Robert Adam’s London, Sir John Soane’s Museum: 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2, until 11th March 2017
Adam office, drawing made for publication showing the Admiralty Screen, Whitehall, 1759
It is hard to believe that this is the first time that the work of Robert Adam (proposed and realised) in London has been focused on in a London museum. Whitehall’s Admiralty screen, Portland Place, the Adelphi, Lansdowne House, Buckingham House (now Palace), Kenwood and monuments in Westminster Abbey are among the projects on show. The Museum has the largest collection of Adam’s surviving drawings.
Adam office, finished drawing showing a funerary monument to Major John André , Westminster Abbey, c.1780-82
As one contemplates these designs one is reminded how Adam designed complete, detailed schemes for his projects whether exteriors or interiors. I could not but wonder what he would make of these modern-day buildings with their huge expanses of glass which so clearly reveal the detritus of office or domestic living to passers-by and thus lose their aesthetic appeal.
Adam office, finished drawing showing a longitudinal section through the interior of an unexecuted scheme for Lloyds Coffee House, probably on Freeman’s Court, Cornhill, c.1772
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm. Last entry 4:30pm
Adam office, design for door furniture for 31 Hill Street, c.1777-79
Adam office, design for an unexecuted urban palace for the Earl of Findlater on Portland Place, c.1771-73