Lines of Beauty
4 June – 6 September 2015
Exploring the creation and preservation of the Foundling Museum’s decorative plasterwork.
From small intricately-detailed relief panels to an exuberant Rococo ceiling, the Foundling Museum houses a wealth of sumptuous interiors. This exhibition focuses on contemporary craftsmanship of Geoffrey Preston, who has worked on conserving the museum's decorative plasterwork.
One of the UK’s leading architectural sculptors, his previous projects include the pioneering restoration of the hand-modelled stucco ceilings at Uppark House in West Sussex, which were destroyed by fire in 1989. This experience encouraged him to re-examine the language of 18th-century form and to incorporate it in his own original work.
Objects and photographs document Geoffrey’s principal commissions, from initial sketch to completed work. Different materials and techniques are explained, from traditional stucco to modern moulding and casting methods, alongside a display of the artist’s tools and materials.
The most personal project in the exhibition is the Foundling's own Hospital Court Room. Donated by Georgian craftsman and entrepreneur William Wilton in the 1740s, the plasterwork, furniture and furnishings were saved when the Foundling Hospital building was demolished in the 1920s. It was then painstakingly restored.