Written by Rebekah Staton

Lifestyle

A Moment’s Peace: Sir John Soane Museum

Our list of recommended places to go solo gets one bigger as Rebekah Staton implores us to cross a visit to London’s Sir John Soane Museum off our to do lists.

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The Upper Drawing Office. Credit: Derry Moore. All images by courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum

When the rain is blowing in your face, and the whole world is on your case, we want to offer you a warm embrace in the form of a cosy, tried and tested location you can retreat to whether you have 10 minutes or a full day to fill.
Whether you need somewhere to work or somewhere to flop; somewhere to be quiet or somewhere to scream, we hope in the coming weeks, some of these suggestions will become your new favourite places.

And so to Rebekah Staton’s recommendation: the Sir John Sloane Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Field, London:

I love this museum. To me it’s like the music of Billie Holiday, because it doesn’t matter what mood I am in, it’s always the perfect fit.

When architect Sir John Soane first began to arrange his vast collection of books, models, and casts, it was in order that students at the Royal Academy (where he was a Professor of Architecture) could have access to them the days before and after his lectures.

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Staircase to Upper Drawing Office, Credit: Derry Moore. All images by courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum

He described it as an Academy of Architecture.

Today it holds the 252 models of Soane’s architectural projects, as well as antiquities, drawings and paintings he assembled in his lifetime. And that collection is vast, varied and wonderful to see.

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The Sarcophagus of Seti I by candlelight. Credit: Lewis Bush. All images by courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum

You might expect to find some of the pieces in the British Museum, like the alabaster sarcophagus of Seti I. Here, it lives with an eclectic variety of works from Greek and Roman busts, to Chinese ceramics.

Then there are the paintings – artists represented here include Joshua Reynolds, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, J M Turner, Canaletto, and the eight paintings of Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress.

It all combines to serve as an inspiring and vast collection that normal folks like us can behold and enjoy. Walking around the museum is a transportive, surprising and unique experience.

Compared to larger museums the Soane is relatively small, but at the same time, it would probably take a lifetime to see and truly appreciate it all.

Words don’t do this place justice, just go!

Sir John Soane Museum
Address: 13 Lincoln’s Inn Field, London, WC2A 3BP
Website: www.soane.org
Admission: Free
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm
Tel: 020 7405 2107

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Written by Rebekah Staton

Rebekah Staton is that Actress that was in that thing you liked. She lives in London. @RebekahStaton