Boundless Knowledge

The Royal Academy of London prides itself on its magnificent library deigned by H.T. Cadbury. H.T. or Jim Cadbury was the Academy’s Professor of Architecture for thirteen years. A modernist in the tradition of Le Corbusier, he was a pupil of Ernö Goldfinger. He worked alongside Sir Hugh Casson (former RA president) on the designs for the Festival of Britain, but visitors to the RA who explore beyond the main galleries, may well have seen his remodelling of the library and archive.

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France circa 1900 set of 6 chairs (AW248), Italy circa 1800 lavagna stone table (AY225)

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The Library contains some 65,000 books, including a historic book collection of approximately 12,000 volumes, acquired before 1920, reflecting the early teaching philosophy of the Academy Schools. This room instantly takes one back in time to 20th century london. The creative use of mirror’s in the library gave the illusion of a larger space than what was originally created.

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England circa 1880 leather books (AZ149), England circa 1900 georgian chairs (AZ135)

The library has since its original construction has been moved several times. It was recently moved in the mid 1980’s from the base floor of the Burlington House to a gallery and was redesigned by Cadbury. In 1771 the library was housed in apartment still lined with tapestry in the Old Somerset House, the with redevelopment of the apartment the collections were again moved to a new location with a painted ceiling by Sir Joshua Reynolds. In 1836 the library found a new home in the west wing of the National Gallery building, then in 1868 it was finally moved to the Burlington house where it stayed until the mid 1980’s.

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Sweden circa 1860 sculpture (AZ170), France circa 1940 sculpture (AY148)


England circa 1880 railway table (AO108)

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France circa 1950 guillerme and chambron table (AY112)

You can read the full article in World Of Interiors

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