Giving our Past a Future

The Work of World Monuments Fund, Britain

World Monuments Fund Britain has undertaken such varied projects as Edinburgh’s Graveyards, St George's Hall, Liverpool and Browne Clayton Column, Ireland. The exhibition at Sir John Soane’s Museum will celebrate the WMF activities by looking at a selection of completed and ongoing projects including Hampton Court Palace, St George’s Bloomsbury, Strawberry Hill, Coventry Cathedral, and Stowe House. Stowe contains the Gothic Library—one of Sir John Soane’s very few essays in this style. The exhibition will display drawings and letters never previously shown that explore the collaboration between Soane and the Marquess of Buckingham over the design of the library and their close relationship, which culminated in Soane purchasing valuable manuscripts and gemstones from the Marquess to fend off the latter’s creditors.

These gems and manuscripts such as Cardinal Marino Grimani’s Commentary on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans are not on permanent display at the museum so the exhibition offers the opportunity to, literally and metaphorically, see some of the jewels of Soane's collection.