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Concerning the house museum and the picturesque landscape in the work of Sir John Soane : with raw hints for post-heritage museum space

Lee, Gini (2007) Concerning the house museum and the picturesque landscape in the work of Sir John Soane : with raw hints for post-heritage museum space. In Loo, Stephen & Bartsch, Katharine (Eds.) 24th International Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand : Panorama to Paradise, 21-24 September 2007, Adelaide, South Australia.

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Abstract

The picturesque aesthetic in the work of Sir John Soane, architect and collector, resonates in the major work of his very personal practice – the development of his house museum, now the Soane Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London. Soane was actively involved with the debates, practices and proponents of picturesque and classical practices in architecture and landscape and his lectures reveal these influences in the making of The Soane, which was built to contain and present diverse collections of classical and contemporary art and architecture alongside scavenged curiosities. The Soane Museum has been described as a picturesque landscape, where a pictorial style, together with a carefully defined itinerary, has resulted in the ‘apotheosis of the Picturesque interior’. Soane also experimented with making mock ruinscapes within gardens, which led him to construct faux architectures alluding to archaeological practices based upon the ruin and the fragment. These ideas framed the making of interior landscapes expressed through spatial juxtapositions of room and corridor furnished with the collected object that characterise The Soane Museum.

This paper is a personal journey through the Museum which describes and then reviews aspects of Soane’s work in the context of contemporary theories on ‘new’ museology. It describes the underpinning picturesque practices that Soane employed to exceed the boundaries between interior and exterior landscapes and the collection. It then applies particular picturesque principles drawn from visiting The Soane to a speculative project for a house/landscape museum for the Oratunga historic property in outback South Australia, where the often, normalising effects of conservation practices are reviewed using minimal architectural intervention through a celebration of ruinous states.

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ID Code: 26011
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: The copyright in this volume belongs to SAHANZ. Copyright of the papers contained in this volume remains the property of the authors. Apart from fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part of this volume may be reproduced by an process without the prior permission of the publishers and authors
Keywords: museum, picturesque, collection, theory
ISBN: 1-920927-55-7
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural History and Theory (120103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Heritage and Conservation (120102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > CURATORIAL AND RELATED STUDIES (210200) > Museum Studies (210204)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Gini Lee.
Deposited On: 30 Jun 2009 14:13
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:53

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