Bringing back to Life Spaces through
Restoration and Conservation:
Making Mrs Soane's Morning Room
Talk by JANE WILKINSON
Head of Conservation,
Sir John Soane's Museum, London
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
- Reception following
(doors open for seating at 6:45pm)
LOCATION: Union Club, 101 East 69th Street
(northeast corner of Park Avenue), New York City
TICKETS: $35 members, $45 non-members, $100 Patrons
Advance Reservations Required. You may purchase online at >
ATTIRE: Business (jacket and tie for men).
You may also contact the office at 212-223-2012 or email:
With the five-year, $13-million restoration project at the Sir John Soane's Museum recently completed, Jane Wilkinson looks back at some of the processes employed, problems solved and discoveries made. In particular, Jane will focus the discussion on how the 'lost' space of the Morning Room was painstakingly reassembled based on deputy director Helen Dorey's scrupulous research into Soane's original scheme. Among the biggest challenges encountered was how to conserve the frames on the 45 works of art returning to the Morning Room. For many years these frames had been stored away or hanging in different rooms and were in extremely varied degrees of preservation - from the immaculate to the decrepit. The conservation team's task was to bring them all to the same level, and in such a way that they made a unified whole and contributed to making the room, once again, 'permanently magical'.
80 years ago, 'permanently magical' was how Isaac Disraeli described the house/museum in a letter to Soane in 1836 - the year before Sir John Soane died and the house became permanently the museum. Disraeli was writer, scholar and man of letters, and the father of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
JANE WILKINSON has worked at the Soane for over thirty years. She was appointed in 2009 as the museum's first full-time conservator. Her responsibilities include day-to-day care of the collections as well as the planning and management of restoration projects. She is also a practicing artist who exhibits regularly. Her museum work strongly influences her practice as an artist, which addresses issues around taxonomy, fragmentation and the associative power of historic objects.
[Images: top left, as an office; top right, Jane working on a frame; bottom, restored room]
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~