane Museum Study Group is an open forum for scholars – both established and emerging – to present new research into an aspect of architectural history and/or Soane’s collection.
Connected Careers: Sir William Chambers, the Consummate Professional Architect, his legacy and influence on Sir John Soane
A talk by Joanna Tinworth
Works by, or relating to, Sir William Chambers in Soane’s collection are surprisingly overlooked, by comparison with, for example, the role that George Dance and the works of Robert Adam play in the everyday narrative of the Museum. This paper will consider the Museum’s numerous Chambers holdings, alongside Soane’s references to Chambers in his Royal Academy lectures. It will contest that Soane was far more connected to, interested in and influenced by Chambers than is generally acknowledged. The breadth and depth of the material indicates Soane’s respect and admiration for Chambers, the consummate professional architect – on whose career Soane arguably modelled his own – and firmly locates Chambers as one of a modern pantheon of contemporary architects who Soane felt worthy of celebration in his Museum.