Soane Museum Study Group – Tuesday 31 May 2022 – Frances Sands

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Frances Sands – On the job: James Paine’s development as an architect and draughtsman

Tuesday 31 May 2022, 6.00pm drinks, 6.30pm talk

Having undertaken no formal architectural apprenticeship and having spent only a limited time at the St Martin’s Lane Academy, how did James Paine learn the skills of an architect and architectural draughtsman? Aged only 19 he was appointed as Clerk of Works or executant architect at Nostell Priory near Wakefield. First he worked to the designs of Colonel James Moyser but gradually took more and more control of the design process, resulting in a clear understanding of architectural design, basic engineering and the craft of architectural draughtsmanship. For eight years Paine lived in Wragby, just a mile from Nostell and worked on nothing else. His time was clearly well spent. He had arrived in Yorkshire as a newly elevated teenage student, but when he left Wragby for London he was in possession of the skills required of a successful architectural career. This paper will consider the drawings which Paine made for Nostell Priory and what they can tell us about Paine gradually seizing design control at Nostell as his skills grew.

Frances Sands is Curator of Drawings and Books at Sir John Soane’s Museum. Her research interests lie in seventeenth- to nineteenth-century British architectural drawings. Prior to working at the Soane Museum she studied for a PhD at the University of York. In 2010 she was appointed Catalogue Editor at the Soane Museum, tasked with cataloguing the office drawings collection of Robert and James Adam – a vast project which is still ongoing. In 2016 she was appointed as the Curator of Drawings and Books, taking additional responsibility for the Soane Museum’s wider collection of 30,000 drawings and 7,000 books, as well as supervising the Soane Museum research library and drawings cataloguing projects. She has written various exhibitions and publishes and lectures widely. Since 2010, Fran has also served as a Trustee of the York Georgian Society, the Mausolea and Monuments Trust, and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. During the Gibbons tercentenary celebrations, Fran was pleased to serve as a member of the ‘Grinling Gibbons: Centuries in the Making’ exhibition committee.

On arrival please come to no. 14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The door will be staffed from 6.00pm

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