Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

RIBA misses out on historical drawings

  • Comment

The RIBA has missed out on a stunning archive of architectural drawings by Sir John Soane.

The collection, belonging to Claremont House in Esher, also includes artwork by 'Capability' Brown and Henry Holland.

However, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) dashed the hopes of the RIBA Library by allocating the 52 drawings to the National Trust.

Tim Drewitt, RIBA honorary librarian, said: 'We were extremely interested in the collection but the government gave it to the National Trust, mainly because the trust owns Claremont House.'

The drawings were part of a batch of material taken through the 'acceptance in lieu' scheme. This allows people to transfer historic works into public ownership to off-set inheritance tax; the Claremont collection is worth £227,500 in tax.

Other recent objects coming into the public realm include a 17th-century corset and three portraits by Nancy Sharp, one of which is of architectural historian John Summerson. This went to Sir John Soane's Museum, which Summerson curated for almost 40 years.

The British Architecture Library is still finalising the addition of work by the late Denys Lasdun and Leslie Martin to its archive.

Lasdun is famous for the National Theatre on London's South Bank. Martin's work included the Royal Festival Hall, also on the South Bank.

Meanwhile, Drewitt said he was busy digitalising the library's photo collection and advancing its IT.

'We are not a dead organisation of musty people wearing leather patches on our jackets, ' he said.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.