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ROBERT ADAM'S LONDON TO SHOWCASE AT LONDON MUSEUM

A new exhibition looking at the work of one of the greatest British architects of all time will be launching later this month.  Robert Adam’s London will take place from 30 November 2016 until 11 March 2017, at Sir John Soane’s Museum in London.  

Chandos House, Robert Adam

Adam office, Chandos House, drawing room ceiling, 1771

The exhibition will take an in-depth look at the influential architect and designer’s work and vision, which ultimately helped change the landscape of the capital.  It will showcase Adam’s ground-breaking neo-classical style and his desire to unify architecture and interior design.  Famous buildings featured will include Buckingham Palace and Portland Place, as well as others that were demolished or never realised, such as the interiors of 15 Downing Street, Lansdowne House and Adelphi.

Admiralty Screen, Robert Adam

Adam office, view of the Admiralty Screen, Whitehall, 1759

The display will be created from some of Sir John Soane’s Museum’s collection of 9000 drawings by Adam, which are of great international significance for understanding of Georgian architecture and interior design.

Buckingham House, Robert Adam

Adam office, Buckingham House, The Mall, clock bracket, c.1761-63

Robert Adam had a long history with London, establishing his London practice in 1758 and remaining in the city until his death in 1792.  Over his years of practice, Adam’s style evolved from the fashionable Palladian design to more flexible designs that incorporated influences from Roman, Etruscan and Baroque styles.  He also favoured large-scale and grandiose designs, though many remained purely speculative, due to their ambitious nature and prohibitive cost.

Cumberland House, Robert Adam

Adam office, Cumberland House, Pall Mall, drawing room interior, c.1780-85

A large facsimile of an C18th map on London, plotting Adam’s projects across the city, will form the centrepiece of the exhibition, alongside a portrait of Robert Adam by George Williamson, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.

Bruce Boucher, Director of Sir John Soane’s Museum says: “The Adam Drawings at the Soane Museum is one of our most important collections. Not only is it an invaluable record of the work of one of this country’s most innovative architects, but also a fascinating glimpse into what London could have been had all his projects survived or come to fruition. People have always cared passionately about the architecture of London, as today’s fierce debates testify, so it is wonderful to be able to examine this fascinating chapter in the architectural history of this great city, right in the heart of the city itself.”

Dr Frances Sands, Curator of Drawings and Books at Sir John Soane’s Museum comments: "The Adam office provided designs in deliberate contrast to the more severe neo-Palladian style that had dominated Britain in earlier decades. Adam instigated a fashion for his own recognisable and characteristic style, one not based on dogmatic archaeological accuracy, but rather a creative fusion of all that he had seen abroad. With his distinctive, delicate interior decorative style and bold, rippling architecture, Adam became enormously successful; his practice catered to clients across Britain - and occasionally beyond – but nowhere more heavily than in London. Often remembered as an architect of great country houses, this exhibition celebrates the skill and dexterity of his numerous works here in town.”

Robert Adam’s London will take place from 30 November 2016 until 11 March 2017, at Sir John Soame’s Museum. For more information, visit Sir John Soane's Museum.