Several of the apprentices of The Guild and I recently attended a tour and drawing session at The Soane Museum in London’s Lincoln’s Inn.
As stonemasons in training, it was as valuable as it was exciting to see so many fine architectural and sculptural examples at close quarters where their detail could be properly appreciated. Owing to the fact that both the fabric of the buildings and Soane's careful curation of the pieces continue to be faithfully maintained by the Museum, the collection also stands, in and of itself as a testament to his discerning eye and keen understanding of architectural principles: Light, scale, acoustics, proportion and colour are all employed to elicit a distinct feeling in each room and to showcase the pieces to their advantage without ever overshadowing them.
During the visit our enthusiastic guide gave an overview of the life and work of Soane and development of the collection and allowed time for us to freely view and make drawings from the collection.
The assistants took the care to tailor the information to our field of interest and the time to give more detail on specific items from the collection such as the cast of a fragment of entablature from the great temple of Castor and Pollux of which we are building a half-scale model as a training exercise.
We went away feeling very inspired and all resolving to return. I don't think I speak only for stonemasons in saying The Soane museum is a place that certainly bears re-visiting.