From October 26, 2012 to January 26, 2013, Sir John Soane’s Museum in London hosted an exhibition titled “Giving Our Past a Future: The Work of World Monuments Fund, Britain.” Featuring WMF’s work in the United Kingdom, the exhibition highlighted over 15 years of conservation work, with a selection of drawings and objects.
How We Helped
Rare and seldom-displayed artifacts from the eclectic collections of Sir John Soane’s Museum and important loans from London’s leading museums and private collections showcased the work of WMF’s at some of Britain’s most significant historic places: the ruins of the former Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Coventry; St. George’s Bloomsbury; Strawberry Hill; and Stowe House. Items included Soane's drawings of Stowe and the gems and Renaissance manuscripts he purchased from the Duke of Buckingham, original drawings by Robert Adam and Nicholas Hawksmoor, and JMW Turner's watercolor of St. George's Bloomsbury. The show also includes recent photographs of World Monuments Fund Britain’s restoration programs, giving visitors an insight into complex processes of conservation. Also on display were pieces of the medieval stained glass from Coventry’s bombed cathedral, St.Michael’s, a 2012 World Monuments Watch site and current WMF project. Visitors were able to see newly cleaned and conserved glass on display for the first time in 70 years.
Why It Matters
"Giving Our Past a Future: The Work of World Monuments Fund, Britain demonstrated the imperative for preservation in Britain, represented the support that has enabled conservation projects throughout WMF’s history, and built further support and encouraged membership and engagement with World Monuments Fund.