Exclusive viewing in the Museum’s Research Library and Archives, Wednesday 20 April, 11.00-12.00

Regular price £0.00

Join Dr Frances Sands, Curator of Drawings and Books, in the Museum’s Research Library and Archives for an exclusive viewing of some of Sir John Soane’s finest Royal Academy Lecture drawings.

In 1806, the architect Sir John Soane was elected Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy in London. At that time, this was the only place in England offering a formal education in architecture. To fulfil his responsibilities, Soane compiled 12 lectures detailing the story of the world’s architecture and offering his opinions on the best and worst examples of the craft. As the Napoleonic Wars raged, it would have been impossible for Soane’s Royal Academy students to travel and experience the buildings of other countries, as Soane himself had done in the 1770s. So, to address this significant failing in his students’ education, Soane philanthropically commissioned his architectural office to create more than 1,000 exquisite, large-scale lecture drawings, showing significant buildings from throughout history and from across the world. The drawings illustrated Soane’s lectures, but furthermore they provided a virtual Grand Tour for students who would otherwise have been unfamiliar with key international architectural forms. Soane’s Royal Academy lecture drawings are the earliest known attempt at a graphic history of world architecture and are one of the most innovative pedagogical efforts of early modern Britain.

There are two sessions, the first at 11.00 and the second at 14.00. Spaces are strictly limited and booking is essential.

This event is part of the BBC's Art that Made Us Festival. 

We are in a Grade I listed, 19th-century building, so access is not always straightforward. If you require step-free access or extra assistance, please contact us in advance of your booking on admin@soane.org.uk or 020 7405 2107.

Image: Soane office, Royal Academy lecture drawing showing a view of the Pyramids at Giza, c.1806-19, SM 27/3/2. Photograph: Ardon Bar-Hama. ©Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.

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