on October 8, 2010
The Museum was designed by Soane, one of Britain's greatest architects, and was his home as well as his private Museum. It is a building of originality with its picturesque vistas and inventive handling of light and space. Soane’s collections – architectural fragments, Graeco-Roman marbles, casts, paintings, sculpture and furniture – are combined with the architecture of the building, and are still arranged today as they were at the time of his death in 1837. The result is many floors just stuffed with objects. I particularly like the paintings which included some good Turner paintings, as Turner was a friend, and some very good Hogarths, including the entire Rake’s Progress series.The stairs are narrow, some of the rooms tiny and the floors so crowded with objects, the Museum limits the numbers allowed in at any time. You have to wait for someone to leave before you can enter. And before you enter, they make you put your bag and overcoat into a plastic bag to be carried by hand. I guess because they are worried you’ll knock over something with a bag on your shoulder or back or by a flapping coat on your arm.It is an extremely curious collection and made me shake my head at the way so many collectors could just buy and ship home antiquities and other treasures from Continental Europe.
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