STUDENT BLOGS: Theatre in London: Sites, Sounds, and Situations
Sir John Soane's Museum
by Luke Robinson
On Tuesday, the 29th of December 2009, the group toured Sir John Soane's Museum. Our group almost did not get to even take the tour — museum management said that they do not allow group tours over the holiday season even though Linda received an e-mail stating that we could. Fortunately, our group of 10 eventually showed up to the queue (line) at random moments between the time we were scheduled to meet and roughly 30 minutes past. Because the location was so hard to find, small groups of us were scattered throughout the queue, giving us the advantage of fooling management into letting all of us in.
Linda first described Sir John Soane to me as an architect/eccentric collector. I was not fully prepared to believe the extreme level of eccentricity of this man's collection. Nearly every square-foot of the man's 5-story house is covered with fine furniture, sculpted busts, life-size statues, a sarcophagus, blocks and tablets of Roman columns and other architecture ... OH and books! over 6,000 to be exact. I was completely overwhelmed by this collection, mainly because everything in the museum, artifacts hailing from all across the world, was a permanent fixture in the house while Soane was living there!
Soane apparently immersed himself within the proximity of his collection to acquire inspiration for his work; his most notable, the original design of the bank of England building. Soane died in 1837 and still nothing has been moved from within the house. Given another opportunity to visit London, this museum would definitely be at the top of my to-do list.