Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Sir Jon Soane's Museum
While visiting regular museums is always enjoyable, when one happens across an opportunity such as the chance to visit the home and personal museum of one of England's most famous architects, it was too good to pass up. Once the domicile of Sir John Soane, he later bought the adjacent buildings and created a living space/museum that is truly amazing to behold. Soane's designs led to remarkable evolutions in British Architecture and much more, considering that the classic "English telephone box" was based on one such design. as such, it is fitting that he possessed such an impressive collection of literature, including the works of Homer, Roussaeu, Tacitus, history of all kinds and several bibles as well. In addition, he had a great number of books on French architecture, which one of the museum workers explained that in Soane's time France possessed greater knowledge of that particular subject. In addition, the house was full of realia, including stonework, carvings, busts and vases, antique lamps and clocks, statuary, architectural models and a genuine Egyptian sarcophagus. Soane was also a collector of painting by Joseph Michael Ganny, including houses and designs, as well as displaying his own designs, including Triumph Bridge and the Bank of England. On a side note, Soane had an imaginary friend, a priest named Father John, and he purportedly built the Monks Parlor in the museum for him.
When we were leaving the museum, we happened to come across a historical contractor of sorts,who explained that they were restoring the rooms to more closely resemble their original appearance. In order to accomplish this, they were taking sample of the paint to analyze its age and chemical composition.