The dapper gentleman pictured above is Theodore Jacobsen, and half-unrolled in his right hand is a drawing of the west front of London's Foundling Hospital on the fringe of Bloomsbury - built in 1752, demolished in 1928, and his best-known work.
Jacobsen was a successful merchant but, unlike the Alan Sugars of this world, found time to practise as an architect as well. He supplied designs for Trinity College, Dublin, which were part-executed; and a scheme for the Bank of England (as a Palladian villa), which wasn't.
Jacobsen features in a new exhibition at the Soane Museum, APassion for Building: The Amateur Architect in England 1650-1850, that runs from 18 May to 1 September. One of the most interesting items on view is a 6ft-long drawing for a 'porticus' - a sizeable Roman temple meant to serve as a viewing platform - which was to stand in the garden of Salisbury House, a Tudor palace by the Thames. The designer was a courtier, Sir John Osborne, and the Soane claims that his scheme was of 'a Classical purity preceding anything by Inigo Jones' ( www. soane. org).
The Soane Museum is a prime example of a place shaped by the taste, eye and judgement of a single person.
The same could be said of the London gallery Annely Juda Fine Art, whose founder Annely Juda is shown above beside a Mondrian painting. From the late 1960s until her death last year, she specialised in the geometric art of the 20th century, particularly the pioneers whose work had such a formative inuence on the Modernist architecture of the 1920s. Pieces by Malevich, El Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy and the like were regularly on display in her gallery, along with more recent paintings and sculpture in the same tradition.
Juda's premises in London's Dering Street are by the late Max Gordon - designer of Saatchi's now defunct Boundary Road gallery, whose spaces far surpassed anything Tate Modern offers. From 24 May-28 July at 23 Dering Street there's a memorial exhibition, Annely Juda: A Celebration, with a superb line-up of artists - some still working now, others from the avant-garde she sedulously showed. It's not to be missed ( www. annelyjudafineart. co. uk).
For forthcoming events visit www. ajplus. co. uk/diary